Sometimes the little reminders of why you do your job come just when you need them. Like Wednesday when I got a package from APEGBC (the Engineer's governing body in BC). In it was a bunch of registration related paperwork, and a little card with the Code of Ethics on it. We're held to a high standard of professional conduct in our work, we do more than just number crunching. It's one of the reasons why I feel good about when I do for a living. Despite the inevitable ups and downs, I can sleep well knowing that I'm working toward helping people as a whole.
Now that I'm done with that little sap story, I'll get back to the card. They break the code down into 10 easily manageable bites:
- Public Interest
- Know Your Limits
- Don't Fake It
- Conflict of Interest
- Respect Your Value
- Lifelong Learning
- Do Unto Others
- Stand Your Ground
- Be Brave
- Spread The Word
The 10 ideas, in their most basic form, can be applied to the concepts of personal finance and frugality, as well as to my work. Think about it:
- Public Interest - Reducing energy consumption, keeping excess "stuff" out of landfills, growing our own vegetables and not wasting the things we purchase... These not only help ourselves, but are in the interests of the community as a whole. Think of more than just self gratification.
- Know Your Limits - Besides the obvious example of credit limits? How about transaction limits? Or drink limits? Or stress limits? Or the limit of your budget? How far can you go before you lose control, whether it be financially or otherwise? Recognizing your limits, and working within them, is crucial to success in all walks of life.
- Don't Fake It - You've got it made. You're out in the work world, you're an adult, you should look the part right? High end clothes, condo downtown, brand new car, eating out every night at restaurants, international holidays.... Or should you? The short answer, if you can't afford it in cash after you've stashed some away, is no. Don't fake it.
- Conflict of Interest - How does your financial advisor get paid? Do you pay them up front? No? Well they're making money off you somewhere, make sure you know how. Otherwise you'll never know if that awesome fund they're recommending is great for your account... or theirs.
- Respect Your Value - You work hard for your money, shouldn't your pay check reflect that? Know what you're worth, and go for it. If your employer isn't paying you what you're worth, they may not respect your value. Show them they're wrong, and get the pay check you deserve.
- Lifelong Learning - You are never too old or young to learn a new skill. No one in today's job market can afford to stay stationary and rely on "how things have always been done". Get out there and sponge up every new skill and piece of knowledge you can. You never know when it will come in handy.
- Do Unto Others - Be good to others, and they will be good to you. This piece of advice has come in handy more times than I can count.
- Stand Your Ground - Store not honouring their return policy? Someone wants to drive after having a few too many? Credit card trying to charge you unreasonable fees? Dealing with a bully? Stand your ground. If you don't, there may not be someone else there to do it for you.
- Be Brave - Whether it's going back to school, starting a new job, or *gulp* going without a job, change is scary. Be brave, you'll make it through.
- Spread The Word - As all of my fellow PF and lifestyle bloggers are doing, spread the word. You never know if that little nugget of advice you take for granted could be the switch that helps someone and finally sends them in a positive direction. Whether it's a savings tip, an explanation of confusing financal jargon, a cheap dinner recipe, or just a way to deal with stress, you never know who you might help. Likewise, you never know when someone might just reach out and help you.
Who knew work could be so applicable?