We Only Work For Two Reasons

By: Peter Yates

Many people I talk to in the mining industry have lost the spark they once had for doing a great job. I am confident this problem is not isolated to mining and is present in all industries.

People want to deliver exceptional results, but sometimes this seems no longer achievable, and going through the motions day by day is their reality. Indeed, while they are delivering what is required in their roles, therein lies the problem…. just delivering what is required.

Think about and consider how well you enjoy your job? Yes, enjoying your job is a thing and without this it can have a negative effect on you and your family. So, you may ask why do people stay in a job they no longer enjoy? The answer might be they probably don’t realise it is affecting their health and wellbeing.

Let’s look at the relationship between people and their jobs. There are two parts to a job:

  • Without this we cannot survive. Remuneration allows the fortunate to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle, while for others it meets the basic requirements for survival such as food and shelter. Either way, some form of financial income is essential.
  • Job satisfaction. There are many inputs to job satisfaction for example work hours and flexibility, being part of a team, and level of stress, to name a few. By far the input with the greatest effect on sustainability is having a passion for what you do and finding a way to break down the barriers that stand between you and a successful outcome.

Over my career I have meet all sorts of people doing all types of jobs. The people that amaze me are the people who explain in detail their job with so much passion and dedication it is inspiring to say the least:

  • Truck drivers explaining how to match engine revs with ground speed to get a smooth gear change, thus reducing the wear and impact on the transmission.
  • Chefs taking about how ingredients fit together and why.
  • Project managers for major events, relaxed with the knowledge that their people are doing their jobs, it will all be fine when the time comes.

I have firsthand experience being in a job and going through the motions day by day achieving very little. I quickly became reliant on the benefits of the role and forgot why I took the job in the first place: to be part of a high-functioning team and experience success.

Due to a restructure I left the role. Thank goodness for the restructure, otherwise I fear I would still be there.

It was at this time that I joined Gerard and the Bluefield group. I must say initially I had doubts as to my ability to perform amongst such a talented team, but with the team’s support, I was able to develop and enjoy the role.

I enjoy assisting others to meet and exceed targets and receiving feedback on a job well done. But equally, receiving feedback on where we can improve…. this sets up a challenge to be better.

I must be clear - in my opinion, it is the inability to do a good job, and lack of job satisfaction, that causes people to lose their spark. This should not be attributed to a single source, for example your employer, conditions etc, but should trigger you to think about the other fifty percent.

What are you doing to make your job satisfying? The options are many, and most of them need to be actioned by you.

Peter (a.k.a Yatesy) has previously written about his focus on maintenance work quality – read it here.

Watch Yatesy’s video on his project management training experience here.