The Anxiety of Salary Day

Salary increment day is always nerve-wrecking, because the anticipation would be replaced with joy, relieve or despair thereafter.

Last Friday, our HR handed us a copy of our increment letter. On the white envelope writes “private and confidential”. On one hand, I wanted to tear open the envelope and immediately know what’s the outcome. On the other hand, I can’t face up to the reality. What if the increment wasn’t up to my expectation? (which is pretty low, to be honest. I make it a point not to pin too much hope on them). Internally struggling and eternally conflicting, I thought it would be wiser to open it up at home. At least I can down a beer to celebrate or down the sorrow, whichever the outcome.

Well, as it turned out, there’s nothing to cheer about. It’s the same amount as the previous year’s. It made me disgusted, because I felt the quality of work didn’t justify this. For good or worse, promotion and salary increment is a tangible aspect to make employees feel wanted and motivated. How can one feel good if all the hard work being put in throughout the year doesn’t translate into recognition by the bosses, and being rewarded accordingly.

We are defined by our work. We spend more than half of our waking hours working. Work gives us routine. Work gives us money. Money to spend outside work to pursue what truly interests us.

There’s three categories what it comes to work – job, career and calling. Job is doing something in return for money. Career is defined not just by salary. It’s also moving up the ladder and the kind of pride, social status and power that comes with the new title. Calling is entirely a different thing. Calling is something that gives us a sense of purpose, the reason you’re here on earth for. Work is no longer work as it’s something you love doing. You don’t work for financial gain but for self-fulfillment.

I have always longed to start a branding studio. Good brand tells a story and inspires its customers. Brand is a promise. Brands intruige me and I would love to translate this passion into a calling.

It made me deeply dissapointed and depressed when I thought about how the bosses rate me. The pasture may not be greener on the other side, but if we don’t venture out, we may never know what’s on the other side.