I was sitting mindlessly, as many others were doing, on the Auckland motorway at 6am on a Monday morning. We were all crawling at a snails pace and I was making my way to our city office. I started thinking as I looked at other commuters with their deadpan expressionless faces, why do we do this?
Why do we forsake another hour in bed to wake in daylight, spend more time with our family, or just to feel a little more rested? It could be you think you will outsmart others and finish before the traffic builds up on the way home, although subconsciously realise it could be 10-12 hours later before you leave the office, and probably will end up stuck in it? I’m lucky as I have flexible start time at my company but many don’t, so already the stress has started before the sun rises.
The answers could be varied why we choose to do this – some have huge mortgages to pay so they have no choice if this is where the money is for their job, some just want to beat the traffic that otherwise would take double the time if left 15 minutes later, or do we in fact love our jobs?
As the reasons why are varied, so are the answers. Just as the motorway I sat on had many off-ramps, fast and slow lanes, small gaps to squeeze into between cars and impatient drivers swerving from lane to lane, our work lives are often aligned.
Take the off-ramps – who doesn’t think if I just took the next exit ahead and another route, I may miss this backlog and beat a few cars to save time, before deliberating too long and miss the exit. In our jobs we can sometime decide to take a detour too, thinking this will fast track us towards that quicker result. We rush to get there and miss out important vital steps of learning along the way, or encounter road blocks that in fact have lost us valuable knowledge and time.
Too small gaps for cars to merge into – just like pushing to get something done that in fact hasn’t been well thought/ planned out and causes us a time delay and re-work, because if we had looked ahead we may have noticed the lane was about to merge into one.
Impatient drivers – swerving to take shortcuts looking to fast track their career, when in fact if you had stayed in the same lane, the goal you have in mind could have ensured you had the support needed by those that understood where you wanted to go. i.e. keeping in the same lane. And low and behold take a look at the swerving driver beside you a few KMs down the road that didn’t actually get any further ahead!
What I’m hinting at here, is take the time to form a path in whatever you choose to do in your work career, stick to the path, take the time to look around you and learn from your colleagues. There are many options during your working life, by-roads and avenues you can take, so you should be happy with the 40+ hours you choose to do with your life per week, and taking shortcuts is not always the best option.
Here at The Adecco Group, we want to help you navigate the highway, what avenues you want to consider, the pot holes you may hit while aiming for your goal, what you want your destination to be, and most of all what makes you happy.
After all when you hit that 6am motorway traffic, you want to be sure your headlights are on, you are fully focussed on the road ahead and you have air in your tyres to commit to the potential blimps on the road you will deal with on any given day. With power in your engine and clear sight ahead, you should reach your destination less stressed, knowledgeable, and with the backing of those around you who witnessed your drive on the motorway and respect you for it.