Your work is a door to a better self, at least sometimes. You have chosen a profession because it offers you the material security that everyone needs, but have you thought that it could lead you to other aspects of your life? Ideally, a job should be a launching pad to improve your intellectual, emotional and moral capacities. Have you taken stock of all that your job could bring you? Without doing so, you risk declining in one of the dimensions of your being and after a few years, you could be a shadow of your former self.
Very often, it is the opposite that is asked of you. In a job interview, you are asked what you can bring to the job or to the company. But do we really ask ourselves if the job is worthy of us or if it is degrading, demeaning and pointless?
While money is of course important, it should not be our only concern when choosing a vocation. A profession should allow us to express our full potential without corrupting our moral integrity. To know if you are on the right track, you must regularly validate certain aspects of your personal and human development. Without this, you are moving forward with blinders on.
First thing to do: shatter the relationship with your work
You are often better than your job. The meager compensations it offers are only there to mask all the contaminations you may be subject to. Work can be a source of unprecedented contamination: of your self-esteem, your confidence, your dignity, your human potential and your morality (even spirituality). Let’s analyze how a job can sometimes turn into our worst enemy
The stain on our self-esteem
Since we live in a post-industrial era, jobs are mostly cogs in a machine. This implies a form of specialization and repetitiveness that can turn a job into one of those famous “bullshit jobs”. There is nothing more degrading than doing something that seems useless or at least exploits only a tiny part of our abilities. Since humans are sometimes reduced to cogs in a machine, it is not surprising to see them transformed as well: soulless, lukewarm and demagnetized.
Undermining our confidence
Because our potential is denied and cannot be fully expressed, we find it difficult to have confidence in our abilities and in the future.
The loss of a precious asset: our morality
As you have no doubt discovered, a job can lead us to compromise our morals. Whether it’s lying to a client to sell them something or overcharging for services to increase margins, there are plenty of examples that show us that business can be a trap if we’re not careful. Because a sword of Damocles hangs over our heads – that of losing one’s job and one’s livelihood – an unhealthy competition can sometimes develop between employees so that it is not necessarily the best who wins (best in the sense of good by virtue). So, it is necessary in some occasions to question the very foundations of the work we have chosen so as not to compromise ourselves anymore and finally go towards jobs that are more in line with our values.
Does your work allow you to push some of your cognitive limits? Does it force you to think outside the box while thinking strategically? If you doubt this, you should consider rethinking your job so that it can feed you intellectually. If this is not possible, you should consider changing jobs.
Learn new things
Are you learning new things? Are you forced to store up new concepts that require you to grow your knowledge base so that you know more and more every year?
He who does not progress every day regresses. Confucius
If you feel that you have reached a plateau that does not allow you to renew your intellectual baggage, then you must consider yourself to be in a red zone. If you are unable to learn more, you will inevitably regress. Life is like that, if you don’t progress every day, you actually regress. There is no such thing as stagnation.
What impact does your work have on your emotions? Does it inhibit what you feel or on the contrary does it allow you to express your emotions without having to play a role? Emotions are important because they shape who we are. If we try to repress them too much, we end up becoming someone else, or at least we lose some of ourselves.
Does what you do every day at work bring you closer or further away from virtue? Are you forced to lie, compromise your values, or simply have to please others all the time? Do you feel that you are selling something of yourself that would normally be invaluable?
What is the progress coefficient?
It is an indicator that can be associated with each aspect of your personal development in your work. It is a sort of progress angle on which you are positioned. With time, the more important this angle is, the more it will magnify your qualities and allow you to occupy more and more interesting functions so that they are in adequacy with the qualities that you will have developed. Without an awareness of this progress factor, you will not be able to improve your opportunity rate over time. What defines you the most is not your current position but rather your ability to progress. In the long run, a high progress coefficient will benefit you even if you are starting out in a position that may seem less interesting. Conversely, a low progress factor will limit your career opportunities even if you start in a position that has many advantages.