John F. Kennedy (JFK) once said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” That is by far one of the most well known quotes by any president in United States history. There is certainly much deeper meaning though behind this quote. And it’s certainly not just applicable to serving one’s country. It’s applicable to ANYTHING in life.
The quote, if you were to extrapolate into a much much deeper level, essentially means being more self-sacrificing, serving, giving, and caring. It’s basically saying “ask not what you can get, but what you can give.” Although this can be applied to any field or endeavor, I’d like to focus on the workplace, since we were just talking about workplace safety in our last post. A lot of people complain about their work. They complain about their pay, they complain about their hours, they complain about their coworkers, they complain about their boss, they complain about their working conditions, etc. etc. etc.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I believe any good, ethical employer would provide their employees with a fun, safe, rewarding, comfortable, and well-paying environment like we stated in the previous post; however, I believe a lot of times our problems lie not in our place of employment, but rather our own negative attitudes toward our work environment. In our work we many times look at the negatives and because negativity influences our emotions sometimes a lot more fiercely and frequently than positive emotions, we start to associate work with nothing but negative.
But, honestly, who are we to really judge? Do we forget that we CHOSE to accept that job? That we CHOOSE to go to work every day? Do we forget that our employer is the one writing our paychecks, which essentially helps us feed ourselves and our family? If we truly hate our job that much, do we not have the CHOICE to just get up and QUIT!??
I think that it’s worth it for any professional, young or old, to take some time every day to be grateful for their employer. We should be grateful that we have a job. We should be grateful that we have some people to talk to at work. We should be grateful for the resume builder that we’re continuously embellishing through new skills and experiences that we gain every day.
Whether you’re working at a foul smelling chemical plant, a manufacturer based in the UK, a loud call center, a prestigious doctor’s office, or the White House, it could be worth your while to count all the positives about your job and just give thanks. If we’re getting paid to show up to our place of work, we should have the responsible mindset of always giving our all. Even if it’s a temporary job or far from our dream career, we should have an attitude of giving our best because every action we take is a representation of who we are. Ask not what your workplace can do for you, ask what you can do for your workplace!