Many people like to skive off during work. Appearing late for work, taking all the paid medical leave they can, long lunch breaks and general poor work performances. When we take a look at the amount of work they did each day, perhaps they only worked for 2 hours in an 8-hour work day. Long meaningless meetings filled with pointless chit-chat are common in workplaces too.
While there are such people everywhere, there are especially many of such people in the public service because of the job stability. Public sector do not sack people easily. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying all public service employees are lazy. I have seen many hardworking ones within the public sector who are serious about their work and who put in the hours all for the sake of the organisation. But generally speaking, the public sector does have a higher proportion of parasites who do nothing but leech at Government resources, collecting free salary every month. This is one of the many reasons which gives the public sector its bad name. The only reason why the private sector has lesser of such employees, is because they would be sacked if it comes down to it. So while there are still slackers, they would be more controlled.
Recently I had a subordinate thank me for taking care of him. He wanted to promote to the leadership track, to my position. The process will take a few years to complete as he worked through the ranks. He is hardworking and willing to put in the effort to reach his goal. On top of his work duties, he also studied for a higher academic qualification on a part-time basis during his personal time in order to get the chance to promote. Hence I gave him opportunities to work on different projects and pushed for his work to be known by the management. While there were times he needed guidance, and not all his work was perfect (no one is perfect, not even me, not even my bosses), generally he did good work. As a result, his performance grading this year was A, the highest one can achieve and many never reached it over the course of their career. To get the A grading, one has to be deemed capable of performing consistent good work way over what is expected of the employee and way exceeding his peers. It also means one thing – promotion to the next level is coming, though not to my level yet. There is a gap of quite a few ranks between us.
I had another subordinate who had poor work attitude. He did not have consistent results, and was always full of excuses, from family issues to bad mood. I once sat down to talk to him after saying him multiple times regarding his work. He asked why did I (the shift leader) and my superior (the unit head) keep on reprimanding him and pointing out his mistake, when there are even worse staff out there whom we did not scold. I looked at him and told him we were doing that because we still see hope in him and that he could change. The moment your superior gave up talking to you is the day you are condemned in your career. I told him that should he wish to, I could ensure that he will never get promoted, if that was really what he wanted. He did not change his attitude, and there was no further need to spend any more effort on him.
At work, there are good workers. There are also bad staff. While not all bosses are decent staff themselves, but bosses know who are able to work and who cannot be depended on. They are the ones who decide your grading. Some bosses are nice enough to tell you what you are lacking and what you could do to improve, some do not. Some bosses are nice to give you a push and give you credit for all your work and paving the way for your future, while some blatantly take credit for all your work.
But as you work hard, you get to learn new things. From handling projects to expanding your network in and out of the organisation through the work you do, what you have gained you keep for yourself. You gained that experience, you keep it. You gained that network, nobody could take it away from you. You gained the ability to handle multiple things, you bring it with you wherever you go. While you may not necessarily be rewarded in terms of your career progression or even promotion at that moment, your ability to work will definitely spread in the company. It also builds you up as an employee. Problem solving skills and foresight does not drop from the sky. It comes together with the work we do as our jobs increase in difficulty and intensity.
We have no say in who our bosses are, and they change once every few years, for reasons such as a new job or a transfer for both our bosses and us. When you get a new boss, all your past experience and abilities that you have gained will come to good use. You will be able to continue to do good work while being rewarded.
Many people do not have great ambitions. Many are not even hardworking. They would slack off whenever they could and push responsibilities to others as long as they can do lesser work. Some got condemned and either got fired in the private sector, or lost all opportunities of promotion in the public sector. But if you are serious about gaining financial freedom, and serious about not wasting your time, then you should work seriously. Take note that while I ask you to work seriously, I am not asking you to sacrifice everything for work. During your work hours, put in the effort, because that is what you are paid for. Give your best for the company and get rewarded in terms of experience, network, higher capability and of course ideally, promotion and merit increment. But try to go home on time and work on your other side incomes too.
Do not slack off. You will be rewarded for your hard work one day.