Yesterday I wrote about knowing when it is time to leave your job. After all, life is too short to be frustrated about what you do. That said, I think we can improve our experience.
Today I am going to talk about how to stay in your job and have more fun.
Why is it – how is it – that in one company – one department – one team, there can be people who are happy, people who are unhappy, people who are engaged, and those who are not engaged?
Why are we content one moment and not the next?
It comes from what we give meaning to and how we define contribution and success.
I knew this woman who was so sensitive that unless she worked for and around people who were fun, fun loving, and positive, she was bothered and miserable. She found the situation intolerable. Here’s the thing, most of us will work for many companies and in these companies we are likely to encounter a wide range of behavioral styles. Some will be fun loving and flexible, others will be reserved and analytical. Many will have a combination of styles. So if you LOVE the work you do one day, but then decide that you cannot work there any longer because the boss changed and she is not your type, then you are giving that boss WAY TOO MUCH POWER over how you define your work experience.
- Yes, there are jerks.
- Yes, there are micromanagers.
- Yes, there are absent managers.
- Yes, there is dysfunction.
You will encounter these conditions in most companies, some more than others. But here’s the thing: Do you need to let this mucky muck define your experience? No!
I am not suggesting that you stay in a situation that is not a good fit for you. What I am suggesting is that you can enjoy your work where ever you are. First step: notice whether you are taking the work environment too seriously.
Years ago worked for a fairly immature and dysfunctional organization. At this dysfunctional organization, I held a role that was responsible for presenting new ideas. That’s a pretty cool kind of gig. At this company, however, 90 % of the ideas got shot down because the company was extremely change averse. I would do the work, present my recommendations, get good feedback and reinforcement but nothing would change. I can recall someone asking me, after a particularly difficult meeting, how I was able to cope doing great work and then having it be wasted.
- 10% of the ideas were implemented. I was able to have some impact and more than others had before me. For this dysfunctional organization, this was pretty good.
- The work was the right work to do, even if the ideas were not used at that time. As a department head, I was responsible for making sure that the creative work got done and the decision makers had good information from which to choose their actions.
- I did not take the process personally and did not let it define my experience.
You may think that I was selling out, but in this case, I was able to have impact and drive change. It was slower and more cumbersome to make change occur, but I take pride in the wins I produced.