i create. i am a creation.


Posted on: February 21, 2016


photo courtesy of lunarland.com

I’ve been having this work-related conversation with a friend who is having a hard time motivating himself after not getting the expected rewards for hard work the past year. I told him that I remember my older sister telling me this: in the workplace (this particular workplace that I was supposed to go to) bawal maging bibo (don’t show you’re smart). Why? Either they will 1) dump more work on you; 2) idiots will feel threatened by you and sabotage your work and reputation; or 3) completely ignore you and not reward you for your hardwork and sacrifices. Better just as do what is expected of you; nothing less, nothing more.

I know it’s really a bad principle to adopt but it really makes a lot of sense. That is the reality and have seen it several times in my career. It’s idealistic to expect that the company will value you as you think it should but that is not always (or never) the case. It’s normally how you project yourself (face value/packaging), connections, and how thick your skin is that gets you the prize. Sadly, I’ve seen that several times over the 16 years of my professional life.

So what did I tell my friend? You can seethe and rant all you want and your only recourse now is to resign OR scale back on the work load and take it easy. Perform and do what is expected of you but don’t overdo it again. Save your hide. No point in giving your soul. (Another friend ranted to me one time “Ano pa ba ang gusto nila eh nakuha na nila kaluluwa ko?!” But that friend had a happier ending than this first friend of mine since he got a high double-digit raise.)

So why did I say “changing tides?” Well, I heard a number of people in the company where my friend works are now looking for other jobs. One even had four job interviews in one week. That’s how bad things are, how badly managed the company is. They don’t know how to value people.

I’ve read an article somewhere that people leave because of bad managers. True. I stayed with a job before despite the crappy pay and all because I had a good boss/mentor. In the case of my stark raving mad friend, the company is badly managing people and is rewarding the wrong people (the deadwoods).

If the Facebook memes are to be believed, it was Sir Richard Branson who said that companies should value its workers first before customers. Pay attention to your own people before chasing the profits. Sadly, only a few do. (On a related note, read “Can Small Businesses Afford To Adopt Sir Richard Branson’s Approach to Employee Benefits?”)


So what are we to do? We should work for ourselves then. But that route is not for everybody.


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life in business journalism

crazy. exciting. boring to some but hey, you get to understand the world better when you're a business journalist. you learn to be patient with tons of documents, make sense of numbers and charts. all geeky stuff. this is my story, behind the scenes.
February 2016
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