We show up. We do work. We clock out. We go home. Repeat.
My question: Are we really working hard or are we just going through the motions?
I am not saying that there aren't hardworking people out there in corporate America. However, I have noticed that our culture is very individualistic. We put in the minimum effort, yet we have this illusion that we are going to get maximum results.
We have this weird illusion that we are actually working hard. I can't say that I blame us though, because that is what we've been taught by society and our culture.
This may or may not have something to do with the fact that this generation is the kids that got participation trophies, and our parents told us we could be anything and do anything. It has sort of created a sense of entitlement within the millennials of today.
I happen to be one of these people, and unfortunately, my work ethic got a kick in the butt in college. I tried doing the whole minimum effort with maximum results, and it got me the worst grades that I ever got in my entire educational career. So I realized I needed to make a change.
I learned that there is a huge difference between doing work as an obligation, and actually finishing the job.
So what does finishing a task actually look like?
It looks like staying past our original clock out time to make sure that the job is done right. It looks like starting that paper a few days early instead of the night before. And it looks like extending a hand to a co-worker that is clearly struggling.
It's doing extra. It's doing, not just existing.
What if millennials started doing extra? What would corporate America look like if people weren't just showing up? What if they were completing tasks in full; carefully and diligently?
More importantly, what could our kids learn from us? I want to raise kids with good work ethic. Not just by American work ethic standards, but by human being standards. I think we could improve in so many areas, and teach the next generation a really important lesson.
Don't just exist. Do.