… or alternatively titled, “Working for the weekend”.
On my drive in to work this morning I saw this bumper sticker on the back of a car:
The first thought that crossed my mind was, “Huh, that guy is clearly disengaged”. And really, isn’t that the truth? Here is a guy who is so disengaged at work that he is choosing to advertise the fact that he has checked out. On his car. The car that he is driving to work. The car that his boss likely sees in the parking lot. All he needs to do is slap one up in his cubicle and he can be sure his boss gets the message. Now, as I sped past him (I have a lead foot) I noticed he was an older gentleman so it could very well be that he is about to, or already has, retired. But still, the thought stuck with me.
I know not everyone loves what they do. I get it. Not everyone gets personal fulfillment out of their job/career. And that’s fine. You don’t have to. If you do what you do to pay the bills and find joy in things outside of work then more power to you. I’m just happy you are finding fulfillment in some aspect of your life. People who don’t have that, and don’t enjoy their work too, are often boring and bitter. You don’t want to be that person.
However, I am concerned about advertising the fact that you are disengaged. Because if I was that guys boss or HR Rep, what that bumper sticker is saying to me is that I don’t have to care about you either. And you don’t want that. I see that bumper sticker and I come to the conclusion that you are so disengaged that there is no way to bring you back. Nothing I do will be able to motivate you cause you are just going through the motions. You may execute your job well and I may appreciate that, but will I exert any effort on your behalf? No. Why should I? That bumper sticker is clearly telling me that nothing I do for you (ie. bonuses, promotions, other incentives) will improve your engagement. So if you actually are interested in earning more money or bonuses like extra days off (to go fishing obviously) you have effectively shot yourself in the foot.
Even if you can’t find joy in your job/career, you can at least appreciate it. If nothing else you need it to make a living and fund the activities that you do enjoy. Why make it harder for yourself?