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It’s pretty much accepted that money is not the chief motivator when it comes to our working lives. It plays a part to a point, but for the majority of us, there has to be more to our job than the pay packet at the end of the week or month or whenever.
Whether you’re one of those who truly enjoys what you do or you see your employment as solely a means to an end, the real motivation to keep going generally comes from somewhere other than the ‘dirty cash’.
It could be that you feel what you do gives you meaning, that quest to find fulfilment, or other life factors — doing it for your children, the ability to travel, a stepping stone to something greater, etc. — give you the push to keep at it.
Pays the bills
From a personal perspective, if it was just about the loot, I’d kick The Colombia Cast podcast to touch, not to mention this blog, and be much less bothered about IQuiz. The podcast is, for now anyway and like this blog always has been, purely a labour of love while IQuiz is more or less in the same boat.
“Keep the head down and drink the free coffees.”
The new (can I still call it new after four months?) and time-consuming full-time job more than pays the bills. This is not to say it’s really well-paid, it’s just my overheads are not that high. Another plus point for the “barrio popular” living. That and the fact I’ve now less free time to actually enjoy my salary.
This is where the money plays a role. It’s not that it motivates per se, it’s more a case that in the absence of other sources of steady income, it fills a hole.
Yet, as mentioned before, the mentality of offering your services to third parties, parties that you don’t have any direct dealings with and don’t always agree with their message, is something I find hard to fathom.
I’ve been used to work, be it independent or with others, where I’ve been, or at least felt, intrinsically involved in the output. In this current gig, that’s much less the case. That feeling of not really being involved doesn’t tend to leave one disposed to give their all.
Now it would be a whole lot worse — a resigning matter really — if my position was very taxing. It’s not. This isn’t to say it’s a case of being underworked and overpaid. The downtimes allow me to concentrate on my personal projects.
“It’s our show, so play that goddamn tune, piper!”
What’s more, when the hardest part of your working day amounts to not much more than making sure you arrive on time, it’s not a bad state of affairs. Well, that and biting my lip sometimes when advertising copy I write is changed by non-native English speakers to something I feel is inferior. “The client is always right, even when they’re wrong.” “Then why bother asking for my input in the first place?” “Just play the goddamn tune, piper!” (Is it any wonder Colombia’s national airline, Avianca, is in the mess it is?)
A moment’s breath usually sees me right. It’s not my brand or company I’m doing it for after all. Let it go.
So, you might ask, if that’s the height of my grievances, why make an issue out of it? Keep the head down, drink your free coffees, take your monthly pay and repeat.
Satisfaction, that’s what’s at play. Having that feeling that our talents are being used in the most appropriate way. Doing what we should be doing, or at least what we think we should be doing. It’s what we all strive for, isn’t it?
People might say, and have said, “Sure you’ll never be happy.” That’s the thing. This pursuit of happiness is what keeps us all going.
It’s not that we’re fundamentally unhappy, not at all. It’s that there’s always another level to reach. That’s where the motivation lies.
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