I have met many happy employees and this blog is definitely not for those kinds as they “stay hungry, stay foolish”. On the other hand there are unhappy or in the verge of becoming unhappy employees, and everyone goes through this phase at some point in their career. This blog is meant for the second category.
Let’s look at common reasons for unhappiness (only few key ones):
- My duties have increased or changed but not my salary!
- Same boring work every day and nothing new
- I don’t like my boss and/or people I work with
- My company is sinking or not doing well in the market so there is a decline in quality of facilities given to employee’s
- Having health issues due to stress at work
And the list goes on…….
I think the reasons can be categorized into three key aspects. I call it the 3S’s, please find below the same based on their priority.
- Standard (Brand Equity)
No doubt that this is the key driver for people to work. With time individual’s personal commitment increases (home/bike/car loans, etc) leading to increase in the salary need. However the issue arises when the salary paid reaches or crosses break-even point i.e., gains <= losses, in simple terms salary does not meet individual’s minimum expectation.
This is the second key aspect after salary. Many individuals though happy with the salary they get paid, however unhappy with the work due to various other reasons i.e., work environment, people, nature of work or the work itself and personal issues.
Standard (Brand Equity)
Last in the list, organization’s standard/brand name does play a role in individual’s decision to stick or leave an organization. Standard or the brand name has indirect implications if not direct, like respect within the society or the peer organizations. For example you get lower interest rates on loans from bank if working for well established organizations, premium treatment from certain service providers, society and peer organizations.
Rule of 2/3:
General rule, based on observation is that for any individual to continue in an organization a minimum of two aspects must be met. Note that this might not be reliable for every situation and geography. However if you are unhappy or in the verge of becoming unhappy employee, do take time to rate/ask yourself on the above mentioned 3 aspects and apply the rule of 2/3 to decide whether a job/role change is required or not!
“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish, Stay Healthy”
If you decide to change role/job based on rule of 2/3, remember that there is not shortcut to being happy and successful.
Stay Hungry: Never stop learning and always look out for the next big thing. Everything in this world and the world itself is always moving if you don’t run along you’ll be run over. To paraphrase Charles Darwin: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. For example in current times learning SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) would give you better edge in the job market. Associating or working in the next big thing will help you to meet your salary and satisfaction aspects.
Stay Foolish: Gain knowledge to challenge the status quo. History has taught us that great minds were initially not received well however believing in their dreams, having presence of mind and hard work led to success. So don’t be afraid to fail and learn from it to succeed, to paraphrase Thomas Edison: “I have not failed, not once. I’ve discovered ten thousand ways that don’t work”.
Donkey in the well story: “One day a farmer’s donkey fell down into a Well. The animal cried hard / piteously for hours for help, and finally stopped as it could not bray anymore. Earlier the villagers had decided to cover up the well as many had fallen in the past. Soon, they all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well without realizing donkey’s presence in well. The donkey realized what was happening, however could not bray for help. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey did something amazing. He shook it off and took a step up.
As the villagers continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Moral: Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.
Stay Healthy: You can’t achieve anything which we discussed in ‘Stay Hungry’ and ‘Stay Foolish’ sections if you don’t maintain a healthy body and mind. Having good energy level and presence of mind are two key ingredient of successful people. So eat healthy, exercise regularly and meditate daily.
Want to end with some good quotes and a poem.
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can” – Nikos Kazantzkis
“Success occurs when opportunity meets preparation” – Zig Zigtar
“Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” – Steve Jobs
If – by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
I welcome feedback and comments.