In last Sunday’s episode of Mad Men, Peggy Olson complained to Don Draper that he never thanks her for all her hard work. He told her that he doesn’t have to thank her, he pays her.
There’s only one reason to work if you don’t need to work for the money: because it makes you feel good. There are a lot of ways a job can make you feel good, whether it’s a paid job or a volunteer job. In the case of my new consulting gig, I feel good because I feel like I’m bringing a lot of value to the organization. The way I know that I am bringing value to the organization is that my new bosses constantly tell me how much value I am bringing to the organization.
In most employer-employee relationships, the employee has to work in order to do things like eat and pay the mortgage. Perhaps it is this dynamic that makes most employers act the way that Don Draper does, like a paycheck is all the appreciation they need to express.
Last week when I went into the office for a meeting, I was greeted with a bottle of gin, a bottle of wine, and a warm thank you note. My new bosses are very nice people, I’m sure they would be as nice to someone that actually did need to work in order to eat and pay the mortgage. But since my motivation has a lot less to do with money than feeling good about what I do, I feel extremely lucky to have landed in this particular gig.
This is a post from Retirement: A Full-Time Job