Why do you go to work? For a post-20 and almost post-college kids, the question is very relatable. The kids will answer to this kind of question in variations. The answers may vary from money, family, life, experiences, stability and a lot of other things.
If anyone asks me what my passion is and where is exactly do I want to work, I will certainly become dumbfounded, for I actually have no certainty on where I want to work. I want to said to myself that I go to work to pursue happiness and experiences, but at the same time I am taken aback by my incessant desire of having a job that will pay me a good amount of money. I contradict myself because for a split of second that happened frequently, I actually do not care for happiness as long as I have a lot of money. For a split of second that happened when I went home cramped in TransJakarta, I actually want to become wealthy with a car and a driver rather than spending all my twenties being cramped in a lousy public transportation.
And then I started my first real job, an internship program at GEPI (Global Entrepreneurship Program Indonesia), a Non-Profit Organization with funding from United States. I have zero interest in entrepreneurship, but nevertheless I still applied because there’s something that attracted me from their job vacancy announcement. It was this line that said: aims to catalyse Indonesia’s entrepreneurship strategies by working collaboratively with existing programs and linking aspiring Indonesian entrepreneurs to global developments and investment prospects. What is so special about catalysing entrepreneurship in Indonesia you might ask. What attracted me so much from that line?
The answer is: entrepreneurship could certainly contribute to socioeconomic development. That’s what I thought at that time. I might not be able to define my passion yet, but I can tell that I have a fascination with socioeconomic development. So off I go to apply for the internship and I got in,
And it has been absolutely wonderful experiences. Thank you dear God.
Aside from my lack of interest in entrepreneurship, I actually feel like i ‘m am making an impact and it feels pretty darn good. Nicko Widjaja, one of the entrepreneur that I met during one of GEPI’s event told me that there’re a red pill and a blue pill in everything you choose and if you choose the red pill, it will give you a higher consciousness. This internship is definitely a red pill that awakened me. I immediately feel sure about what I want in my career: I want to make an impact in socioeconomic development of Indonesia. I become sort of awakened that every job that I will take from now, should become a path to my career.
Rene Suhardono in his excellent book about career said your job is not your career. If career is situated on the top of a mountain, a job is only a path to climb to the top of a mountain. Job is only a vehicle that can take us to a place we want, it’s temporary and it’s not yours. But your career? Your career is yours, you decide your career. Career is your dream, your aspiration that could fill the emptiness in your longing heart, it is what make you happy and sufficient in life. Career is about your value and how you wish to be remembered. So I make a little note to myself: don’t just accept a job, accept a job that will suit your career.
Choose the way that will take you to the top of mountain.
GEPI is the job now, but I am glad that I accepted it because it is a job that will certainly help me to set up my career. Job is a path to develop personally and profesionally and I’ve been granted that opportunities while working in GEPI. I treasured GEPI for really involving the interns to do a real practical job and for expanding our networks where we could see people with really great ideas of Indonesia’s development through entrepreneurship.
Making a real impact on socioeconomic development of Indonesia. This is the reason why i work. I haven’t found the exact right path to the top of the mountain yet, but at least now I have found a motivation to keep on going. I have found the personal guidance that I hold dear when choosing the path to the top of the mountain.
So, why do you go to work?
“Live a life guided by passion. Don’t chase money, chase excellence” – Jeff Hoffman, Ex – CEO of Priceline.com and former CEO of ColorJar.