dissatisfaction can be motivational

Many around me have expressed support for an encouraging statement by American author and motivational speaker Richard Carlson: “If you are grateful for your job rather than complaining about it, you’ll do a better job, be more productive, and probably end up getting a raise anyway.”

I understand. And at times I say the same – be grateful that you have a job.
But I cannot concur that it is a motivational quote.

I tried to break down the statement: be happy that you have a job – you’ll be more productive and somehow you’ll get a raise. Probably.
Indeed we need to work to sustain our livelihood, especially given the current state of economy. However, such mindset deflates motivation and drive to look for a better opportunity, or to improve status quo when you search for a job that you like. When you like the job, you’ll care for it enough to work hard and make things happen. Someone will (or rather, should) recognise it and reward you for it. I know – it’s idealistic – but it’s also possible.

Similar to my previous post, a complaint comes from recognition of a shortfall, and if you take action to make the change, you’ll improve. So let’s try to rephrase things a little:

1. If you are grateful for your job, work hard and be productive – you’ll get a raise.
2. If you’re complaining about your job, start looking for something else instead of disrupting your employer’s plans, especially if you wouldn’t see eye-to-eye in any case. Find somewhere that allows you to be productive and which recognises your hard work – then you’ll get a raise.

Don’t just ‘be grateful’, don’t just wait for the ‘probable’ pay raise. We don’t get to control much in life, let this be one thing that we can make a decision for ourselves.

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