The Gap We Can't Ignore
Updated: Sep 3
Generational gaps between millennials, X'ers, xennials, boomers, etc. was supposed to be the focus of this last blog on the series about millennial youth concerns. While working on it though I had a revelation of an obscure gap that's causing more pain, frustration, disappointment, and sadness among people of every age.
Anna and Shirley were two of the most well-loved English trainers in my team. Both consistently had full schedules as European professionals sought to ensure that they had their daily English lessons with them. While talking to each of them during evaluations, it was obvious that they enjoy what they were doing. Both had previous jobs in the hospitality and marketing industries but found that they are most happy teaching professionals from Europe and Asia. For Anna and Shirley teaching non-English speaking people who later are able to make small talk and discuss work and other topics is most rewarding and uplifting.
Earl and Rick* were also in my team but tell another story. No motivation or enthusiasm and unfocused are what best I can describe them. Earl comes to work as if he'd just gotten out of bed and goes through the motions of online teaching often distracted by his phone or another program on his computer. Rick on the other hand comes to work early and dresses properly but his bored tone and half-hearted interaction with his students turns his English lessons into lessons of endurance for the students and for me, the evaluator. It is no surprise then that both Earl and Rick consistently ranked the lowest in student satisfaction rating. I found out later Rick quit and pursued what he truly loves - being a medical professional. I have not heard from Earl but I hope he's improved or moved onto better things.
The Biggest Gap
I wish I could say that all people are Annas and Shirleys who've found what they truly love doing and are great at it.
According to a 2015 and 2016 Gallup poll out of the 1.4 billion adults who have good jobs, roughly 84% are disengaged at work.¹ That is a lot of unhappy and unfulfilled working people in the world!
There are various reasons people are disengaged at work: low pay and benefits, no other work opportunities, under-appreciation, no professional advancement, no challenge, trust issues with employer are some to name a few. Still, people choose to stay mainly because of financial reasons - bills don't get paid by themselves at the end of every month.
Can you imagine what it would be like if people actually did what they love or are passionate about?
The late Alan Rickman, famous for the role of Professor Severus Snape of the Harry Potter movies, did not really start out as an actor but was a graphic designer because it was to him the sensible thing to do. He could not fully turn his back on acting however so he left his business and pursued acting seriously. Rickman started off as a dresser for actors and later got a part in a stage play where he got noticed by the producer of the first Die Hard movie. He became the villain in that movie and later cinched various theater and film roles which led him to the Harry Potter series.
Victoria Beckham is now a famous fashion designer but many remember her as a former member of the girl group Spice Girls. When the group disbanded, Victoria set on a solo singing career which bombed. Music, as it turns out, was not her passion after all. She tried her hand in the fashion industry and after some unpleasant reviews still came out a winner becoming a famous and respected fashion designer in the world.
Go for it!
I personally know of other people who made a decision to pursue what they love doing and are truly happy doing. It's not all rosey though. There are many bumps on the road but they would say it's all worth it and would not go back to where they were before. I also did this a few years ago and followed my heart. It's not easy but my journey with all its highs and lows, twists and turns have given me peace knowing I am where I am supposed to be and doing what I am supposed to do.
Finally, a word from The Boss:
Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.
Colossians 3:23-25 The Message (MSG)
Lately, I've not been able to blog consistently as we've been dealing with my Papa's health issue. Thank God he is on the road to recovery now. Slowly but surely.
Next: Shifting Gears
¹Gallup, Inc. (2018, May 01). Real Global Unemployment Is 33%, Not 6%. Retrieved April 14, 2019, from https://news.gallup.com/opinion/gallup/233459/billion-worldwide-looking-great-jobs.aspx
*Not their real names