Modern work-life: How to avoid to become a Work Drone

Boy, this guy looks funny, but stupid. Fun sounds good, but do not join him in stupidity when it comes to your job.

Boy, this guy looks funny, but stupid. Fun sounds good, but do not join him in stupidity when it comes to your job. (seen in the Aquarium of La Rochelle, France)

Do you know that talk:

“To be successful you need a perfect CV !” (how did people get jobs 100 years ago, when the CV was not yet invented?! 🙂 )

“To succeed, spend all your free time during studies doing unpaid internships” (wow, sounds like fun. Instead of exploring the world on a shoestring, you do what you will do anyway the next 30 years)

“Involve socially – but not where you like it or because it provides fun but in a correct (probably boring) area to prove to potential employers that you engage yourself!” (fun is not the goal, but “success” – whatever that means?!)

“If you go sailing, don’t do it because you love it, but because you can sell it as leadership experience!”

“Never have any blanks in your CV – unemployment forever will be the punishment” (life is not about living, but about creating a perfect CV?!)

“Study quick and efficient, never check out anything right or left of your way – it costs time! You will be old soon and UNEMPLOYED!” (great idea – it will make you miss one of the best times in your life)

“Study something that is marketable – never something you simply like” (because things you like are unimportant – only money counts?!)

“You finally have a job?! Great! Fit in and adapt perfectly, especially in the first 100 days. And in the 30 years after that. Because if you have an opinion, you will get sacked!” (Nice, welcome, little working bee)

“Always and ever please your boss. Always stay in the office longest, this is your chance to outperform. Never ask or push you boss and let him always take credit for your ideas – if you obey long enough, money will be poured over you automatically” (Bad luck if you are restructured in-between)

This list can be prolonged for virtually every situation in your life…

Well, of course all of this is crap.

As so often when people are addressing your fears, it is very likely that there is substantial self-interest in it from their side.

I don’t know how it works in other countries, but in Germany many of my fellow countryman seem to be particularly receptive to manipulation by fear. Is it the same in your country?

But be careful – I do not say you should do the exact opposite, of course not!

Do it the middle way:

  • Yes, do study and work with motivation. But: Life is not all about efficiency. Take your time, don’t let others haste you, go your own way.
  • Think about a balance between fun and free time and dedication to the job
  • If you are a student, do two internships or three. No need to do 20. Ask for money. You might get it and you will be valued more.
  • In job, stand up for your opinion. Not like the annoying grumbler but in a self-confident way.
  • Ask and push your boss for more money – do not wait for others to invite you. It may annoy him/her, but that’s his job.
  • If you work for a big company always play it tit-for-tat (in game theory, tit-for-tat is proven to be the optimal strategy in repeated simple interaction situations)
    Do a good job but don’t think too much about the shareholders of your company. They are probably pension funds on another continent. They will not give a damn about your fate as an employee. So why should you care too much about their profits? You have a contract. You fulfill your side, they fulfill theirs. That’s it. If they are willing to go beyond their contractual obligations, honor it by going beyond yours as well. If instead they try to play it hard-ball, return it. That’s a strange world, but this is how it works.
  • If you work for a small company:
    It might be easier to find out what the owners or top guys are up to. Are they treating you as a person, not merely as an input factor? In that case they deserve full effort beyond contractual obligations and high motivation. And the other way round.
  • If your employer just treats you and all other employees badly and work atmosphere is really down and deteriorating, look for a new job. This costs you too much energy. Never calm yourself like: “It will soon get better here”. Mostly it doesn’t.
  • If you are self-employed, same (tit-for-tat) holds for interaction with your customers. They are fair and correct? You do the same. They try to squeeze you? You fight back.

Always be aware of your value in the market.
Always act in a self-confident way.
You are not a solicitor.
You are an equal partner on eyes-height in any economic situation.
Please remember this, because if you signal to be inferior in any way, this very likely is going to be exploited by someone.
If you invest in your job, your best investment will be investments in your network. If people like you and you are not too stupid, they’ll give you good jobs.

And you’ll see, high spirits, a bit of a network and an upright standing will get you most jobs you want – no matter your CV, your adaptation etc.
Plus: Job can be really fun if you do it balanced and do not bend yourself.

Cheers,
Woodpecker

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One comment on “Modern work-life: How to avoid to become a Work Drone

  1. […] a good job in your employment, but don’t play the work-drone. Once others notices you do everything, they will shovel everything on you. Not […]

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