Words by Clinton Barnes
You ever worked really hard and found it hasn't paid off? Of course you have. But could it be that maybe the reason it didn't pay off was because you worked hard?
We get told so many stories about what you need to do to be successful. So it's interesting when you hear a story that completely contradicts that and shows those paths up for what they are: just one person’s experience.
A tradie I know well was talking about pay. He’s never asked for a raise but has gotten plenty. I assumed he threatened to quit as a bargaining tactic because he's worked at a fair few shops. But it was something else. He said it always happens when he does less work.
Things start off innocently enough. At a new job, he brings passion and hope. He enjoys seeing what was once a mangled wrecked of a car roll out freshly painted like new candy. He does whatever hours to make sure customers get their car on time and the service they deserve. But eventually, the grind of dysfunctional workplaces get to him.
He’s frustrated by the lack of support from co-workers. Management asks him to cut corners. The work's unchallenging. Usual things that happen a the honeymoon of a new job.
With all this, he does less work. Not intentionally, that's just his response. And he doesn't try to hide it. It’s at this point he's been offered pay rises.
Maybe he wasn't paid enough to begin with. Or maybe they were offering him rises for other reasons. But there’s been a reliable consistency to this pattern. And the intention behind the offer was clear: we want you more engaged and we don't want you to leave.
His experience has taught him that showing what you're capable of, then doing less of it, is a way to get noticed.
Not a lesson we’re ever told when we enter adult life. But wouldn't it have been useful to hear this as one possible way to getting more pay?