By Younas Chaudhary
At age 13, I would bring milk and vegetables from my village to our home in the city. Starting early in the morning, this 10-mile round trip bike ride on dirt roads would take me about an hour and a half and I would be back home by noon. I was not paid for this work as it was part of my duty to my family. Such daily routines developed a lifelong, good work ethic focused on punctuality, diligence, consistency, and discipline.
Within two weeks after immigrating to Edmonton, Canada, in November 1973, I got my first paid job as a welder’s assistant. Later, after moving to the US, the pace of my work and my relationship with it changed dramatically. I was eager to grow my businesses, leasing oil and gas lands and buying oil wells. Here, I would lease land from local farmers in Kansas, drill-rework oil wells, and produce oil from them. Soon, I had several oil leases and this required a lot of hustling.
On most days, I worked from dawn to dusk learning the tricks of the trade by working with oilfield pumpers and roustabouts, who would help me figure out how to produce oil wells more efficiently. It was not an easy time. In my early days in Kansas, I slept at nights on the ground of a room with a slanted floor, so by morning I would have rolled to the other side of the room!
Despite my hectic schedule, I always stayed close with my family in Canada. I would work about three weeks in Chanute, then travel back to Edmonton to spend a week with my family. My wife was very supportive of the business, and she knew that my work would change the trajectory of our family’s future. She always encouraged me to work harder. I would not have reached where I am today without her positive support, prayers, and sacrifices.
In our current world, still reeling under COVID-19, people’s view of work has changed dramatically. Over the last 24 months, the meaning of work, it’s relevance to a person’s life, and the way work is done have gone through a major transformation.
People have changed companies, they are making career changes much faster than before, and their priorities about work have changed. Work is definitely something that a person does because of his or her interests, the need for money, better future ahead and to provide for the family. I believe passion in doing a particular job is critical.
Work should not be the only motivation in one’s life. It must compliment family life, personal time, and your health. Today, remote work is encouraged and in some companies, it has become the norm. Now, business trips can be replaced by Zoom and social media plays an important role in how business is done across various industries. Folks working from home have the ability to increase productivity while spending more time with family.
In my case, technology and remote work have helped me become efficient, be able to do multi-tasking, more productive and have allowed me to spend more quality time assisting my wife’s day-to-day needs and to work with her caregivers. I believe if we can allocate our time efficiently and work smart, we can do more things in less time. Blessings.