Flea’s Nature (of Work)

Well, it’s the millennials thing, isn’t it?”

Before I went to the office this morning, I called my dad to let him know I’ve been doing fine and I am preparing myself for the next project. “Thank goodness, then.” From his voice, I can sense that he is relieved to hear the news. My dad then asked me about how my weekend went. I told him about meeting my two high school friends. Both of them were busy keeping up with job vacancies, just like every fresh graduate would do once they’ve got the degree. My dad continued to ask me about how my other friends are doing. Where are they and what are they doing now?

I told him about some friends who started to have a job earlier than me. It’s quite questionable that they decided to quit their job so soon. Sparked with curiosity, my dad then asked, “What happened to them? Why would they quit their job?” Reasons I’ve gathered from their stories were quite simple, like, “Well, I don’t think the culture of the company matches my personality,” or “I got bored, the job descriptions were not like what I’ve imagined,” another reason like, “The job was boring, so I decided to find new experience and new ambience,” some even went, “I want to have a lot of working experience so companies would go after me.”

“They worked in a short period, Dad. Perhaps they haven’t found what they’re looking for.” My dad laughed. “Well, it’s the millennials thing, isn’t it?” What my dad meant was not the whole millennials (I don’t want to generalize the context here), but he meant the people at my age who always seek for the instant and practical things, people who were born in what-it-seem-to-be a rushing era, who tend to think that there isn’t enough time. Suddenly, a question popped in my mind. A question about how was it like when my father was still working.

“Dad, how did you manage to work in one place for decades?”

“30 years, to be exact,” he cut.

“Well, maybe because I was taught a lot about loyalty. My principle is to be loyal to what we have and always be grateful. Because if we always look for what’s ‘above’ us, we’ll never feel enough. That’s why, sometimes, we need to see what’s ‘below’ us. We’ll notice that there are people who might not be as lucky as we are.”

That was a thoughtful statement. It felt like I was being warned about how to live. Not to mention, as a fresh graduate I have thought once or twice about leaving my current job and work in another company for some time. The mindset was to ‘gain experience in many places.’ There were times I feel bored at work and the feeling could be a trigger to quit the job. But Dad — with his working experiences in the same place for 30 years — made me wonder, “Have you ever feel bored or tired at work, Dad?”

“Bored…yes, there must be a time or two that I felt bored at work, but notice that this is not about like and dislike. We have to love what we have, just enjoy whatever we have in hands. Always have in mind that this is a part of our journey. I used to have tricks on how to enjoy the work by finding something specific that I could focus on. Something that not everyone is capable of doing because by being able to work on something specific will be your ‘selling point’.” I must say I am amazed by his answer. It sounds simple but I barely see the practice of it these days.

Then he continued his answer, “…moreover, if we don’t have a professional working experience yet, we might as well be told to do random things at work. That’s natural. I mean, we can’t only be doing the thing that we love, there will be times we have to do something we barely like. We shouldn’t give up at times like that.” My dad has shown me a glimpse about what I’m about to deal in the ‘real world’ as a fresh graduate — who still has a little knowledge about surviving in workplaces, who are still tracing their path, dealing with their egos, and still have to learn so many things. My dad also added if a person constantly moves from one job to another it will be hard for that person to find his specification, things that he can master in.

Though, my dad keeps reminding me perhaps the working culture is already different then and now. There should be a generation gap from his era and my era. Back in his era, everything seemed to be more conventional, everything has its own rules. Today, the work culture is more flexible to reduce stress.

However, there is one thing that stays: work ethics. It includes how someone communicates, hospitality, time management, dedication, and loyalty. There are probably more of the work ethics I haven’t mentioned, but the point is we must be equipped with work ethics no matter what we are doing right now. It’s an important component to have aside from skills or capabilities to be a professional. Well, back to my dad. I got one more thing to ask him: what makes him so loyal then? He then answered, “I am loyal not because of the renowned workplace, or because of the facilities that I got, or other incentives.”

“I like to consider myself as ‘loyal to my profession.’ I think it’s important to set our goal, understand what we want to achieve in life. By that, we won’t choose the wrong job. If the goal has been set, whatever comes our way, we’ll be loyal.” I realized that perhaps some of us haven’t set our life goal, that’s why loyalty is rarely found in our current working culture. Sometimes, to find what we want in life, we waste our time moving from one place to another. Most of the time, that doesn’t seem to bring any positive impacts to ourselves. If seeking for a lot of working experiences is the reason why a lot of people quit their job, then what I learn is that it is not about how many experiences a person can get, but how easy a person walks away from their responsibilities.

By : Clarissa Amadhea


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