WORK: Move from surviving to THRIVING…!

Work is a fluid notion.  Sometimes it is so in line with who we are we hardly think about it as work.  Other times it takes everything we have to get to it and get it done.  If you are lucky enough to fly through your day, keep it up, the world needs as many fully engaged people as possible!!  If you are just floating along or having a hard time doing what you are tasked to do you may find some ideas below.

For some work is ok but not great…  How do we move it up a few notches to get more zip & energy into our days?  We need to do a some personal homework on our own motivation, desires and an honest understanding of what our situation is.  Sometimes we get so accustomed to low grade dissatisfaction that we don’t realize how much control we have over it.   Carve out some time to look at your situation.

Your job
What motivates you about your job?  What are your responsibilities?  What pressures do you feel ?
Do you do much outside your official scope?  Is that by choice or by request?

What is your favorite part of your job?  Least favorite?  Neutral parts?
Where do the bulk of your responsibilities fall in the spectrum of like vs. not like?
If you can’t really decide your favorite, think about how you feel doing your various tasks – happy, light, heavy, resistant, disinterested?

Your co-workers
What is your interaction with them?  What is the tone of your conversations?
Who lightens your day?  Who brings you down?
Is collaboration an ingredient of your role?  Does that work easily with others?

Your company culture
Is there a sense of camaraderie?  Does the company encourage team building?
Does competition reign as a tool to motivate people?  What is your reaction to that?

Look at all these things carefully, is there room for shifting the way you do your job?  If you’ve begun to dig deeply you should be able to determine a pattern that would allow you to do some “job sculpting” as outlined by Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton in their What Motivates Me book.
You’ll want to work with your boss to take on more of the things you enjoy and do well.  You can shift some collaborations to include those co-workers you work well with.  Ideally you’ll be able to explore areas of interest you’ve identified so you can build and learn new capabilities.  Understanding what drives you is as important as knowing what you do well (as nicely outlined in Gostick & Elton’s book).

This is a multi-pronged project, some of these modifications can be done with help of those around you, your boss, your co-workers, your customers, etc.  Other modifications may need to show up in your view of what lies in front of you.  Using a different lens.  Things are ever changing so we need to pay attention to what is happening around us.  When things are shifting we need to respond as if it is an opportunity.  Being proactive may actually help optimize your performance and bring that sense of thriving to life!

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