I remember facing a group of grim faces. People sent in by their manager for “customer service” training. They were convinced they didn’t need to be here and were determined to make sure I knew that too.
They knew very well what good customer service was, but didn’t see any reason to deliver their best in the conditions they were working: average pay, repetitive work, spending the whole day dealing with complaints…
I asked them: “Then why are you here?”
The most obvious answer came out immediately: “Because we need the money. The money to pay our rent, buy our food and spend on our hobbies.”
And this s an obvious truth. This is one of the main reasons we work. But I pushed further: “But why are you HERE?… in this customer service job and not working in sales, catering tables in a restaurant, doing a construction job, programming or planting vegetables on the countryside?
What made you choose this job to earn your money?”
After some hesitation, some interesting reasons started to appear. Preference to communicate with people instead of working on a program, the pleasure of helping the customers calling about a problem, the fun of working in a team of like-minded people.
Some confessed less empowering reasons such as it being an easy job to get, and not having much responsibility.
But even then, as we spoke more about what part of their job people enjoyed, the focus on money diminished especially after several people admitted that they used to have much more fun at their job in the early days even though their salaries were lower than now.
The money didn’t stop being a factor, but shifting the focus from it to the parts of their jobs that people liked completely changed the mood.
Actually, some people noticed that it was especially when they were focusing on how much they were getting paid, that their job satisfaction was crashing.
This certainly doesn’t mean that you should accept a lousy salary or don’t strive for progress, but it’s important to realise how your focus changes the quality of your day.
Focus on what you lack and be miserable, focus on what you enjoy and have a great time.
The choice is simple even though it might not always be easy.
But most importantly IT IS YOURS.