What Does Work Mean To You?

Tonight I had planned to put up an outfit post. But I’m feeling really blah about my hair and Luke has stolen his 50mm lens back so outfit photos ain’t gon’ happen this evening. First world problems right. Instead I’m doing quite a different post for me, I’m going to talk about some of my thoughts and feelings and write a bit of a chatty post. Over the past week I’ve been having some thinky thoughts bubbling around in my little brain so I have decided I’m going to put some of them out here on this little blog. I love Zoe‘s beautifully written, thoughtful posts she puts up every day and I would love to be able to do that, but I’m not very good at composing my thoughts into written format. I could chat to you easily in a video about them, but written down, not so much. But we’ll give it a go today shall we?

To summarise, my thoughts are all about my working life. I’ve been thinking a lot this week about what work means to me and what work means to others.

Let’s start at the very beginning eh? At school I was never one of those coast-ers who got through without revising, or one of those people that couldn’t care less. I worked my ass off and wanted to do well in every exam/lesson. I was also like this at uni, I never wanted to do ‘just enough’ to get by. Even in first year, which didn’t count towards my grade (neither did second year for that matter, but that’s besides the point) I did an all-nighter because I didn’t want to not do well. I wanted to do the best I could in every project I was given. Annotating a sketchbook to the nth-degree may seem painstaking at the time, but it was all worth it in the end when I graduated with a first. I wanted to go the extra mile to get those marks.

My mum has always been a huge role model to me in the working world. In general life too, but for this specific post I’m talking about her work life. For pretty much all of her life she has worked in education, from teacher to high management level in colleges. Everywhere she has worked, she has left with a great deal of respect from everyone she has worked with. People liked her where she has worked, not just because she was friendly to everyone at all levels, but because she was fair and good at what she did. She has built an incredible reputation for herself as a kind, helpful and fair manager who is good at what she does. This has been a huge inspiration to me over the years.

I have been really enjoying my job since I started in December and have been asked recently what I want to get from the role and how they can help me develop. All of this has got me to thinking about what work means to me.
Some people work because they just have to, some people hate what they do, some people just want as much money as they can get, some people just want to get a better title, some people do jobs because they love what they do, some people just want to get to the top of the pile and be the best of the best, and some people do jobs because they want to help others. There are obviously so many other reasons but that’s a few I can think of right now. And it’s completely fine if your reason to work is any one of those things, that’s your prerogative. But what do I work for and what do I want to get out of my job? And any future jobs for that matter.
While money is important in life in order to live comfortably, it isn’t my key motivator. I wouldn’t do a job just because of the money, I want to be happy going to work everyday and I want to love what I do. I spend most of my waking time at work so why would I want to spend it doing something I dislike? Happiness and loving what I do is key to what I want from work.

But a huge part that has had me thinking recently is to do with what I said about my mum. I want people to respect me for my job. I want people to think, yeah Robyn knows what she’s talking about, Robyn is good at what she does. I want people to think I’m good to work with and on the ball. I want people to think she hits deadlines, she’s pro-active, she’s aware of what needs to be done and how to figure out how to get that done. I would love to build a reputation for myself that I’m hard-working, pro-active, good at communicating and easy to work with. Leaving a job and moving on to another with a glowing review and great prospects is my ideal future.

I think a lot of people have their eyes on the prize of being the best or getting the most money, but don’t always think about the process of getting there. I don’t feel the need to be better than everyone else, I want to be the best that I can be. I’m in competition with myself.

So in answer to my question, work to me means being happy in what I do everyday, and being the best that I can at what I do to build myself a respected reputation.

So there we have some of my genuine feels and thoughts. If you’ve made it to the end then thank you and well done, and let me know what does work mean to you?

Also, have a wonderful weekend!


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