Work Ethics

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” ~Vince Lombardi

Some people just have it easy. Without even batting an eyelash, they get top honors in school, win elections and garner positive recognition at work.

Alas, t’is ain’t my fate.

Any success I possess, I had to work really really hard for it.

People only see the credentials and successes. They never realized that behind all the celebration are hours poured in slaving away to make it happen.

Case in point, I used to be the president of a 200-person organization at university. Though the elections was surprisingly won by a landslide and my tenure was a relatively positive one (we won best organization in our category), people never realized just how unpopular I was when I ran.

To be more specific, during the elections, there was a 5-person coalition organized against my running. My opponent was pretty and well-loved by her classmates, and given that I was part of the honors program which had a puny number of 11-classmates, it seemed that victory was way beyond my grasp.

So what happened?

Well, just between you and me, my campaign plan was to target the voters. Kakapalan na lang ng mukha, cold-calling them, and just sincerely ask for votes.

The plan worked.

As a result, by the end of the campaign, I knew almost every member in the organization.

Every evening after school, I spent time talking to them and listening to their suggestions on how to improve the organization.

Not only did this technique made me win the election, it ultimately made me a better leader because I became more aware on the issues surrounding our organization and gave us a roadplan on how to make the suceeding year better.

However, victory came at a painful price. Any time you spent campaigning is time spent away from school, which is never a good thing especially when you’re facing the toughest semester of your 4 years.

Nonetheless, on hindsight, I still have no regrets.

The organization, and everything in it, had been such an amazing experience.

My greatest success was not winning the election, but ultimately, tapping enough members, most of whom I’ve talked on the phone during the campaign, to become future leaders in the organization.

It made me who I am today — and also taught me the art of cold-calling, which I still regularly use at work and at play. Hahahaha, who would’ve known that I would get a job that would actually utilize these silly skills and monetize on such service? 🙂

Fast forward to half a decade and am still slaving away.

During my job interview for my current job, the then Head of our Department warned me that work was going to be dirty. “Everyone has to start somewhere,” he said. “Everyone has to pay their dues. When I first started in this industry, I used to do a lot of photocopying and running errands, and look where I am now.”

Boy, was he NOT kidding.

Through my 2-year tenure, I’ve delivered packages, booked hotels, arranged car services and did almost anything required of me.

My assistant even huffed at a time saying that as a National Taiwan University graduate, some tasks were beyond his training. He asked that he be given more value added work aside from those reserved from mere secretaries.

I honestly didn’t know whether I should be bothered by that statement. So what if I’m a bonafide secretary and xiao ma ling shu (small potato) at work? What if we stay up till 6am to finish a project? So what if we have to waste hours ensuring that we give it 120% of our all?

If there’s a project to finish, then you do all you can to ensure that it gets done to the best of your availability.

How can we do everything fast, and be accurate? How is that possible?” my assistant used to ask a colleague. As you can see, I do NOT agree with my assistant, but that’s a different story that I’ve shared previously.

Well, the answer to that is that all you have is your reputation. And reputations aren’t built in a day. They are built one day at a time, brick by brick.

My personal career goal is to be a go-to person for any task under my jurisdiction.

I don’t like it when people scoff and fear to give you responsibility because they’re concerned of your competence.

My personal aim is that when a person knows you’ve been assigned to a job, they breathe a sigh of relief because they know that you’ll do your best ot ensure the job gets done right and on time.

And to be honest, the results are nothing to laugh about.

My job scope has expanded so much from its original purpose. Before, only task A and B are expected for a person in my position. Now, my boss expects me to do task A, B, C, D, and E — and perform well in all of them!

Of course, we blame the bad economy for that.

There used to be two people doing my job. However, my colleague got transferred to another department over a year ago, leaving me with half of her responsibility. Lately, I have also been helping out wiht my boss from the regional office on a project basis, so basically, am pretty much overworked and not really overpaid.

Talking about payment, though my company has always treated me well, it’s not as if they’ve increased my base pay given the expansion of my job description. However, money has never been the primary incentive for me to work anyway. If so, I would’ve gone back to the Philippines and help with the family business.

All I asked was to be compensated fairly, and to that, my company has been pretty good about that. They ensured that I be fed enough steaks and sushi to keep me happy. 😛

So despite the increase of work and stress, salary has remained pretty stagnant.

My boss was right. Life is never smooth and you have to pay your dues before you can be in any way successful. For example, today, got home at 12:45 am because I had to finish something from the office. And this is despite coming in at 7am this morning!

But this is having strong work ethics — doing more than expected and having a heavy sense of responsibility despite the lack of immediate rewards.

Has it paid off for me yet, or are you guys laughing your heads off given my stupidity to do more work for the same amount of base money?

Time will tell… but this is who I am.

Success never comes easy.

And yes, I’m ready to pay my dues. So that when I get old and exhausted, I can look back and say, “Yes, I’ve done all I can. This is the best I can do.”

And no, I don’t think I’ll regret time spent in the office.

My friend MSN’d me the other day after months of silence.

I broke off with my boyfriend of 20 months,” she saidly typed. “It’s over.”

I empathized with her. Break-ups suck. Period.

However, deep inside, I also felt a bit relieved.

Given these 20 months, I have not been involved with anybody in particular. Sure, there were crushes but none were decent enough to take seriously. Time usually spent in harvesting relationships were mostly spent in the office working on multiple countless projects.

And it’s paying off.

When you invest time in relationships, they leave you. People are human. They can disappoint.

It seems logically better to spend more time at work.

What you give out, the company gives back. You work hard, you get rewarded, and these additional incentives accummulate. Nobody ever really punishes you for having more work experience. In fact, the more you build your reputation, the higher up the ladder you go.

But that’s just me (which is probably why I’m still single).

Just saying that at this point, am not really interested in investing too much on my personal life. Others may look for work-life balance. Personally, am just seeking a happy life — and this is with or without a partner for the moment.

Anyway, it’s getting late and still have to get to work early tomorrow. I also feel that am starting to mumble and not make so much sense.

So tired — that’s what working for over 16 hours do to you!

Hope I survive another day. This is going to be a tough week.

Jia you everyone!

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2 thoughts on “Work Ethics

  1. Focus. You’ll get through it. You have much going outside to keep you sane, and the experiences will hold you well for the rest of your career.

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. Yes I am tired, but better exhausted than doing nothing. 🙂

    Here’s to more days like these!

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