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How’s it all going?
Brrrr it’s so very, very wet and cold here in Old Sydney Town, you’d be forgiven to think that winter is coming with the freezing rain and icy winds.
Man, I wish I was back in China!
Unfortunately I am back, but not in China you see – back at work.
Sigh, that’s what happens to us 9to5er’s ain’t it, we’re only allowed 4 weeks a year to venture outside and see the world.
Those precious 4 weeks of annual leave is what generates our…
William Wallace voice on
William Wallace voice off
Suffice to say I’ve had many conversations around the old water cooler this week with my work colleagues, usually around:
- How was your holiday? (AMAZING)
- What did you get up to? (Read about it here, here and here)
- Aren’t you glad you’re back? (said no one ever)
- By the way, we used your desk as a storage space (bastards!)
- What’s it been like around here? Same shit, different day (I see)
But you know what guys?
Somewhere between feeling nostalgic about my trip and peeved at the pile of pens and big-ass calculators on my desk I had a light bulb moment.
Seems like most people have this feeling of holiday withdrawal as soon as you come back to work – you know the one, where you recover your forgotten passwords in the morning and by early afternoon you find yourself checking out the next holiday destination.
It’s a never ending cycle really – for those of us with full-time jobs, 2 kids and a
nagging loving wife, the 4 weeks of annual leave deemed from our employers is probably the most which we can aspire to.
BUT, and here’s my bright thought – but instead of feeling trapped and stuck between annual holidays, there are many things we can do in the here and now to make things just that bit more appealing.
Work, you can’t get away from it.
Many moons ago, I was guilty of thinking that work comes in only one form.
That is, you had a job – and it’s up to you to do a good job.
Sounds simple enough right?
Of course, as my age creeps slowly up in tune with my waist-line – I now know there are many different types of work.
There are the kind in which you know it back-to-front (easy), there are the kind in which you have to think outside the square (intermediate), there are the brutal pulling-the-teeth kind (advanced) and there are the look-busy-whilst-pretend-to-work kind (expert), among many others.
But ultimately, at the end of the day, work will still be waiting for you on the morrow.
Why not do work?
So if there will always be work, then why not do great work?
Wait, don’t tell me – I know the reasons…
We hate/dislike/bored of our job, the boss is nuts/too intense/a bastard/deviant (#MeToo), the commute is too long/smelly/painful and the family is sick/morally-corrupt/demonic-spawn… all fair and valid points!
And so we let all those reasons get to us… which makes us disenchanted and disengaged with our jobs and workplace… and why we eagerly anticipate the next public holiday or vacation.
This also reflects in our attitudes to our work – where just enough is good enough and why the majority of us will sit in the middle of the pack.
What to do then?
So how do you get yourself recognized in the workplace?
Simple, you either wear a long over-coat with nothing underneath … wait, no sorry, I meant within legal means.
Many of us think that it’s a matter of working harder, burning that midnight oil so that our results will be recognized and our efforts rewarded.
You have to work smarter.
To answer this question, think back to the most important person in your work – your direct manager.
If you can make his or her job easier, then BOOM – instant recognition.
My friend Bugzy is the perfect example of this.
He often regales us stories of how “much” he is working for his employer Simon Says.
From my perspective, I have to admire Bugzy not for the sheer volume of work he does, but for how much value (key word, underlined) he contributes to Simon Says.
Finishing urgent projects, training new employees, sourcing new clients, acting as the office punching bag – Bugzy’s irreplaceable, and Simon Says knows this.
It’s why Bugzy has grown to the point where he can call the shots on his employment contract.
Do the shit!
Another way to stand out from everyone else, is to just do the shit that no one else wants to do.
I don’t mean cleaning up after Jenny when she’s had one too many at the office Xmas party, no don’t mean that.
I meant volunteering your time on weekends to represent your company at the careers expo, or taking on board that difficult client no one else wants to touch, or it could be organizing that office Xmas party Jenny will go over-board at.
You know, the intangible aspects of the work which for most of us, we wouldn’t even consider.
Do the ugly shit and your boss will take notice – because no one else is doing it.
I know there’s only a couple of quick pointers there but for those of us who want to move a bit ahead in our careers and haven’t really thought about how to do so – hope this post gets us moving forward a bit.
In saying so, there are the lucky few who have the uncanny ability to get ahead without doing ANY work – some have the gift of the gab, others are extremely likeable (favourites), yet others still master the art of “faking it until you make it” – but they are vastly in the minority.
Sometimes it’s so easy to want to FIRE (financial independent retire early) at 35, or make millions from crypto-trading, or go into full-time property flipping – but you know, the odds of success in those ventures are so minuscule that the media dedicates full articles to those who achieve it (think on that).
The majority of us take for granted the one thing in front of our eyes which, ironically, can help to achieve our financial goals and dreams – our jobs.
So why not put that effort in to work smarter not harder – I think your career will thank you for it.
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This week, I’ve had a couple of you ask me whether The Frugal Samurai is all over red rover? Presumably because I’ve missed a post or two recently.
I’m flattered you guys noticed but the answer is of course not!
I’ve been out of action a bit because it’s just so bloody difficult to blog whilst in China, as in physically difficult with unreliable internet and sketchy connections (I’m sure there’s a more efficient way, but haven’t sussed it out yet).
But rest assured, am back and raring to go – got some exciting ideas for the blog (let me know what you have also), stay tuned!