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.
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.
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.
There must be some explanation for why we do it.
When you don’t want to do something or you know it won’t be easy, putting it off feels good. There’s pleasure in indulging in the freedom of future deadlines, future work or future responsibilities.
But that doesn’t mean that you can avoid them forever. That pleasurable feeling of freedom and not doing what you “posed to do” can’t last. You see the thing is whether you do it now or later you still have to get it done.
Instead of indulging in procrastination pleasure followed by an intense stressful period, choose to indulge in productivity pleasure and give yourself as much time as you can in order to do things well.
Sure pressure creates diamonds but constantly putting yourself through stress when you don’t need to could result in insomnia, chest pain and diarrhoea.
You might be used to doing things one way but that’s no reason not to try something new.
In pursuit of the dream stopping to take a break or to smell the roses might seem like a waste of time.
Why stop when there’s at least fifty ‘leven things that you could be doing at any one time?
A great place to start is thinking about why you need a break in the first place. Perhaps you need to recharge, refocus or change direction.
Those are definitely worth stopping for.
Once you’re truly committed a break will never be enough to get you off track, in fact a break might be a necessary part of the process.
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.
They’re both important.
We live in a society where it’s not uncommon to find people almost competing about who works the hardest.
Working a 9to5.
Working a 9to5 then a passion project 5to9.
Staying in the office till late.
Being self employed and working 7 days a week.
Coming into the office at the weekend.
We hear about working hard all the time but we rarely hear about play. There’s emphasis on resting from the work. But I’m a big believer in work and play.
I don’t believe in working for the weekend as though those 2 days are your reward for slaving away for the 5 days prior.
My ideas on work and play aren’t about a work life balance but more about just enjoying life as a whole.
So yes, meet your deadlines, impress the clients and do great work but also enjoy it.