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"Consider doing something no one expects - even you"

April 11th, 2015 at 07:26 pm

Those were the words texted to me yesterday by my youngest son.

He had sent me a text to let me know something about his upcoming trip to Utah (which it turns out is actually for the final interview - he isn't sure he has the job yet but we're still very excited!) We talked about how my new exercise regimen is going and he asked what I'd like for my birthday in three months. Since I'm on a path to minimalism I couldn't really think of anything tangible he and his brother might get me but we talked about membership at a local gym, a particular genealogy program I'd like, and a couple of other things. From there the conversation drifted into dealing with stress and since he seems so much more peaceful since his almost six month hike I asked for suggestions on dealing with stress. He asked if my job is the source of some of it and since it's the source of a lot of it, the conversation turned to having a job one likes but that isn't particularly rewarding or challenging.

My son said something about how I need to feel challenged and then I saw these words:

"Consider doing something no one expects - even you"

I haven't been able to get those words out of my mind.

I love my job most of the time but it isn't what I'd call challenging. It's downright routine now. Nor is there any real financial future in it. In fact, without a bachelor's degree I'm pretty much spinning my wheels with the company but oddly enough, I'm okay with that for the most part. I'm not sure why except that I'm not an ambitious person and not heavily into material possessions so money isn't much of a motivator for me.

It isn't like I'm well paid - I'm not. It isn't like I'm appreciated by my employer - I'm not. Employees are a dime a dozen and the company makes their belief in that clear. "Thank you" are words we rarely hear and a "good" raise is .20 an hour. So why do I stay???

Well, the job does pay the bills but just barely. I have health insurance that covers my needs but just barely. But my customers - I love them. I see them and can just feel my grin take over! Some of them are now friends and not just customers. The sad reality though is that I'm not sure the wonderful people I serve are enough to justify continuing in a job that barely helps me make ends meet and doesn't stimulate me intellectually even if I do enjoy the hell out of what I do.

So maybe I should take my son's words to heart and consider doing something no one, even me, expects. I'm not sure what that would be but my mind isn't able to let go of the words or the idea.

Just something to ponder on this lovely summer-like evening.

6 Responses to “"Consider doing something no one expects - even you"”

  1. snafu Says:

    DH did a big study of Job Satisfaction as his major university project. He wanted to learn what made employees happy to come to work each day. He assumed money would be the most significant factor and had a total of 5 principals of management he expected to prove. After a lot of reading, written and oral interviews, questionnaires and surveys from a total of 12,000 people [that said they were employed] he was forced to conclude his assumptions were wrong. The figures were overwhelming, people were motivated when they felt appreciated by their employer. As long as it was real, they adored compliments for a job well done.

    Employees are happiest and most committed when their opinions and suggestions about their jobs/work was taken seriously by management and even put into practice. Enjoying working with their specific colleagues was also significant. Having a competent supervisor who explained why a particular process was practiced was nearly gold!

    Have you ever assessed your skills, abilities and interests from a work/employment point of view? Why not 'consider doing something no one expects...' if it's a sentence that sticks in your mind?

  2. Carol Says:

    My life experience agrees with snafu' s husband's research.

  3. VS_ozgirl Says:

    You're not an ambitious person but you do want intellectual stimulation. It sounds like you've outgrown your role? Or your workplace? You don't want to move up a corporate ladder but you don't want to continue doing what you're doing because something has become stale.. Spend some time analysing what you think you need and how you could possibly receive it. Also, sometimes people forgo a wonderful career because they are content with the environment in which they work (your customers you see for example), so if you end up analysing and deciding to stay, remember that a lot of people stay for the same reasons.

  4. scottish girl Says:

    Your job sounds like mine. I was bored in my old role before sick leave then maternity leave. Now that I've changed dept I'm learning different things but it's still the same pay though - more than minimum wage but I'm not sure how much.

  5. DeniseNTexas Says:

    Snafu and Carol, I believe feeling appreciated goes a long way, even in a job a person might not love. If I felt appreciated I'd most likely be more content to stay with the job. I just hate that it's so often made clear that we have no intrinsic value to the company. Of course, that's true of most retail positions and although I'm a very experienced barista it's in a retail environment so that's what I deal with. I waffle between wanting to hear an occasional thank you and have my opinions taken seriously and wanting to be left alone to do my job. I should be able to have both. ;-)

    VZ, I think that's it - I've outgrown the role. My sons have encouraged me for years to go back to school and perhaps that's what I should do. There's one class I need to take and pass that was a thorn in my side the last time I attempted college. I took and failed it 5 times. The thought of failing it again just devastates me and that's why I gave up on college. My kids were young then and things are different now. I live alone and have a lot of spare time. Perhaps I should take that one class and commit myself to passing it. That would definitely be a challenge and it might be very rewarding and encouraging.

    Scottish girl, I'm glad you're learning different things and who knows..maybe a pay raise is in your near future. :-)

    Thanks, y'all!

  6. laura/deacon's wife Says:

    Part II to the quote:

    Forget what other people think, and do it if you think it is right for you!!

    We are moving forward on adopting a baby from the Philippines. We thought the door had closed, but now it is open. Actually like flung open due to a series of events that can only be divinely inspired.

    Some family members have a way of talking behind our back. Words like "crazy" "more kids?" "WTF?!" were shared.

    We immediately surrounded ourselves with the positive people in our life and have asked for prayers from our support system. It is ironic to see how support we are getting from people. From prayers and offers to babysit and showers, etc.

    I love that quote! Hell, I am living it! Onward we go toward our goal.

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