A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

It Doesn’t All Pay the Same

Currently, I’m employed as a software engineer at a huge corporation. The bureaucracy and overhead of a large organization can unfortunately result in times of unsteady work. I don’t want to get into the details of the seasonal ebb and flow there. Suffice to say there are times when the tasks that we are presented with to fill the gaps between major efforts are…less than gripping.

That’s not to say that they’re not important. We get paid way too much money to be given just meaningless busywork.

(Alright. Some of it is meaningless busywork. Not that much, though.)

Anyway, when a few of my comrades have a moment to sit together and talk about our individual drudgery, there’s a phrase that gets thrown around to justify our toils and trials:

“It all pays the same.”

In other words, no matter what tasks your days are being filled with, your salary, or the hourly rate you are paid, remains the same. The work may not be interesting, or challenging, but it doesn’t matter as long as you continue to get your regular paycheck. That’s true, right?

In a word, no.

Work must provide the opportunity for spiritual and personal growth as well as financial success.  The irony is that if it does not provide all three, there will be a natural pressure to keep the financial rewards low.  The search for money alone will always be self-defeating.

– Dan Miller

Our paycheck doesn’t tell the whole story. There are more rewards for your work than just the money you earn. We are paid on emotional and spiritual levels, too. Not every task does that well (especially not meaningless busywork).

The organizations loses out, too. You will never be as productive when doing a task that you are not skilled at or emotionally suited for. Despite your best intentions, your response to working at something that you hate will never compare to the quality you produce when doing something you love.

Understand, I’m not saying that every assigned task should be in your special ‘zone of excellence.’ It’s good to be stretched now and then. Important work needs to happen even if the right person isn’t available to do it. We just need to recognize and accept the inevitable loss. It won’t pay the same.

Question: What’s the one task that you hate doing, but has to get done at work? What can you learn from it?

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September 17, 2012 - Posted by | Work and Money | , , , , , ,

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