Sooooo I write with a tiny dash of frustration and a pinch of anger today as it finally occurred to me that even working my ass off does not necessarily mean that I will be valued for doing so. Basically, to put things into context, imagine you have a job that is officially described as a teacher, but after you took the job you realised you can not only teach but you can also counsel students and help to motivate them! Not only that but you introduce new learning schemes and the students respond positively to it all! So that’s what you do, you take on responsibilities beyond the mere surface of your role, because well, when there’s a chance to improve things, why wouldn’t you take it?!
Now imagine it comes to the end of your time as a teacher and the fellow teachers advertise your role: “Wanted: a teacher. Role invovles: teaching”. All those new schemes and extra things you did will, if you successor wishes, die out. What was the point then? Why bother doing all those extra things when no one recognises it and even belittles your role?!
That was genuinely how I felt when I saw a role of mine going up for election (because my term in office had finished!). I was quite hurt as I had introduced so many new things to the role that I thought of course this will be good for future years! This system will be so much more efficient! These documents will be very important come hand-over! But then it all came down to this laissez-faire attitude to my role.
HOWEVER. After some thinking I realised that WHO CARES if no one recognises what I did as a “teacher” (my role wasn’t actually a teacher), I bet those students who I helped appreciated it. And I know that they do from speaking to them all throughout the year. To anyone else it may seem like my role is not that important but to those I am helping it most certainly is. Why should I not do more, why should I settle for anything less than a role that satisfies me and helps others?
Recognition is great, but it is not all that matters. In life, I’m guessing, there will be boundless times when you do all the work but you get none of the credit – at the end of the day there is a saying in Chinese which essentially says
as long as, in your soul and through your honour you stand before yourself with a clear conscience, there is no wrong
I completely agree that you do things for yourself to acknowledge even when no one else does.
So HNTBALS says keep doing more than you need to, because that is what fulfils YOU!