Who Takes Their Employment for Granted?
Why you should give thanks for your job and the employer who selected you
By David Cox | November 20, 2018
Thanksgiving is a time of year we reflect on all we’ve received. You may feel you’ve earned everything you have, but you are undoubtedly the beneficiary of opportunities worthy of your gratitude. These opportunities may have come by way of colleagues, family, friends, teachers, mentors, and others who supported your growth and development.
The opportunities your job provides
I’ve noticed many employees who readily express appreciation for career advancement or long-term financial security, but often fail to give thanks for the job from which they experience those positive aspects and the employer who selected them.
In addition to those mentioned, other positive aspects of a job may include:
- Compensation – The capacity to help your family maintain a standard of living
- Supportive relationships among co-workers, peers, and colleagues
- Opportunities to learn from your employer or manager
- Benefits associated with your employment (including medical insurance)
- Beginning work every day with a clear sense of purpose
- On-the-job challenges that foster professional growth and development
- Opportunities for advancement and developing leadership skills
- The ability to help your family achieve long-term financial goals
- An opportunity to participate in financial plans to support you in retirement
I recently had lunch with Jack, a good friend who is married and the father of two teenagers. He had previously spent six years working as a department manager for a major retailer until their corporate office decided to close the store. Unfortunately, he’s been unemployed for the last two years.
As Jack talked to me about his efforts in looking for a job, I felt terrible for this capable friend who desperately hopes an employer will give him a chance to prove himself. The emotion in his voice was evident he talked about his lack of success in seeking employment.
Jack told me about a family gathering he attended this past summer. He sat and listened as some of his relatives began complaining about a bevy of job-related problems. Later that morning, one of his cousins cornered him and persisted in complaining about his boss.
Jack finally interrupted him and said, “You have no idea how much I wish I had a job. You have one, and you should consider it a gift. You should be grateful for an employer who was willing to take a chance on hiring you. If you can’t do that, at least be thankful you can go to work every day and bring home an income that allows you to provide your family with a roof over their heads and food on the table.”
Sadly, too many employees face problems at work every day. Many suffer with what they feel is abusive and disrespectful treatment. Others feel unappreciated, underpaid, and limited in their prospects for advancement no matter how hard they work. Nevertheless, I guarantee that Jack, who struggles with the daily stress and financial challenges of unemployment, would gladly trade places with any one of his complaining, but gainfully-employed relatives.
Today, businesses face swiftly changing consumer demands and a tough, competitive environment. Non-Profits face budget cuts, political pressures, and grants that may not be available from one year to the next. Employers and employees alike are asked to do more and more with less and less. These are difficult circumstances. Amid such difficulties, you cannot afford to take your employer or your job for granted, as so many do.
I encourage you to create a list of the things about your job for which you are thankful and another listing any associated issues or problems. Then, use the positive list to deepen your sense of gratitude to your employer and develop a greater appreciation for a job that may not be perfect, but continues to be a source of compensation, benefits, and opportunities. Finally, use the negative list as a plan for improvement; finding ways to turn each bad aspect of your job into something more positive.