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Job Rewards: The Valuable Things that aren’t Money

Posted by: Shaun Carter
14/06/17
We all have different priorities when our wage or salary goes into our bank account every month. Mortgages, rent, car costs, phone bills, food, nights out, children-related expenses, clothes, video games, monthly subscriptions (I can see you, speed-reading this to get back to Netflix!), and a whole smorgasbord of other necessities and amenities that contribute to those moments when the stomach is knotted and the hands clam…those moments when we check our online banking and, inevitably, just inevitably, have less wealth to our name than we had expected—or hoped. 

Writers, entrepreneurs, thinkers—people of all walks of life, in fact, have begun to use the internet and its social media platforms in particular, as a place where, in amidst the deep caves of negativity, small alcoves of optimism and positive, inspiring thinking, and advice can be found. And of the more brightly lit of these alcoves, the one about money not being the most important aspect of A. Life, and B. your job, is one gaining visitors aplenty. 

Of course, it’s a fool’s errand, to try to persuade some people that things as valuable, if not more valuable, than money, do truly exist. The world is replete with sceptics. But these things do exist! And they are aspects of you that can be harnessed and honed during your job. How they will pay for your next pair of jeans, or the Netflix subscription… is a matter of your application.

Here are just a handful of the non-monetary benefits of a job. 

Increased Health: Having a job with a regular shift pattern, such as the traditional 9am-5pm, will present you with an opportunity to right your sleep schedule. Figure out how long you need to sleep (the average for most people is between 6-8 hours), and go to bed this many hours before you need to wake up to get ready for work. Scientists have proved time and again that sleeping and eating at similar times each day can improve our mental and physical health since our bodies can develop tendencies towards optimal and minimal performance if conditioned over time. Waking up for work feeling fresh and motivated can have a great effect on your general mood. 

The job is also a great opportunity to work on what you eat and drink. Adhering to a work pattern is probably going to enable you to lower your alcohol consumption (nobody wants a hangover at work), and if you do get thirsty in the office, water is free and easy. Nobody ever suffered from drinking the guideline four pints (of water!) a day. 

New friends, new experiences: If you began your job not knowing a single person at the company, then this can be a blessing! Firstly, be proud of yourself for acquiring the job. Secondly, do not be ashamed of you. Your dress sense, your music taste, your lunch choices each day, these are just a part of you. Everybody will have their quirks. Share information about yourself when opportunities to converse with colleagues arise, and before you know it, concerts, meals, and other social events will be pencilled into your diary. What’s more, your workmates might have niche interests that you haven’t tried before, like, for example, go-karting, wine-tasting, or even an obscure TV show (I can still see you, furtively longing to click on that Netflix tab).

Personal Development: Whatever your new job, there will be people who come from backgrounds significantly different to your own—whether they were raised in a different culture, studied an esoteric degree in a different country, or somehow find the time to balance a fulltime job with being a parent and a spouse—you will be rewarded on a personal level if you can demonstrate a respect for the people around you. And the respect you will gain in return will enhance your enjoyment of the job. People are statistically more likely to want to go to work when they know that the work environment is friendly and energetic. Friendships can always be a great source of energy. 

Professional Development: Of course, Payday, that fixed point of every month for which all of us yearn, is hard to dismiss. But the harder you work, the better your results, and this will eventually lead to pay rises, promotions, and perhaps job opportunities elsewhere with greater rewards. Sounds mouth-watering, right? Well, the way to get there is to demonstrate your worth. In many ways, the previous points feed into this one. Completing tasks efficiently and to a quality standard will earn you respect in the office, and will make people value you. Perhaps even need you. Before long, the people in charge will notice, and they will see fit to reward you. 

Discipline yourself and learn to live resourcefully: Maybe you’ll cap your monthly spending at a budget, in order to save a portion of your earnings for something long term, such as a new computer, car, or house. Name this your Goal. Make decisions that enable you while at work to maximise performance, energy input and output, while rewarding yourself when necessary. Have a photo of your Goal readily available, to remind yourself of your desire for it. Create budgets. What will you have for breakfast, lunch, dinner? Fruit is healthier than junk food tenfold… cheaper, too. Is commuting or cycling more affordable than petrol money? Do you need to subscribe to that magazine that you don’t have time to read anymore? Perhaps that extra cash each month could be invested in a Friday treat at lunch. Something short term to look forward to, especially in the easy-access world of Just Eat, UberEats, and Deliveroo. Or better yet, remember your Goal, and think about the savings.   

Of course, saving money to eventually spend is not necessarily something more valuable than money that isn’t money; however, financial disciplining can be tough, especially when you want to spend your hard-earned bucks on desirable amenities; ultimately, it is worth being aware, though, that this is where personal belief becomes important. When you’re debating whether to stick to your lunch budget or to do what others in the office have done and splurge on a takeaway at work, think long term. Is spending more really worth it? And, most importantly, think about the pride you’ll feel in adhering to your discipline. This is the gain you make here. A heightened ability to make rational decisions, and this is a very desirable skill.

If you think you’re in dire need of an expensive lunch, think about your Goal. Starve the ego, feed the soul.
 
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