Sunday, July 26, 2015

What work teaches us

Photo by Johnny Delos Santos


A few times before I have been asked “ how do you deal with difficult people in the office?”

I answer “ I teach myself to like them. I try to have fun conversations with them. If I cannot avoid them, I must like them. Otherwise, they will make my life miserable every day.”

Work teaches us patience, tolerance and many other character-shaping things. For example :

Loyalty. Even if we don't like our employer or our office mates, we cannot say bad things about them for as long as we're still with them.

Excellence. If we don’t do our best, we let our work mates down. We may even pull down the whole company. If loss of income is the result of our substandard work, the effect will be felt by our friends and their families.

Commitment. In the office, our word is gold. Many things may fall apart if we don’t fulfill what we promise to deliver, or if we give up halfway through the task.

Honesty. It can be very tempting to steal from the office. We can receive gifts from suppliers and vendors. We can overprice our purchases or pad our actual expenses for reimbursement. We may even cheat with our tax reports. It takes honor to resist easy money.

By the way, one of the things that’s tempting and easy to steal in the office is credit.

Humility. We can improve ourselves if we just accept that we can learn so much from the many people who are better than us at some things. We may be better than many people at some things and it's good to resist the temptation to feel superior.

Respect. It is almost predictable that employees will respect the boss. But some managers can be too harsh on their subordinates. Sometimes we disregard their own concerns. I have also heard many stories about how the kindness of vendors and suppliers have been abused.

Good executives treat people with respect, regardless of rank.

Cooperation instead of competition. In many offices, executives compete for promotion or for power. The result is a turf war that affects even their respective departments. Competition at the top sends strong signals of corporate dysfunction.

A company with a united leadership always achieves more.

Interpersonal relationships. When we have issues with other people, it is our habit to tell other people about them, instead of talking to them directly. In my experience, conflicts were more decisively resolved through dialogue.

Sense of purpose. Work makes us dedicate ourselves to a noble mission of making lives a little better for some people.

To succeed at work, we need to make a lot of sacrifices. We must give less importance to our comforts and our pride for the sake of our team mates, our company and the people it serves.
After 30 years of working, I have realized that the unpleasant things in the office are just like sandpaper that will eventually smoothen and polish us.

A few years ago when I was going through a trying period, my boss told me " don't run away from any problem. They're teaching you something. "

Work teaches us character.

Combine character with the skills we have acquired and talents we have developed over the years, I am convinced that the purpose of work is to make us become a better person.

Recently, we interviewed our company chairman about what he thinks of company values. He said “values are what you do when no one is looking. “


If you have concerns about your job or if you wish to suggest a topic, you may email me at rglabayen@gmail.com

I would assume that you’re giving me permission to publish your email ( if chosen) and my reply. Your identity will not be disclosed.

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