Office work and acting

Things get much more interesting if we think of ourselves as actors.

Something I’ve learnt is that people probably aren’t going to go above and beyond for you. But if you practice confidence and you make yourself visible you’re more likely to get your needs met.

It’s like actors in a show. The main character will always get more attention than the one that just plays a minor role. And in the workplace you get to choose which role you play.

Of course it’s not easy putting yourself in the main role whereas it’s as easy as cherry pie to take the role of a background character.

When you play in the background there’s little expectation, you don’t get much attention and if you don’t show up nobody cares.

So, what happens when the background character wants more responsibility and the opportunity to show up and actually do something that matters, like a main character.

Turns out you can’t have it both ways.

Job satisfaction

Let’s delve into a topic that matters. But first cue the music *plays satisfaction by the rolling stones*.

If someone asked the question of what would make you happier in your current job, what would you say?

If the answer is more money, think again, think about the job itself.

Some possible answers could be:
To be less stressed
Work less hours
To feel more connected to the people you work with
To work on more interesting projects
To learn a software or a new skill
To have a manager that’s helpful
To feel heard
To be recognised for the work you do
To feel valued

Some of these could probably apply to life in general and I’m guessing the same could be said for whatever is on your list too.

A lot of us settle when it comes to what we do for a living then get surprised that we’re unsatisfied.

If you decided to work in healthcare because you were taught it was a good stable job and you got scared into believing that an ‘unstable’ job would be too risky, sure you might grow to like what you do but you also might not.

If you make choices based on the belief that you can’t get the things you actually want, well then you’re probably not going to get them.

Now let’s get back the list and against each point write down what you can do to make them happen. And what you will do if there’s any pushback.

After a month or so you’ll probably notice some changes in how you feel about your job.

If not you can always get a new one.

You don’t have to grin and bear it.

Asking for feedback

Some are scared to ask for feedback whilst others are afraid to give it.

You don’t want to offend anyone or maybe if they’re more experienced than you, you don’t think you have the authority.

But I’ve learnt that it’s good to ask for feedback. In fact, I’m trying to do more of it in all aspects of my life. From colleagues, my manager, family, friends and even from you.

It’s not about looking for praise or a harsh critique but instead about opening yourself up to the perspective of the observer or receiver because you don’t see things the way they do.

For example, at work you may think that you’re doing your job well because you haven’t been given a warning or been told you’re under-performing. However, perhaps your manager has noticed you could do x, y or z differently but hasn’t said anything because you aren’t bad at what you do.

It’s about being open to seeing that there is room for improvement.

And so I wanted to ask, if you had to make a remark about this blog, what would you say?

Leave a comment or drop me an email: thedailygemm@gmail.com

A labour of love

That thing you’ve been working on could be the reason you end up quitting your job or it could just be a labour of love.

That word just has a way of diminishing the words that follow. It makes it seem as though a labour of love is a bad thing but it’s not, at least not to me anyway.

Not every project or thing you work on is supposed to be how you earn a living or even make you money. And it’s not about promoting the idea of the struggling artist who puts their heart and passion into all that they do but can’t make ends meet.

It’s about the person that works as a receptionist but leads a conservation volunteer group on the weekends or the Math teacher that also paints.

The significance, importance or worthiness of what you do should not be based on how much money you make or even how popular you are.

I think creativity, vulnerability, connection, generosity and joy matter so much more.

Baseline Busy

I remember a time when I had one of those ‘What did you get up to at the weekend?’¬†conversation.

I reeled of a few things but overall I felt like I hadn’t gotten up to much.

However, to my surprise the person I was in conversation with thought that my weekend was actually a busy one.

At first I thought it was a little odd but the more I thought about it the more I realised that my ‘baseline’ is what some people would consider busy.

I work a 9-5, I study part-time, I have a daily blog and a lifestyle blog. That’s my life at a minimum which doesn’t include spending time with friends or family, attending events, reading, sewing and other hobbies.

I don’t always have a lot of free time but I make a conscious effort to do the things that are important to me, like this blog.

The importance of self-assessment in the workplace

Like ice cube said ‘check yourself before you wreck yourself’.

So we recently had our annual performance reviews at work and something I took from it was that it’s important to assess yourself throughout the year.

When you let a year go by without assessing how you’re doing there’s a higher chance you’ll be surprised by what your manager tells you at the end of the year.

I think assessing yourself quarterly (or even monthly) will help you better understand how you’re doing and what you need to work on. It doesn’t have to be with your manager, it could be with another colleague or you could do it alone.

That way you can pick up on the things you need to work on, make changes and then later reassess.

You should work on getting better, expanding your knowledge and trying new things for you. Not to appease your boss or because you know it’s ‘just part of the process’.

This is one of those ‘you get out what you put in’ kinda circumstances.

Don’t look back

…in anger (this has nothing to do with Oasis but I do love that song!).

You can spend your whole life working on improving aspects of your life. Imagine you’ve always struggled with your career and finding something that you like that pays enough that you can live a life you’re happy with you.

Imagine you’ve spent years feeling unsatisfied moving from job to job.

Then all of sudden you find something that is everything you’ve always wanted and you’re finally happy doing what you do to earn a living.

But you’re also left with somewhat of a gaping hole in your heart where that struggle used to be.

Even though things have changed for the better, it feels as though something is missing because you’re lighter now.

What’s missing is the stress, anxiety, sleepless nights, worry and the struggle. Yet somehow you might find yourself longing for what once was.

Overcoming is a pretty big deal, acknowledge what you’ve accomplished and don’t look back on what once was.