Rule 70: Happiness in the workplace

rule of 70

Rule 70. Just over three years ago, I graduated from college and was ready to start my career with a job that was supposed to start in a week. Taking my first official step into the oft-discussed “real world”, I had so many thoughts about what it would be like. I was eager to apply my degree in marketing and devote my time to solving strategic challenges for brands.

Rule 70

Applying for a job at an agency

When I came to work at the agency, I imagined days filled with brainstorming sessions, whiteboards, presentations, creative meetings, and breaking down barrels at 4:00 pm.

I wanted everything and was ready for anything.

I soon realized that everything I imagined was a fantasy. Of course, I participated in brainstorming sessions, presentations, creative meetings, and sometimes on Fridays we opened a glass of beer to end the day, but it was all overshadowed by preparing contracts, proofreading copies of websites, creating presentations in PowerPoint (oh, Powerpoint, how I hate e.), completing project paperwork, reporting, and status calls — Oh my God, status calls.

After about 6 months, I realized something: I was really happy.

Fake job but was happy

I had to do a lot of fictitious work, but at the end of the day I still went home saying that I liked my job.

Meanwhile, I had friends and professional connections in other companies living off their kegs, ping-pong tables, Mario Kart, creative meetings where you can write with a marker on the walls, and crazy walks with clients. They had the life that I hoped for, but they went home saying that their work is enjoyable, but in general everything is fine.

Just around the 6 month mark, I was working late into the night drafting a bearish contract. I didn’t finish until midnight and had to be back at the office by 7:00 the next morning if I needed enough hours to do the rest. When I hit my pillow that night, I felt good. It amazed me that not once during the drafting of the contract, which I despised so much, did I say to myself: “WHY AM I DOING THIS ?!”

I didn’t have the glamorous agency life I envisioned in college, and I did more work that annoyed me than not. However, I was still smiling and the people I knew who had glamorous agency lives and did all the fun work didn’t.

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH ME? Was I addicted to work? Did I rejoice in hardship and inability to see my visions come to fruition?

70% rule

Rule 70

It wasn’t any of those things. There was something else about the game that brought a smile to my face. what I call the 70% rule.

I went to my new job thinking I would always do cool stuff 100% of the time. This has never happened and never has. The functional parts of our work that we embellish – the things we love to do – we can’t do 100% of the time. In fact, we don’t even do them 50% of the time. The truth is that we probably never go over 30%. There are always administrative tasks to complete, paperwork to fill out, and “stuff” that gets put on our plate and takes up about 70% of our work.

So if our ideal functional job is only 30% and everything else is 70%, there must be something that strikes a balance to make us happy at work.

This Balance Comes From Two Things:

1) Do you like who you work with?

2) Are you getting the respect you think you deserve?

If you don’t like your co-workers, it’s very hard to be happy even if you spend 40 hours a week with them.

Respect Comes in Many Forms:

  • Do you understand your role in the company and how you influence its success?

  • Is there a clear career path and opportunities to achieve it?

  • Are your team members taking care of you?

  • Is your boss your company advocate and does he/she help you grow?

  • Are you adequately compensated?

  • Are you being challenged?

  • Do you have the right to express your opinion and share ideas?

  • Are there people in the company that you can trust and who can trust you?

  • Are you allowed to be yourself?

  • Is your work appreciated by others?

  • Do you receive praise for a job well done, and is that praise publicly acknowledged?

  • Can you be yourself without worrying if it’s a problem?

  • Do you feel like you are part of something?

  • Are you receiving appropriate HR benefits and time off?

Now I wonder when people tell me their company is great because they have a Ms coffee table in their break room. Pac man. When I hear this, I know I won’t be surprised to see them looking for a new job in a year.

Video games, a never-ending supply of beer, and table tennis are all temporary pastimes, and often mask disrespect. Reaching level 5 in an arcade game during a break will go so far that you’ll get frustrated at making $10,000 less than you want and have no idea if you’ll get promoted on your next review.

Enjoying your colleagues and being respected is what really matters to a person. That’s why I was happy to work on a contract at midnight, email it to a client and write: “Hey, I know it’s very late, but I can discuss this with you if you have 15 minutes to spare right now “.

With only 30% of perfect functional work, the remaining 70% of extra work should be related to the sympathy for colleagues and the respect that you think you deserve.

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