A co-worker called me a “Yes Man” today.
The term yes man is typically used for an employee who agrees with every statement of his or her employer. Some synonyms of yes man are flunky, stooge, suck-up, kiss-ass, and sycophant; all of which have pejorative connotations. Such a person may also be referred to as a lapdog. – from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yes_man
I didn’t disagree with him but it got me thinking…I DO do things that help my team/department at the cost of my personal time or needs. I don’t volunteer to stay late but will if they ask. Today, I didn’t go for lunch, even though I was starving, because someone asked me to jump in an impromptu meeting. This person even asked if he should reschedule, feeling bad to dump the task and responsibility on me but I said it was okay, even when it really wasn’t (I was really hungry!).
Throughout my professional life, I have been called a kiss ass. In my third work term, my co-worker (another UWaterloo co-op) called me a “brown nose”. I took quite a bit of offense…but you know, it’s true.
I realize that professionally, I’m very selfless. I often stay late, finishing up other people’s work because I can do it faster (and better) than they can – it makes sense on an efficiency and personal pride level. I’d rather do something myself and do it right than have to explain it. I’m extremely reliable (yes, you read that right, extremely reliable) and often called “the one who catches others when they fall”. It’s all part of my professional self, “Work Warren”. Work Warren is organized, courteous, hard working, considerate, reliable. Though he gets distracted easily…cuz some things I can’t change.
Part of this high standard of professional work is actually an individual trait: personal pride and individual ego. Pride in the work I do, pride in doing this well and/or better than others.
What’s interesting is that individually, and outside of work, I’m very selfish. I rarely do things I don’t want to do. “F*ck everyone else, I’m looking out for me. Everyone else can take care of themselves.” I will avoid doing “nice gestures”, driving people around, offering rides, etc. if there’s no benefit to me or if it takes me out of my way. I will donate to a charity not because it’s the right thing to do or because I believe in any cause, but because I don’t want to look like the selfish person I am – in that sense, everyone wins :D I’ve said it before but if I really lived my selfish life the way I want, I would lose almost everything. I would much rather sacrifice a bit of selfishness and be a little selfless to overall live a better life. Just the same, I would rather sacrifice part of my life working to overall live a better life. Doing everything you want in life will result in failure. You have to do stuff you don’t want to do to achieve long term happiness.
“Very selfless professionally. Very selfish individually.”
While thinking of this post, I kept repeating those words in my head. It actually works out pretty well for me. Except that I stay late which interferes with personal time. In that sense, I (surprisingly) put professional career above personal life. Which all leads to my realization that I’m ambitious and want to be successful in my professional career, even at the cost of myself.
I don’t know if others see me as professionally ambitious but I’m really surprised to realize that I am. I would say I’m not, probably even think it…..but subconsciously, I really am.