What does work mean to you?

Today 20150907, I attended a 2-hour meeting with ~ 24 attendees. I kept quiet throughout whereas some people were trying hard to sell their agenda.

Although the meeting consumed our precious 2 hours of life, I learned new things that our bosses expected of us. Following the Pareto’s Law, 80% things discussed are not useful to me or beyond my control to change (I can only accept), whereas perhaps less than 20% are things that I must be aware of.

Some people can be very dominating. There are also few who count down the days to retirement.

In corporations, we will have to ask for a raise and a promotion. Loud and clear. More than once. Working hard alone is not enough, we must self-promote (even if I think that I am that type of person who prefers to let my work speaks for itself – friends have judged me as being down-to-earth, but this will not help my career). If asking for a raise and a promotion is too hard for one, an alternative is to jump ship; apparently this strategy works for some of my LinkedIn contacts.

Another important reminder … please do not sacrifice our family time and our health and well-being for work, because even the VPs / CEOs are (quickly) replaceable.

Realizing that corporate life is not appealing to me, because (i) I do not like to fight with others to ensure that my points are taken and implemented (ii) I have no heart to be political in the zero-sum games, I wonder what else I can do and contribute to.

While my current work allows me a certain degree of freedom, there are some patronising elements and inflexibility (for example, the time I must physically report). However, people can be physically here, yet mentally in la la land. Growth opportunity is pretty limited, and I have to use my power to focus on being grateful and create whatever I can with my limited resources.

Aligned with what Joshua Fields Millburn concluded, I need only work to earn enough money to live — not live to work. After all, I have spent more than half of my life living in frugal and minimalist manners. It started with a series of events that we thought we only saw in war films, but they have changed many lives including mine.

I believe that work should be a channel for us to express ourselves (with our unique talents, skills, interests and personality), instead of impressing others.

Even if there is no job that suits us right now right here, we can always create one. Small business. I have added The Lean Startup by Eric Ries and Startup Weekends to my to do list, thank you Michael Kubler for introducing me to them.

We can always nurture the required skills. Since the end of summer 2014, I started to improve a transferable skill with formal proof. Baby steps, yet when accumulated, they turn into a big leap as I believe.

I believe that in few years down the road, I will be able to earn more than today, through rendering services to others who need my talents, skills and personality. I will have less unnecessary meetings (like today one) to attend, instead I will put every hour of work into good use and be able to spend quality time with my loved ones.

It will be a work that gives me energy, instead of draining me. I look forward to each day of work.



One comment

  1. 20150908 another 2-hour meeting. I think it is important to do smart work instead of draining ourselves doing hard work.


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