Young people entering the work force have a decision to make: They must choose to follow Melissa or to follow Devin.

 Who is Melissa?

Melissa does just enough work not to get fired.

She loves the career “influencers” who advocate for doing the minimal amount of work possible, but nothing more. She practices Quiet Quitting and Bare Minimum Mondays. She never works overtime. She’s always texting her friends at work. Melissa likes remote jobs, where she can “log on” while she exercises, shops, or scrolls. She likes to take leisurely lunches to walk her dog and always attends yoga in the park on Tuesday mornings. She has a Lazy Girl Job.

Who is Devin?

Devin works in Delta Sky Club in Atlanta.

He approached me after I sat down with my breakfast yesterday and asked if he could get me a drink. When he returned a few minutes later with my hot tea, he extended his hand with a smile and introduced himself. He said if there was anything else he could do for me, it would be his pleasure. I watched him for several minutes as he walked around interacting with other patrons and offering the same exceptional service. When I got up to leave, he said he hoped I would look for him the next time I was there, and he hoped he had the opportunity to serve me again.

Devin told me that he took pride in his work, and it showed. Before I left, I overheard another traveler tell a manager that Devin was one of the best customer service professionals she’d ever met.

 Who do you think gets ahead in today’s competitive work environment?

Who gets the company award, who is offered a promotion, a raise, a bonus?

Who finds more satisfaction and joy in their life?

Now, truthfully, the choice between Melissa and Devin has always been there. I remember as a teenager when working at a grocery store – Publix Super Market, that a few of my co-workers would use the phrase “drag it out” – the term they used for making a job last longer than it should have. Those who were diligent and worked extra hard were told by their peers to stop as it made them look bad.

Putting self-care or slow work over hard work and dedication might result in more late morning coffees with friends and yoga breaks during the workday, but it sure isn’t impressing your boss and advancing your career. I advocate for pausing for a reset but not overdoing it! While not all young people are like Melissa today, there are enough of them in the work force to make those who work like Devin really stand out.

Who will you choose to be at work?

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