Isn't it weird that hard work is almost always rewarded?

Mar 15, 2003
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I'm being vague about my own situation because this post isn't a brag thread, but I'm more than happy if you share your experiences.

2010 has been a brutal year - lost my "career" in February and was wandering from freelance to temp job to job interview for months. Lost family members too, which was on the one hand crushing but also helped put my mortality into perspective. Right after my aunt passed away I made the pledge to never take the lazy way out, never search for security over ambition, and to never relax until I earned it. I've been working my ass off for the past few months and the stars seemed to align perfectly - I have a new job, a new career, and a new chance to make my mark - but in a field that will demand that I work hard 6 days a week, vs. the security ofsitting in a cube collecting a pay check.

My wife is also in a dead end job and we had a long talk and she was inspired - she upped her game, made a website for herself, threw away her lazy resume and designed an eye catching one, got business cards and went to every networking event possible.. Even called up old college friends for drinks to "catch up" and exchange business cards. She took control of her situation and worked harder and smarter, and went from getting 0 call backs to having 3 or 4 interviews a week from top companies, companies she didn't think she was good enough for before.

It's staggering to me how quickly the universe rewards hard work. Anyone else experience this? I *know* many people are working hard and not seeing the benefits right away - I have all the empathy in the world and am not implying that the unemployed are all lazy. Heck, me and my wife are far from our goals but it all feels within reach. It's shocking to me how good and rewarding working hard is, because I'm of the post gen-X (gen-y?) entitled generation that's programmed to work as little as possible while wanting all the riches in the world.
 
Oct 25, 2006
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For me its more like, Study twice as long for practice exam so that I get a good measure of how well I will do on normal exam, teacher notices class average on practice is pretty high, makes exam harder.

Or

Finish my section of work early, boss notices, gives me something even harder to do.

Seems to be a very very aggravating loop.
 

Apple Of Sodom

Golden Member
Oct 7, 2007
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Hard work only pays off if you don't work for a soulless corporation. Working for yourself is most rewarding by far. The harder I work, the more I make. Simple formula.
 

Fritzo

Lifer
Jan 3, 2001
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I go the extra mile and all I get told is I'm always 2 miles too short :(
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,669
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Hard work only pays off if you don't work for a soulless corporation. Working for yourself is most rewarding by far. The harder I work, the more I make. Simple formula.

Exactly, my wife is a perfect example - she works her corporate job unlike any other. She never gets recognized, never gets a raise, never gets anything but hard work. I think the key is finding a place where hard work is recognized, which is obviously easier said than done.

I gave 2 years of my relatively young life working my ass off for a company - exceeding goals under budget. 2 years of no reward lead to a year of complacency and slacking. My post count here was higher when I was working than unemployed!
 

rudder

Lifer
Nov 9, 2000
19,441
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I gave 2 years of my relatively young life working my ass off for a company - exceeding goals under budget. 2 years of no reward lead to a year of complacency and slacking. My post count here was higher when I was working than unemployed!

This is why my post count has exploding the last couple of years.

We have an aerial photography department. After a flight it was taking 5-6 days to process images from that one flight (if it did not timeout). I used some surplus equipment, made some infrastructure changes, and cut down processing time to around 3 hours. My thanks... I got written up for not noticing a backup job failed.

Hard work... when done for yourself is always rewarded. Hard work done for idiots... well it is just hard work.

But as long as the economy is stuck in the shitter... I post!
 

dainthomas

Lifer
Dec 7, 2004
14,588
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Those ship breakers in India work their asses off, and they're rewarded with exposure to toxic chemicals, chronic diseases, severe injuries, and often death.

Oh, and I think they get paid crappy too.
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,669
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This is why my post count has exploding the last couple of years.

We have an aerial photography department. After a flight it was taking 5-6 days to process images from that one flight (if it did not timeout). I used some surplus equipment, made some infrastructure changes, and cut down processing time to around 3 hours. My thanks... I got written up for not noticing a backup job failed.

Hard work... when done for yourself is always rewarded. Hard work done for idiots... well it is just hard work.

But as long as the economy is stuck in the shitter... I post!

Indeed - I had a project budgeted for $1.5 million that was on hiatus for FIVE YEARS. I was given the assignment and, using my personal and high quality programming and design contacts, finished the project in three months and for a tiny fraction of the projected budget (less than $30k). They loved the results but rewarded me how? My CEO gave me his used iPhone so that he could upgrade to the new 3G. I was grateful but expected more challenges and more rewards. Eventually, they realized that my awesome approach (using a custom drupal build with custom management) was so cost effective and easy to use that they didn't need me anymore - my reward was a pink slip for me and my coworker a year after I saved them quite a bit. I did my job too well, I should have stayed in development hell for years all while collecting a pay check.
 

