I want to wrap up this week of talking about jobs with that question.
What are you worth?
Most of us think we’re worth a lot more than our employers think we’re worth.
We don’t get paid enough to do our jobs, to put up with the boss’ nonsense, to put out the fires and deal with the stress. We think we are worth more. My wife and I were sitting around the house a couple of weeks ago, complaining about this. I know I’m worth far more than I’m paid. My employer is getting the bargain of the century with me.
You probably feel the same way. If you had the stones, you’d march right into the boss’ office and tell him so. Then you’d write down an astronomical salary on a piece of paper, slide it across his desk and say, “You have twenty-four hours.”
Most of us probably are worth more than we’re paid. Essentially, we’re getting ripped off.
But that’s the way it should be. Down with class warfare.
Culture of Complaining
Everyone likes to complain about their work. I rather enjoy my work, and I still indulge in complaining from time to time. Too much is expected of me, or there’s too much pressure on my time, or I’m not appreciated enough, and I’m most certainly not paid enough.
That doesn’t even touch all the complaining that can be done about the company we work for. Why, if I was in charge, things would certainly be different! All of these little problems would be solved, and everyone would be happy.
Have you ever noticed how easy it is to build a culture of complaining in a workplace? One person has a rather minor gripe, which she shares with a coworker. The coworker sympathizes, and offers a similar complaint, to show her she’s not alone. Pretty soon, everyone is joining in, pick, pick, picking at everything, validating one another in their gripe-fest. Men and women complain differently, but they both take an equal share. No organization is immune to it, even the Christian ones, and it can wreck the best workplaces.
And don’t get anyone started on how underpaid they are. Everyone has half a mind to just walk out the door!
Magical Workplace Utopia
Here’s the problem.
All of this complaining is based on comparison.
We compare our “terrible” jobs, our “incompetent” bosses,” our “inadequate” salaries to what someone else has.
It usually isn’t a fair comparison either. It’s usually all in our heads! We imagine that there’s another workplace where all the employees are happy, all the bosses are fair, all the problems are solved, and all the paychecks are fat.
Such a magical utopia of work doesn’t exist.
If you weren’t dealing with the ten problems at your job, you’d be dealing with ten other problems at another job.
And as for your salary…
There will always be someone who worked half as hard for twice as much as you have. And yes, they might be awful pricks and deserve nothing. But just because someone else doesn’t deserve what they have doesn’t mean you do deserve what they have. You don’t deserve to covet your neighbor, even when your neighbor is a rich, lazy dolt. It doesn’t mean you deserve anything at all! You and I chose the jobs we have with all of their flaws and frustrations.
Underpaid or Overpaid?
Would you rather be underpaid, or overpaid?
Think carefully about that. You probably chose the latter.
But it’s the overpaid “fat” that’s always cut when times are tough. If you are overpaid, it means you have a number that you have to live up to. If you are overpaid, it means you aren’t adding value to your workplace, you’re stealing value. Are you a thief? I didn’t think so.
Being overpaid is wrong, isn’t it? Wouldn’t that mean you aren’t doing your best, or you’re not giving your employer what they deserve?
If you are not underpaid, then you aren’t working hard enough. Your effort you give should always outstrip the value you take.
If you aren’t do that, what reason does the boss have to give you a raise?
And if you aren’t putting in more effort than is required or paid for, then you’re never going to create your dream job. Remember that from Monday?
I know, that sounds harsh and wrong in an age of class warfare and milking the system of all its worth. So prove me wrong!