Matthew Gates 4m 931
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Go Home, Don’t Stay Here
Years ago, I would have told you that it was important to give 110% at work. To an extent, especially in the beginning, it is important that you do. I would advise that you take on extra projects, extra work, stay late, arrive early, etc. This will get you the promotion and raise and recognition that you desire. This will help you to get noticed and provide a boost in your career. These statements are only partially true for some, but not many.
Yesterday marked the 11th year I’ve been working for a job. When I first began my job, a lot of them, I would try to do extra and try to ensure that I always said yes, never turning down an opportunity to show what I was capable of. I’ve had bosses and supervisors and managers tell me what a great job I’ve done, how they appreciate my hard work and efforts, going the extra mile for them and my company. However, this was never accompanied with gift certificates, monetary rewards, raises, etc. What I eventually got rewarded with, after COVID-19 hit, and hundreds of people were laid off, was a pay cut and the expectation that I should just be grateful for my job.
What also soon became the expectation was that despite the fact that many workers were laid off, our jobs never changed. Our workload never changed. And the expectation of still working overtime never changed. At least, for the company itself. Personally, as much as I love working for my company, to cut my pay for a measly $2 per hour, a rate that helped me pay extra bills and meant the world to me, but seemed to have saved my company from going bankrupt.
After working for the company for 10 years, I was not rewarded with a promotion or a raise or even recognition that I had been with the company for a decade. It was rather met with the cut of my pay, and the expectation that I’d still be that same worker that I had been once I reached the tenner club. Rare is it that you find people ever working for a company for a generation, but in my case, I was lucky. Only so lucky in the fact that I should appreciate that I still have a job.
As a result of my pay cut after 10 years of working for the company, I no longer go the extra mile for anyone. I no longer believe anyone. I no longer try to pretend that I really care about what goals the company sets or what the CEO does. As far as I am concerned, my company only cares about saving money, cutting every penny, even if it means screwing over decades-long employees while laying off ones who weren’t getting paid enough to begin with. I no longer take any overtime. I no longer volunteer for any projects unless its mandatory or expected for an end-of-year review. I do just enough. I wouldn’t call it the bare minimum, for my expertise in my field is still very on par. I no longer have hope for any promotion or raise. I no longer care. I care just enough to show up to work, do my job, and receive my paycheck so that I can continue to pay my bills and my mortgage.
There is some point in your job or career where you realize enough is enough. Why don’t I quit, you wonder? I love my job. I love to do what I do. I get paid to do it. It is the company politics and greed that concern me. However, what you do learn after 10 years of working for a company, giving your all, and doing your best, only to be screwed in the end, is to understand that if you aren’t getting paid what you’re worth, you should only provide the amount of work that you are getting paid to do. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing over the top, nothing beyond.
Am I a bad employee? Am I wrong? I don’t think so. I gave my all for 10 years, told that if I did this or that, I would see a promotion, only to only ever see myself being passed over for one and it being given to someone else. I was given an estimate one time about how much I brought in for the company each year and it ended up being over $500,000 a year. Some years it is more, but hardly is it ever less. When is it time for my company to show me the appreciation of bringing in $5,000,000 in 11 years. If we break that down to 52 weeks a year, 5 day work weeks, or 2,600 work days over the course of 10 years, that comes out to about $1,925 per day, and making a paycheck of about $200 per day, or keeping just 10% of what I have earned for my company over the last decade. This does not count overtime.
After 10 years of working for the same company, if you aren’t treated with respect and the loyalty you deserve, which should always come in the form of a monetary raise or promotion, you learn to give back exactly what your company deserves. What I am grateful to my company for is the expertise they allowed me to gain and the fact that, without them, Confessions of the Professions has existed for as long as I have held this job, and the companies I’ve worked for have helped contribute many articles that have gone viral and made this website popular.