Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Old School Service Delivery - is it dead?

There are a few things that I am really proud of, in the work space, my pride lies in the service I deliver. If a client is willing to put down a sum of money for my time, training and experience, then I believe that I should do whatever I can to deliver what the client wants. Give me reasonable requests and timelines and you will get something great. That's my promise.

It's an attitude that I am proud of, it helps me sleep at night, it makes me wake up in the morning full of energy. I go to work, eager to resolve the tasks on my plate, and once delivered, within the timeframes originally agreed upon, I have this great sense of satisfaction, that puts me on a well deserved high.

Doesn't everyone work like this? I mean, seriously, if there is no pride in your work, why do you do it? What makes you wake up in the morning? What drives you? How do you get your well deserved, satisfying high?

I am asking this question because, I am interviewing allot of people lately (FYI I am looking for ASP.NET developers and well as SharePoint developers). And I am picking up something rather unfortunate in common. People no longer put pride in their work.

We have this generation of clock watchers, doing what is required and nothing more, unless they get compensated for it. If they failed to deliver, it's no big deal, nothing to lose sleep over. And if task given to them is flawed or can be improved on, the need to actually do the task better that requested is gone.

As a developer (I'm a project manager now), I must have worked an average of 9-10 hours a day, my lunch breaks were rarely over 30 minutes, and when I get home, I use to dream up solutions to my current problems. Sounds stressful, yes it was, but I was loving it – I haven't found a single developer today with that kind of attitude.

That means loyalty is gone. If your job is not driven by passion you get no satisfaction, so what's keeping you there? Without loyalty in the picture it should be easy to jump to another job thats offering a little more money, and if thats how you work then you are driven by greed and not by passion – which is a shame, because you are robbed from that satisfying sensation.

I heard this cheesy line a few years ago, and I think it's an attitude we should all adopt.

"Find a job that you love, that way you never have to work another day in your life"

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

While I admire your passion, I think the view that being motivated by money is a sign of greed, is somewhat naive. For some, its a matter of survival. Houses do not pay for themselves, and medical aid is generally not free.
Also, while this is no excuse for not doing the best you can possibly do at your job, another factor in shaping attitudes of current employees is the environment they work in. More often than not employees are not valued as assets, but are treated as replaceable objects and are often exploited and not properly compensated for their efforts. This effects how one sees prospective places of employment.

Please note, the above is not an excuse for always doing ones best, just a possible reason why there are so many with the attitude they have.

Suhayl Akhalwaya said...

The easiest "non-soul-destroying" way to avoid this culture is to work with/associate with those who take pride in their work - or work alone.

Unfortunately, working in today's corporate world often means that we have to rely on those who do not ... See moreneccessarily share the same outlook and modes of practice.

Alternatively, the self-fulfilling trend will be to rise to a top position and slowly encourage (could be interpreted as "enforce") positive change. I found that in a team-context, this would be perceived as "too competitive", and usually results in alienation of those trying to encourage change - because, sadly, most people's interest is to do as little as possible and maximise their reward with mediocore performance.

The answer probably lies in "balance" - i.e. work your best when you are working and know when to step back and re-evaulate/rest/plan the next move.

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