I wrote a short thought over on LinkedIn based on a conversation with a coachee, who was worried she wasn’t doing enough at work (she was doing more than enough). Much like the relationship between customers and service providers, the relationship people have with their employer is often very asymmetric.
Common HR hiring practices are tinged with arrogance and dismissiveness (“we require this” or “this are the standard terms, sign here”), making it seem like you should be honoured to be paid by the organisation. Or leadership perennially make their employees feel guilty that they’re not working hard enough, usually by constantly shifting the goalposts. It can leave people in work situations that bear all the hallmarks of gaslighting and abusive relationships (I don’t use this term lightly – the wellbeing effects can be severe).
So consider this:
Yes, you get paid for your work, but money is a renewable resource for the company. In fact, your job is to return far more of it to them that they give to you. That’s how running a profitable business works.
You, on the other hand, pay your employer with your time. A resource that is absolutely finite and non-renewable. You will never get the hours, days or years back that you spend at work. Worse, you never know when your time is going to run out.
Make sure the organisation you work for deserves your most precious resource.
If you’d like some coaching and guidance through a mid-career and mid-life moment of stuckness, or you need to recalibrate your sense of professional and personal self, do get in touch.
This post was originally part of my newsletter Doctor’s Note. Sign up if you’d like to receive more of my writing and a whole host of links and reading suggestions.