AMDZen

Lifer
Apr 15, 2004
12,639
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Honestly, in my experience its often the opposite - at least in the working world.

I've been surrounded by coworkers that do almost nothing and get promoted before the peon's who are busting ass every day and do not.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
57,401
7,585
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Kissing ass gets you rewarded. Working hard gets you more work. Working hard for yourself deletes your life, until you're about 60, then your kids run the business into the ground, or you sell it to someone else.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
776
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Honestly, in my experience its often the opposite - at least in the working world.

I've been surrounded by coworkers that do almost nothing and get promoted before the peon's who are busting ass every day and do not.

Yep, i know of one large department a couple floors above me that shits on the people who actually know what the fuck they're doing while idiots get promoted.

Welcome to the world of white collar work.
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,669
103
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Honestly, in my experience its often the opposite - at least in the working world.

I've been surrounded by coworkers that do almost nothing and get promoted before the peon's who are busting ass every day and do not.

I agree, I'm completely done with the corporate world. Working hard in a cube is almost useless, which is why I'm urging my wife to seek employment with a smaller firm that has a history of rewarding people and no weird corporate hierarchy. I'm going into a commission based job because, frankly, it's terrifying and exciting.. If I fail it's my fault, not office politics... Though, obviously, it doesn't work that way for everyone.

Or maybe my cynicism about the corporate world is naive - I never did the politics thing. I never went to happy hour or kissed ass.. I thought I was above that but maybe part of working hard and smart in corporate America is also networking, making connections, and kissing the right ass.
 
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BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
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All too often, the places I've worked were like this:


images
 

SP33Demon

Lifer
Jun 22, 2001
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It always works this way. Always try to better yourself and people notice, trust me. I first started working at my job as low man on the totem pole, then started setting records for performance and soon I was in charge of projects over people who had been there for years. They weren't happy about it but realized that I'm on another level and deserve it. First you earn the respect, then the friendship. They were all laid off a couple months ago and I was promoted but many of them still keep in touch. Funny how things WILL fall into place when you combine hard work with smarts.

All in all, I think you learned the key: never become complacent. Always stay up to date in your field and always realize that some smart punk kid out of college could possibly do the job cheaper so you have to be better. Solidify your friends at work, stack your resume with relevant experience, and in the least go for a master's degree and possibly certs that will ensure you stay ahead of the next generation. Just realize that there is always someone out there who would love to have your cushy job.
 
Mar 15, 2003
12,669
103
106
It always works this way. Always try to better yourself and people notice, trust me. I first started working at my job as low man on the totem pole, then started setting records for performance and soon I was in charge of projects over people who had been there for years. They weren't happy about it but realized that I'm on another level and deserve it. First you earn the respect, then the friendship. They were all laid off a couple months ago and I was promoted but many of them still keep in touch. Funny how things WILL fall into place when you combine hard work with smarts.

All in all, I think you learned the key: never become complacent. Always stay up to date in your field and always realize that some smart punk kid out of college could possibly do the job cheaper so you have to be better. Solidify your friends at work, stack your resume with relevant experience, and in the least go for a master's degree and possibly certs that will ensure you stay ahead of the next generation. Just realize that there is always someone out there who would love to have your cushy job.

Complacency was my biggest enemy for years. "I'm safe here" never proved true for me, but it's tempting when you have a wife and a house and responsibilities. Complacency kept my parents, two very brilliant and educated people, from reaching their true potential - they worked city jobs until they retired because it was the safe thing to do, even though they had multiple masters degrees.

I should have looked for a new job as soon as I noticed that my old company wasn't recognizing ambition. Half a dozen people left on their own, but I was too much of a wimp to take action. Getting laid off was exactly the kick in the ass that I needed.

You're right about networking, keeping in touch with the industry, and trying to be a trend setter not a follower. I *always* took networking for granted until recently. Just simple emails lead to modest but important freelance jobs from old friends and coworkers - those jobs funded my career training/certification, paid for equipment I needed, and made this difficult time easier to swallow. I have to make more of an effort to get out there, spread my business card and just show my face more often, being a hermit didn't help me at all.
 

Phokus

Lifer
Nov 20, 1999
22,995
776
126
You know, i just realized that the only job that i've noticed where you get consistently rewarded for hard work in a corporate environment is in sales. It's really hard to not recognize someone for selling a lot vs. someone who can't sell if their life depended on it. Almost every other job i've seen, politics plays a lot into it.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
62,812
11,211
136
You know, i just realized that the only job that i've noticed where you get consistently rewarded for hard work in a corporate environment is in sales. It's really hard to not recognize someone for selling a lot vs. someone who can't sell if their life depended on it. Almost every other job i've seen, politics plays a lot into it.

"It's not what ya know...it's who ya blow."