Think for yourself – do you get up every Monday morning feeling horrible Monday blues, not wanting to go to work? Do you start craving for Friday as soon as Wednesday arrives? Yes – you would say and the reason would be a nasty boss, crazy deadlines, uncooperative peers and overall “I hate my job” attitude. In all of this, do we ever really think about the value that we are creating by slogging day and night? Why are you working? I am sure the reason is not “just to earn money”. Multiple researches have proven that job satisfaction is always rated higher than the compensation while choosing a job. It doesn’t matter what you are working as – engineer, doctor, chartered accountant, lawyer, business person, finance consultant, security guard, maid servant or even the sweeper – you are bringing value to somebody. And that somebody is your “customer”. In other words, you are serving your customer.
What is that “value” that you are creating for your customer? Why whatever you create is important to your customer? Do you understand these questions? Do you understand the value that you create? It is important to see the big picture of the world and to know exactly where your work fits in that world.
I work for Philips Healthcare and I write software for a living. Yes right, that is what I do! But why do I do it? It gives me money that pays my monthly bills; but more importantly, I know somewhere in some part of the world, the working software that I wrote is helping a doctor save a life. And that is where I serve my customer. That is the big picture that I always try to recreate in my head. Keeping that in mind, not only is it inspiring me to go to work but also I can think better ways to help that doctor save a life.
The best businesses in the world have been the best because they brought something to the world that world was craving for. Like Thomas Alva Edison said “I go around the world to see what the world needs and then work on inventing a solution for it”. Understand the big picture. You are doing something for the world – something worthwhile, even if it sounds like a nuisance today.
If something that you do doesn’t serve anybody in the world, then you are wasting your time and your precious life. When you work – make sure you are serving somebody and you understand what it is that you are serving.
Let me tell you a little story! There was a boy who was working in a hospital. His only responsibility was to dispose-off the unidentified dead bodies. He was paid Rs. 100/- per body. Now who would like to have a job of that kind? But that was the only place where he could earn enough to buy his food for the day. So, he started with the job – initially he just burnt the bodies at the banks of the river and washed the ashes in the river. But as he kept working for a couple of months, he noticed other families doing the last rites for their loved ones at the same river bank. On asking the priest about the last rites, he was told that respecting the dead body and doing the last rites properly gives peace to the soul of the deceased. It impacted the young boy’s heart and he started covering the body with an old sheet of cloth. He started placing flowers on the body and did a bit of prayers for the soul. He did not know any of the deceased. He did not know their names or religion, all he knew was that he was helping their souls rest in peace. He was creating value for the souls of the dead.
He spoke to some Government authorities who came to analyze the health of the river and realized how unburnt bodies polluted the river. He then decided to burn every dead body to the completion and flow down only the ashes in the river. So, he set his own quality standards. He did not need any authorities or any procedures to tell him how to do his job properly, he just worked for himself. He knew who he was serving and why was he doing what he did. He had no recognition, no awards, nobody asking him why he was doing his job a certain way. It is one of the jobs that nobody would want to take up, but this little boy still saw a value in doing it properly. Not only was he serving the deceased and their souls but he was also serving the environment and the society using that river for various purposes.
You get such powerful inspirational result when you intend to serve. It makes you go beyond the obvious daily routines of your job. It makes you think over and above of what you are told to do. It makes you love your job, no matter how crappy it may sound to you today. It can make the Monday blues disappear and make your weekdays as much worthwhile as the weekends. And yes, it also helps you climb the ladder of success – irrespective of what success means to you!
Author’s Bio: Prabhjot Kaur Saini, is a Software Engineer and is currently working in Bangalore. She is an engineer by profession and also a thinker and writer with a philosophical heart. She can be contacted at: ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’