One of the greatest gift to humanity is the ability to work. It is by virtue of this ability that we get to utilize and maximize fully the inherent capabilities we possess as individuals.
The art of working serves primarily as a strong basis for self-expression. Aside earning a living, work is what you do in order to be potentially useful, first, to yourself, and also to others and the world around you.
As the world continues to evolve through times, our perception or understanding of work is being greatly impacted.
In my own little research so far, there are four work models I’d found.
Five months before, I’d actually pose these work models as a general question on my timeline asking to know people’s view with respect to which model works best or is to be adopted.
Many entries from different folks really caught my attention. Since then, I’ve attempted to understudy these models and how they really play out. What I’m about sharing with you now is in part the outcome of that study.
1. Working for Others.
This is the “employee model” and dates as far back as the earth itself. I call it a modern form of slavery. A situation that involves putting oneself under someone else, working (slaving, so to say) for him/her for specified hours of everyday. And then at the end of the day or month, you are handed over a paycheck that usually doesn’t measure up with your inputs.
This model apparently puts a break on an individual’s potentials because it does have a negative psychological effect in the end especially when the job conditions and the earnings are not palatable, of which that is often the case.
According to workplace law, every employee is paid at most 10% of his/her true worth. In this sense, no-one who adopts this work model ever earns anything that measures up to the true potentials within him/her.
In retrospect, I do not consider this work model to be wrong. The problem is that we often do not understand how it is programmed to work. The best way to view this work model is not as an end but as a means to an end.
If you must work for somebody, it has to be as a means to an end in which case you need to ensure that the tasks you are given creates the opportunity for harnessing your innate potential.
The purpose of employment is not primarily for earning but for learning. This is why no matter how long or how much you stay under any paid employment, you can never really become a wealth creator. The work model is not programmed to make you wealthy in terms of money or assets but in terms of knowledge and expertise.
2. Working for Yourself.
This model often grows out of the deep desire to be self-dependent. It is the “self-employed” model of work characterized majorly by doing your own thing.
In this way, you determine the work conditions – when and how long you do the work as well as your earnings.
This model apparently is a better model when compared with the former. However, it has some limitations as well.
If you spend time working for yourself and doing your own thing, how long will you do that before you break down? Assuming you open a shop or go into trading and you do it all by yourself and for yourself, to what extent will you do it before you are stressed or burned out?
What we find most times about those who take the initiative to work for themselves is that they often end up becoming a slave to their work. They may think they are the ones running their lives but it’s their business that’s doing so.
3. Working through Others.
This is the “employer” model. It is also an offshoot of the preceding model. Most people after they have worked for themselves for a long time suddenly realizes that there’s little they can accomplish all by themselves, that they are limited both by time and chance. The natural response is to recruit others and use them to get the results needed.
Working through others seems smart but it has delimiting effects in that it sees others as tools to be used. The leadership approach is that of a boss who apparently cares nothing about the people doing the job. His interest is just in using them to get the job done whether it is favourable to them or not.
Those who adopt this model often think towards this line; “as long as I pay them at the end of the month, they should get “me” the results I want.” What they fail to understand however, is that people are not things (or machines).
People are people not things. It is only machines or computers that do the job with or without their feelings. But as for the people who operate these machines, there’s a strong correlation between their emotional state and job performance. And when this is not put into consideration, the employer and his business suffers because s/he cannot get the best out of the employees.
4. Working with Others.
This is the “team-player” model. It treats people as people by providing an enabling environment for harnessing their innate abilities and potentialities.
Unlike the former, in this case your approach is not that of a boss but of a leader and team player. You take on the role of a leader with a vision that’s mutually beneficial to all those who choose to be part of it.
The first role of this model is to help others or members of the team see the vision and where it can take them. In this way, they are more disposed to tap into their talents and skills to get the job done.
The real purpose of work is integrated in this last model. Apart from the essential economic benefits, it is in sync with the Creator’s pattern from the beginning.
Did you know that God is a team player? During creation He said, “Let Us not let Me…” And how does He run the earth? Apparently in collaboration with humanity.
The real purpose of work is to accomplish a worthwhile vision utilizing one’s innate capabilities. By leveraging on the last model, you provoke a success in the context of work that’s unequalled.
What do you think?