Monday, October 29, 2007

Work Is Not A Four Letter Word

When you first meet someone, part of your conversation will generally drift into the subject area of what you both do for a living. The work that you do is perhaps the most important trait that describes who you are. The vast majority of people may well recoil from that statement. You will hear a lot of things that people think is a description of them. I am the father of three children, we live at 2314 Terrace Rd with my wife Jill, I drive a Cadillac Seville. One day, Jill files for a divorce, they no longer live together, he loses custody of his children and the house, and he can no longer afford the Seville.

Personal identifiers that tend to stick with us are the skills we develop for ourselves. When you first start off in school, your teachers and a lot of the testing is oriented at finding out what talents you have. It takes a lot of work and discipline to develop real skills, like real math skills, or critical thinking skills. One of the tragedies that happens is that some kids find school too easy, and never learn good study skills. Not everyone actually fully develops their talent and uses what they have available to them for a variety of reasons. A lack of opportunity, the kid who goes to work at sixteen or younger because of the death of a parent, lots of things can get in the way of someone not getting to either develop nor live up to their potential. Some folks simply don't make the effort, and it does involve taking risks, getting out of your comfort zone, so to speak.



The guy above is Abraham Maslow, the Psychologist that many people have heard of but most people never read. His work has been re-written, summarized, and made easier by so many people that it is astonishing. One author re-wrote Maslow for the entire business community telling them that needs were satisfied in the hierarchy like filling a bucket with water. Food, sex, etc are level 1 needs. Would all of you who have either eaten enough for the rest of your life, and/or had enough sex for the rest of your life please let the rest of us know in the comments below. I trust I have made my point. To be a bit more precise, the first three levels, I'm going to call the third level Social, which is how I learned it, recur as needs a lot. They are maintenance needs.



If you read Herzberg's "Motivator Hygiene Theory" he calls the first three levels of Maslow's Hierarchy Hygiene needs, and he hopes that people get to wallow in hygiene. The top two level of the hierarchy, Self-Esteem and Self-Actualization are called Motivators by Herzberg. You can go all the way back to Kennedy's work at Harvard in the late 50's where he describes the Motives of Human Beings as affiliation (being with others), power (affecting what others do), and achievement (taking in risk and anxiety and reducing it). A lot of technical talk that correspond to affiliation and power being level 3 skills, and achievement being a level 4 skill, on the other side of the dividing line. In other words, you need to risk to achieve. It's the easiest trait to condition OUT of human beings, taking risks, so achievement is the hardest thing to get from a lot of people. Others, get hooked on the Kool Aid of Achievement. Those Nobel winning professors in research universities teach that one course because they have to, not because they want to do it. They are hooked on research at the riskiest level, big time University level research. It's not for the faint of heart.

I have said a lot, and I may have lost a lot of you. I gave you a lot of psychological underpinnings to understand a situation that has really bothered me a lot for quite a while. I retired October 15, 1999 at a pretty early age. The market fell apart in the year 2000 while I was in Alaska, and really self-destructed in 2001. In my field, I had been gone too long to get back in. I was technologically obsolete.And then I started getting the age thing. And I realized that I wasn't as happy as I could be. Some one I found quite by accident, who is now on the blogroll, Skinny Little Blond, wrote a post last Friday called "Do Whatever You Want" which is one of the best existential stories I have ever read. And, she's a lot easier to read than Sartre, besides, Sartre's characters always seem to rush towards anxiety. But, I digress. I have sent several thousand resumes and applied to more positions than I care to admit. I have been trying to get a business started in a slowing economy. I have made a small living trading in the markets.

Last Monday, my broker walked up to the house, with the broken driveway, walkway, and garage floor, and he offered me a partnership in his new firm. He was in the top 10 at Morgen Stanley and he left to form a Wealth Management practice. He could have had any of the brokers at his old firm, or a lot of other firms, plus the support staff he had at Morgen. He picked me. He didn't even have my resume. He has known me since 1988. I am the second person in the firm. I have my keys already, tomorrow, I have to be fingerprinted, and cleared legally and financially. Neither will be a problem. I get to work with the Raymond James Trading Systems, and the first time I saw them, my mouth dropped open. I have so much to do......

I intend to publish as time permits. But suddenly, I have Level 4 and 5 needs that have been suffering, to attend to, so I'm going to go to sleep now so I can get up early and go to work!!!! More later!

17 comments:

Echomouse said...

{HUG}

Odat said...

Hey you, congratulations!!!!
Give me some inside info! hehe.
Best wishes....you deserve it and you'll do great!
Peace

WanderingGirl said...

Well, dust off the work shoes and get back to the rat race! Congrats on landing such a prestigious partnership. I hope you love it as much as they'll love you.

AmyTree said...

Wow, congratulations!!! What a very interesting turn of events - and you sound very excited!

My Reflecting Pool said...

Wonderful news!!! Nothing wrong with getting a little satisfaction. And nothing seems to bring that on more then when you are needed, you are producing and you are getting paid. Nice work!

Nosjunkie said...

god I hate to say this but I am one of those sickos who measures my self worth on how much money I make it keeps me motivated

cmhl said...

that is fantastic news, ceo. I am thrilled for you.

Everyone deserves a brand new start--- and here you go!

Lee said...

Congrats Monty! I hope this job brings you great joy!

Claudia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Open Grove Claudia said...

Heya! That's very exciting! You must feel so validated. I hope you are able to reach those higher goals while continuing to attend to the lower. There are so many people who are healthy financially and unhealthy physically.

I love the "Roads to Freedom" series but I agree that Mathieu is anxious. Between you and me, I think Sartre had bad PTSD and all his characters reflect that. But that's just me. Camus doesn't seem to have it as bad. It would be interesting to figure why one does and the other doesn't since they were in the same concentration camp.

Shibari said...

Hello Luv..
Just wanted you to know that I was thinking about you... :)

Claudia said...

Congratulations!! that's really wonderful news!! finally!!!

Glamourpuss said...

Thought provoking stuff. I've regressed to Level 2 in the hierarchy, which is a cause of some chagrin for me. Sigh. Anyway, fantastic news re the partnership!

Hoorah!

Puss

Wicked H said...

Way to go Monty!!

A toast to you, Clink!!

Get out your shades, the future is so very bright!

Crankster said...

Congrats, Monty!!!

I couldn't be happier for you. Let us know how it goes!!!!

Fantastic news!!

Alison said...

Congratulations!

Mrs4444 said...

First of all, I'm happy for you. You seem like a decent guy, deserving of this good kharma. Second, I enjoyed your philosophizing and recommendations in this post. It is good for me to look at Maslow's Hierarchy again as it pertains to my middle school students who suffer with emotional/behavioral disabilities. My student this year are lucky to have the first two stages more or less accomplished. I'm not sure what will happen with the rest. Hopefully, I'm influencing their futures in some small way. I hope the job is going well...