Creating a Little Love
Much attention in the world of employment tends to focus on skill building. This is essential to your ability to obtain a job and will impact your ability to maintain and sustain employment; however, during this month of “love” let us focus instead on the role of values in the workplace. I promise not to descend into ballads.
Values associated with love include: care, kindness, truth, dedication, selflessness, sharing, and thoughtfulness. For some the connection to work is crystal clear. Truth, for example, does not go unnoticed and perhaps more importantly its reverse will promptly close doors, both immediate and future (read references) and being careless on the job can result in injury or demotion. For others it may feel like a bit of stretch or even too rosy, but connecting these values to work does highlight the power within each of us to transform our every days… to be happier, more satisfied, and developing even if work is simply a means to an end.
Love Your Job: People who feel passionate about their job are able to find meaning behind their work and often are accordingly praised. This doesn’t mean they have a better job. It simply means that they see their role as valuable and contributing to something important. This something important is made better because they are a part of it.
A simple exercise is to take a step back to think about how your role fits into a much larger picture. Taking a step back in times that feel without glory or as if you’ve hit a dead-end can illuminate how your current job has a broader purpose. This could include anything from providing financial security for your family, to the growth of our community through business development, or contributing positively toward another’s day. For those who are skeptics in love, this is huge in our current labour market where we tend not to start in our dream job, but rather build toward it.
Love Your Boss: Be a welcome change from the norm by spending some time thinking about how you can support the success of your boss or the business (and then follow through). These types of employees who focus outwardly on success are valued team players who help raise the boat for all. Yes it can be hard to shift away from a position of “me.” We all have frustrations in the workplace and this is not to be diminished or ignored; however, over time I have found that I develop personally and professionally at a much faster rate when I act from a position of “we.” Actions do not need to be monumental. At times it can even simply be a more patient and thoughtful internal dialogue on what I see happening (or not) at work.
A simple exercise, perhaps for those hard moments, is to imagine your boss as a duck on the water… apparently calm on the surface, but furiously paddling away. I appreciate my boss’ ability to stay calm through rough waters and I understand that behind the scenes (be it yesterday or today) there is much taking place to ensure that I have a job to come back to tomorrow and something to occupy my time in the day.
Love Your Co-Workers: One person in a workplace can impact your job satisfaction and your success. One person can make each day’s activities bearable or unbearable. Be that person who makes each day more than bearable.
Love Yourself: How we care and treat ourselves has a direct impact on how we relate to others and move throughout our days. You have surely heard the saying that you can only receive respect if you respect yourself first. Be here in the now and present, enjoy each moment, put in as much as you expect to get out, and dedicate yourself toward your future.
Indeed, more often than not, it isn’t the day to day activities of what you do on the job that makes it bearable, and more often than not, it isn’t the tasks you accomplish at work that makes your performance satisfactory. Succeeding at work is very much about your relationships with work, your boss, your co-workers, and yourself.