New Work Ethic: “Do It for the Credit”

I am appalled by a conversation today with a much younger good friend about our jobs who quipped, “Why do it if you don’t get the credit?” I replied that, “… there are some things you do because they need to be done!”  To which my friend replied, “If I don’t get credit, I had better at least get paid, or why do it?”

There is a wide divide here between the two of us – it is a good thing we aren’t “joined at the hip” because we would pull in quite different directions at times.

In my job, I invest in “good will” and I invest in friends, and I invest in learning, and I invest in inspiring someone who might hold some promise. In my spare time, I invest in endeavors that simply “need” someone to do something to propel a small part of the world forward – I am President of my neighborhood HOA, and the sys admin for my local university alumni association. None of this pays me money, and little of this garners me any credit of note.  It generally feels good, and often there is a measurable benefit if one looks from just the right point of view.

Yes, there are days when I step away from my office thinking to myself that I did something meaningful – maybe even remarkable. And when I step outside into the company of a city full of strangers, it is apparent that none of these people will ever know what I did, or even care if they could know.

But I know.

Sometime, I “do it” for the credit – that only I can measure.


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