If you’re a full time professional in the Western world, chances are you’re working 8 to 10 hours, 5 days a week.
Not to mention overtime, travel time, the work you take home, and the stuff that floats round your head every other waking hour.
In other words, your work takes up a big part of your life.
Close to half of your waking week, to be exact (if you manage to fit in a good 8 hours sleep).
With all the energy you’re pouring into this work, what are you actually creating?
What do YOU actually have to show for the work you’re doing?
Are you adding any real value, or are you on a futile pursuit? Find out here…
The Economic Game Of Business And Money
At present, we live in a Financial Economy. There’s no getting away from that.
You cannot escape the monetary system, You cannot get 100% off the grid (yet) – if you’re a land owner, you still have to pay your rates and land taxes.
We use money as our primary means of exchange, and n order to obtain money, most of us go out and earn it. That is, you give your time and services as “Work” in exchange for money – from a client or customer directly, or an employer.
You’re all playing the game of money and business – for now, you have to.
So most of us go train to get some skills to get into a profession or a career, so you can get a job and earn money to live in this society – as it currently exists.
The Problem With A Job
The problem with a job, is that you are exchanging your time and your energy for money.
Your time is the most valuable thing that you have.
And your energy transforms into something else – always – it’s a law of physics. When you put your energy into something it’s going to evolve into something else.
There are a lot of issues here but the one I want to talk about specifically, is…
Where Is Your Energy Going, And What Are You Creating?
There’s two directions you can take this.
01 – What Value Are You Creating For The Planet?
Firstly, literally, what value do you add – to society, to the planet?
This is not intended to be a criticism of any one’s career choice.
BUT – There’s a lot of careers and professions out there that exist purely to feed the financial and monetary system.
A great example that of a stock market trader who trades currency. And yes, I have done some trading in this area, so I feel I am in a position to comment. When you’re trading the stock market, you’re putting a lot of energy into reading charts and following trends. I traded currency and I don’t even understand how this work. It’s a crazy concept – trading money for money. There’s nothing of value exchanged by any one. You’re literally making money out of thin air.
Which is great, if money is your end pursuit, but what have YOU created of value to the world in exchange for that money?
There’s a lot of jobs and careers out there where people are pushing papers, shuffling systems and not actually CREATING any thing of value.
If you’re a little disillusioned with your work, this could be what’s going on – your exchanging your time and energy for money, but your not actually creating any thing of value in the process. There’s no real point or purpose to what you do.
02 – You Create, But It’s Taking Not Giving
The second direction is considering that you create something, but it’s actually taking away. That is, it’s completely unsustainable and
An example of this is an architect. And again, I’ve done this for 15 years so I can comment.
An architect may design a house for someone – which is creating something.
BUT, it’s the way in which that creation is implemented that has the greatest impact on the value you are creating.
- Do you choose clients that want a 6 bedroom house for 2 people, or a 1 bedroom apartment hat is appropriate to their real needs?
- Do you select timber from an endangered rainforest, or rom a renewable plantation – same with every material!
- How much wastage does the building process produce. If your design is such that 20% of materials out, you’re taking away.
- What are the operating costs of this building ongoing?
In other words, what you are creating is taking away much more resources than it is giving back.
The same goes for any one in a business of goods or manufacturing or creation of “things” of any kind – you have to really look at the entire process of what you are creating and the source of every thing that comes into it and that flows out at the end.
If you’re in a service industry, let’s say accounting, you’re definitely exchanging time for money. And you’re helping your clients with their personal or business finances.
The value you provide here is to assisting their financial health and ability to function, expand and grow.
So, if your client is a producer of junk food and soft dink, and you are an adamant vegetarian, for ethical reasons, you really have to consider whether you do business with them
Because, like it or not, when you are a service provider to business, the real value you provide is the knock-on effect of contributing to the growth and success of their business – so you have to consider who your client is and what is their business.
Because that’s the value you add. You might not want to hear it, but there is a knock-on effect from the work that you do – and it may or may not be good.
Finding The REAL Value In Your Work
Finding the REAL VALUE you create in your work, is going to be personal for every one.
It’s going to depend in your beliefs, your experiences and your perspective in the world.
But, if you’re remotely disillusioned with your job, your career, your professions, chances are that there’s a part of you that deep down, knows that what you’re doing is creating no real value – or it’s taking more away than it gives – or, it’s supporting businesses that you know aren’t good for the world.
Balancing The Bigger Picture
In order to generate income and sustain your life – you have to work.
But, with the financial system that humans have created, we have also created a society of consumerism and designed obsolescence.
As a result, we are depleting the resources of the planet at an exponential rate – and we are reaching a crisis.
It’s up to every individual as to whether you choose to open your eyes to this and do something about it – or whether, you continue to leave your head in the sand, and continue in a job or career that you just know is not right.
Doing Work That Adds Value
Doing work that adds value is a choice.
If you’re not satisfied with your job or career, it may be time to consider what value you are adding and do something about it:
- What is the work that you are doing? What are you actually creating – what is the value that you are adding to the world? Who are your clients and what are their values? What are they creating and adding to the world?
- Identify where your work and the processes of your work are not adding value, or taking more value than it’s giving (this is going to be a personal perspective of ethics and morals) How can this change or be improved?
- If you can’t make a difference in your current work, it may be time to consider changing jobs – and doing your work in a different way, with different clients and different outcomes.
- If you decide you’re done with your job and current career, it may be time to consider starting up your own business.
What Next? How To Apply This Information Now!
For now, let’s have a quick go…I dare you.
- Find the Value In Your Work Now – There’s always going to be a way to create more value in your work, or at least reduce the impact you’re having. For now, this could be as simple as presenting a change to your work practices in terms of using recycled paper, or eliminating paper coffee cups. Or streamlining the meetings you have so that they actually serve a purpose. There’s going to be something you can do!
- Leave a comment below – What do you do for work? Are you adding value or taking away. And wherever, you’re at, what’s one thing you can do differently that actually adds real value? Let me know in the comments below.