During my experiences of working full time for several years, I’ve noticed that those who have become jaded have decided to stop working hard because they see no point – no rewards or recognition for any of the extra effort and hours to do a good job. For a short while, I did buy into it. From this perspective, it almost makes completes sense. You work hard because you expect to be rewarded fairly in return. Very few will disagree with this. However, before you decide to go down this route, I warn you it’ll be more detrimental than beneficial for you. For example, I’ve seen many people that stopped working hard for several years, became complacent, and spend most of their time at work browsing the internet. It may seem fine for several years, but then the worst happens: you get fired or laid off, and only come to learn that you’ve fallen terribly behind with the current demands of the market. Don’t let this happen.
You have to change the mindset. First, you’re not working hard for the boss. You’re working hard for yourself. This is the first and foremost mindset to hold on to. Yes, you are doing work that your boss is asking you to do. You work for your boss to satisfy him/her, and you work hard because you want to impress and get that promotion, or get that big raise. But take a step back – working hard is a habit, and it’s your habit. It’s been said that bad habits are hard to break, but good habits are also tough to bring back. You have to understand that having a good habit of working hard is a blessing. It’s something that no one can take from you. The moment you give in and tell yourself that you’ll do less because there’s no point in doing more, you’ve started the downward spiral of breaking a good habit and starting a bad one.
A good habit of working hard is what takes you places. I don’t mean to suggest that you should keep working hard for a boss that will only, as a result, give you more work and not acknowledge you. That would be like banging your head on a wall and hoping it will stop hurting at some point. My suggestion is that you keep this good habit and if you start to notice you are in an environment where this good habit could be destroyed, you’ve got to make a change for yourself. Change your boss. Change your environment. Find a way to put yourself in a place where working hard is genuinely recognized and rewarded. Again, understand that working hard will get you far, as long as you are proactive about putting yourself at a place where it can happen.