Find Your Value
Work is a creative expression of ourselves. Not long ago while interviewing for a part-time position, the person interviewing me stated; “I’m looking for a person who places a positive value on the work they do. Someone who is reliable, responsible, and respectful. Oh, and values the job so much they come to work everyday, unless they have a real emergency.”
I remained silent for several long seconds and then said; “I think I can help you with that.” Whatever work I’ve been involved with forces me to find a creative method of expressing what I do. It does not happen immediately. One must assess each situation and find where creative expression is the most useful activity.
Be Your Work History
Yes, I was hired. My work history shows those qualities. By the end of the interview I knew I had the job. The rest was a matter of formality; when can I start, what days could I work, what times are best, etc.
A few days later while in training, the interviewer/manager said; “Why is it people of our generation are pretty much like you and me?”
“Well, our parents were either good role models with strong examples of leadership and teamwork, or we had good teachers in school. Either way we mirrored positive behavior and discovered ourselves with effective and benefical work habits.”
Eventually, he graduated and went into Human Resources as a career. His partial success with two jobs while a full-time student cemented his work habits.
Do More Than Expected
Now, here we are. I’m still getting hired precisely because I show up, do the work, ask questions and volunteer for more or improve things when I find a way to do the job better. That is adding value to my position.
The type of work a person does isn’t the most important thing in employment. Some people won’t do certain jobs because they find the work demeaning. No work is demeaning. Perception of the type of work is the problem. Find some aspect of the position where your work is a creative expression for you and has benefits for the company.
Keep Your Contract
When, as a younger man, I had days when work was not important to me, I called in sick. Not often, but I did. This type of behavior places a burden on everyone else. We make a bargain with our employer; they hire us to do certain activities, in return they pay us a certain amount of money for our efforts. Everyone wins when we all hold up our end of the bargain, and remember, work is a creative expression.
At some point in my career, my father’s example came back to me. I remember him working over-time, doing his job with skill, expertise and finesse. When his day job was done, he went home, ate with us at the dinner table and then went off to fix electrical wiring in people’s homes.
Be a good example
My father never complained about it. If people were ignorant about electric outlets, wiring or home appliances he took it in stride and usually made a joke out of it. There were occasions when he did more than expected. Thanking people for the opportunity he left them with a smile of their faces.
He knew his value as an electrician. His example inspired others, myself included. Know what you are worth, and live up to your own expectations and you will never let anyone else down.