Some lessons I’ve learnt from my paycut job

In my previous job, I thought that instead of all the corporate rat-race, perhaps it is a good change to take a paycut to opt for life with better quality. To work for those who are in the line of helping others. Therefore I was willing to take a pay-cut for a change and also because the job is supposed to be less stressful. In my job,  I was supposed to help people to help others.

But in the end, reality hits. When it comes to money, sometimes people are not ethical about it. Because, like it or not, who doesn’t want money- so if you have to ‘misled’ a trusting client to get that sale, you may just do it. And I find that some of the people who I had to take instruction from was disrespectful.

So, finally I learnt these lessons:

  • in the competitive business world, honesty is quite a rare word- but at least established companies have proper terms and conditions that comes with the services or products offered.  Granted, customers generally don’t read the fine prints or T&C- but at least the T&Cs are there. It’s not vague and if there are any breaches of the T&C, the company would compensate the consumer.
  • if I had to take all types of demands, I might as well take it  from VPs- because they usually know what they are talking about.
  • if things don’t change (even though I thought I took a pay-cut for a good ’cause’), at least I had better pay in corporate than to struggle to make ends meet in a paycut job.
  • when sometimes you have to close one eye and instructed to do certain things that you disagree in- the paycut job becomes really stressful.
  • the stress is the same- the paycut job may have less stress but life in general would be more stressful and miserable if you find you have to count pennies all the time.
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Now I work back in corporate world. I’ve tried the paycut thing- it did not work out for me. I’ve given myself to focus on building up the blogs after work while having a day job that pays the bills- that did not work because generally, most people don’t make enough from blogging.

Also, I felt it is silly for me to stand back and watch others pocket in all the profits while I get a pay that is just enough to make do. Any unexpected expenses such as fixing the car’s air-con that had broken down, buying a new electrical appliances (because one just got spoilt) or having unexpected guests (and to pay for their meals or tid-bits) would really set me back- and I had to dig into my savings and penny pitch for a few months till I save enough.

After one year, I’ve had enough.

I was very grateful because my former boss came to the rescue and offered me a job.  Last month, my car air-con broke down and I spent about RM700 fixing it- the expenses did not kill me.  I also bought a netbook, digital camera. And when I was in Thailand, I was able to contribute to worthy causes close to my heart- and also, could afford back to travel a little. I’ve also managed to identify worthy causes that I can contribute to in my job.

I cannot change the work culture but I could change my attitude and think of ways to make life slightly easier for others.

But you know, I’ve also learnt a great deal from my paycut job. One of the greatest lesson the job taught me was to develop humility and patience. That I had to swallow my pride because remained low-profile, many thought I was a nobody. I also had to deal with an office bully. And that everywhere we work, it’s gonna be the same. If we face the same issues or problems wherever we go, perhaps it’s time to look within and address issues that we may have within.

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