Someone Else

[Article reprinted with permission from Vocation Works!]

We need to bring prayer back to the workplace. We need people of faith at work in our society today! One of the reasons we need to bring prayer and faith back to work is because, over the years, our workforce has shifted to the point that it is now driven by “someone else.”

WHAT IT MEANS …

“Someone else?” you might ask. “What does that mean?”

Think about it for just a minute. It’s gotten to be like the person in the car ahead of you on the highway who throws a cup or a bag or a cigarette butt out of the window of their vehicle. What were they thinking? Who did they think would contend with that later? Who’s yard would it end up in? Who would have to pick it up? You’re exactly right — someone else!

THE HEART OF THE MATTER …

It’s all about someone else in today’s workplace. As long as you’re going to work (which is pretty much the rest of your life), there will be some things that just don’t go your way! In today’s workforce, however, who’s fault is it when that happens? It’s someone else’s? Anyone else but you!

  • When you don’t get the job you had really wanted, who’s fault was that? Someone else’s.
  • When you don’t get the promotion you had hoped for … or the office you had really been coveting … or the vacation schedule this year you had most desired, who was responsible for that? Someone else!
  • When your company is working on a big project and the costs start skyrocketing, causing the customer to ask uncomfortable questions and putting the whole contract at risk, who’s fault is that? Exactly! Someone else’s!

THE TWO WORK GROUPS …

The truth is, in today’s workforce you have two main groups. They are the “Employer Group” (employers) and the “Workforce Group” (workers). These two groups share an important value in common, though most would never readily admit it. They both value “someone else.”

THE EMPLOYER GROUP …

The employers are the people who own or control capital (money). They’re willing to trade their money (at least, some of it) to people in exchange for skills and the time necessary to accomplish whatever it is they want to accomplish. Employers also hold the keys to other benefits (like vacation, retirement, and some types of insurance) that workers want. These benefits are like enticements for people who have skills and time to give (sell to) employers.

From the employers’ perspective, while workers are valuable, it’s really skills and time they want to buy. They don’t buy people (the workforce). So, to the extent that someone else also has those skills and time, the employer is in the driver’s seat. And it’s just not wise for the employer to give all the company’s money away to the workers because the company might need some of that money for other things (like new facilities, marketing to new customers, paying investors a profit for their investments, and other stuff like that).

For the employer, there’s a limit. When it comes to the workers (the workforce), they’re really willing to pay only enough money so their workers will continue to trade skills and time with them instead of going down the street (or to another community) to work for someone else.

THE WORKER GROUP …

The workers, on the other hand, are people who own valued skills and the time necessary to help an employer stay in business. The workers are the ones who are willing to exchange their skills and the time of their lives (which is not endless) for some of the employer’s money and other benefits.

From the workers’ perspective, it’s all about living. It’s a life and death proposition, in a way. The worker needs money to pay for rent and utilities. Workers also need money for food and clothing. And they need money for other things that aren’t essential to life, but that make life more comfortable or more pleasing to live (televisions, new cars, and other stuff like that). But while the worker is willing to trade skills and time for money, they want to live — so they don’t want to exchange all their time for money or there’s no point in working in the first place.

Like the employer, there’s a limit for the worker too. The worker is willing to do just enough so the employer won’t decide to replace them with someone else who has similar skills and some time on his (her) hands.

EXCHANGE THEORY …

It’s all about an exchange. The employers want something the workers have. And the workers want something the employers have. Both are interested in what the other can offer. But each has a primary interest in their own purpose for being in the game (the marketplace) in the first place. So they make the exchange.

THE INDEPENDENT VARIABLE …

The true power holder in the equation is “someone else.” As long as the worker can go to work for someone else, the employer has to keep stepping up to the plate to meet the needs of the workforce. And as long as the employer can replace the worker with “someone else,” the worker has to keep upping his (her) game too. The independent variable is always someone else.

For an employer to truly become special, powerful, or important in the marketplace, he (she) has to become the someone else that attracts the good workers. And in order for the worker to truly become secure in getting the money and other benefits they need in life, they have to become the someone else that employers are always looking for too!

PRAYER@WORK …

Nothing of lasting value, however, is ever accomplished by an employer or a worker who is someone else. Good employers and good workers make communities and societies great. The good stuff in the world is always done by good people on both sides of the equation who are willing to step up to the plate. But that also means that there are people who push beyond their own personal needs and look for the good of everyone involved.

Pushing beyond your own needs is not natural! There’s something very special about it. It’s beyond the ordinary! That’s why we need praying people in the workplace. That’s why the workforce and its employers ought to be people of faith. It takes faith and prayer to move beyond yourself to the good of others.

Who do you want to be today? What do you want for your life to become? What do you want for your community? What do you want to leave behind as your legacy? Someone else will not determine that for you — you decide that!

Pray about it! Blessings!