Are you Working OR Employed?

For the next couple of weeks I’d like you to ask yourself if you are working OR employed?  Stop for a moment and ask what some have said is a tricky question and be honest with yourself.  No one else is listening, and the only one that needs to understand the difference is you.

I was asked this question myself, and at first I thought they were asking if I was self-employed or working for a company, and then it hit me that being employed doesn’t necessarily mean you are working, and working doesn’t necessarily mean you are employed by someone.

Being employed means that someone else is paying you to work.  Even being self-employed means that you are paying yourself to work.  But can you be employed and not work?  Sure you can, it happens all the time!  Look around your own work environment and you will spot many who are not working, getting a paycheck and are employed.

I’ve even watched independent contractors that are being paid by the hour to work on a project that don’t work the whole hour.  They are not full-time employees, but they are being compensated to work.

I define working as productive activities that lead to results.  Others say that working is being busy and that productivity is not in the equation. (You know a few of these folks too don’t you?)

To avoid just being busy, and to be more productive, we must be working on tasks that move us along toward agreed upon goals.  We must be accomplishing those goals, and performing the activities our employers are paying money to us to perform.  Meetings that don’t produce outcomes are not activities that I call work, but more busy time.  Chatting with people about things outside of your scope and focus is obviously not working, but a waste of time for both of you.  When you remove other tasks like personal calls, emails and texts from your day, which again are not working activities, how much is left you can count as working?

While there are more people employed in this country right now than unemployed, I shudder at ever knowing the true percentage of people who are working.  It is a pretty sad state when the unemployed maybe working harder to get a job than those that are already employed.

Think about the question, and let me know your thoughts……………


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