Thursday, June 03, 2004

Career Limiting Moves

Career Limiting Moves

When I was a fulltime cubicle creature with a multinational, I made many career limiting moves. Some of them were done quite consciously because I was never interested in moving up the corporate ladder. I didn't mind getting better pay, but higher position--no. I couldn't understand why anyone would want to be promoted up the foodchain, unless he or she is really interested in management.

I've always seen myself as a worker--something like a traditional craftsman. I'm happy when I am able to use my hands and whatever little brains I have to create something out of nothing. That to me is real work. The reward of work is--good work itself.

Such an idealistic attitude will not bring you far in the corporate world. But I've always felt that I had nothing to lose. Only real work interested me. Not boardroom theatrics or blowing of one's horn.

Concerned bosses used to advise me to "highlight my own achievements"; but I'd never considered what you were expected to accomplish in first place as something worth trumpeting about.

I'd never worried about compensation because I believed if you did good work you would be rewarded--either directly or indirectly. In my years of working, I never had occasion to doubt the truth of this principle.

I knew what I was doing was career-limiting but that didn't matter--I have never looked at work as a career. I don't have a career, only work. Like a farmer or a fisherman, I will always go to bed a happy man as long as I've done an honest and productive day's work. That's all that matters.

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