The trap is always set: Work hard, deliver on your responsibilities, hit your numbers…and the thinking goes that you will be given the credit, the bonus, the promotion (or keep your job).
Inevitably, however, you will work tirelessly, deliver what is expected of you, even exceed the targets you were given…and you won’t be recognized. No one will say thank you. You won’t get the extra pay, and the next job will go to someone else (who has not demonstrated the capabilities you possess).
When this happens, you may feel cheated. “They” didn’t keep their promise. “They” didn’t give me what I am owed. “They” let me down. (“They” are idiots.)
Or you will not be bothered. Because somewhere along the way you chose not to work hard for them. You give the extra effort because doing so is what you value.
When you approach a difficult task, you go beyond asking, “What will I get?” to the more important question: “What about this job in front of me is meaningful?”
Many people fall into the trap of working for external rewards; their value is determined by the judgements of others. These employees worry endlessly about the assessments being made by those with more power and authority.
To be free of the trap enables you to craft an experience that is more of your choosing – and build a career filled with moments that matter most to you.
Your career is long. At the end, you will say, “I did it!” And you will have a more meaningful answer when others ask, “Did what?”