JournalismPakistan.com July 10, 2013
What are you worth? It is a scary question and one that most of us duck all our lives. We don’t want to know.
Not how much do you have in the bank sort of worth but where do you stand on the job market? What’s the weight of your talent? Have you ever set yourself against your peer group and said, okay how do I stack up against this lot and how do I get a few notches higher? We don’t want to know, not all of us.
It is one of the great ironies of life that so many of us go through life having absolutely no clue what we are worth because circumstances decide for us and we tamely lie down and take it. The wrong job, the tiny little compromises of life making for a dreary narrative of defeat, each one spawning bigger surrenders until there is nothing else left to give. The peanuts brigade having surrendered without a fight.
Finished at forty, nowhere else to go but down or simply treadmill the next 20 years, running just to stay in the same place and dredging for virtue in it.
And yet, what could be more exciting than figuring out if you are worth more than your asking price? The trick lies in making the assessment and most of us don’t quite know how to do it. So we either undersell or we try and grab too much and fall over.
I am talking to this corporate expert in personnel placement and he says the biggest problem is that nearly half of us spend our whole careers travelling on the wrong track. We are literally misfits, in the wrong business and, therefore, never in a position to demand our worth or even quantify it.
So, long before our time we are prematurely exhausted by being in the wrong system and we settle for compromise. Those of us who are fortunate enough to be doing what they have an inclination for are frequently snubbed by their own character makeup. Some are reticent, others don’t have ambition or drive, merely talent, still others have weaknesses that hold them back, some flaw or missing element that makes them settle for less.
(The writer is a Senior Editorial Advisor of Khaleej Times and the paper’s former Editor. He has also been the Editor of Gulf News, Gulf Today, Emirates Today and Bahrain Tribune)
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