Wish You Were Happier at Work? Stop Wishing and Start Reading
Most of us have been sold a false bill of goods. Find a job you love; you'll never work a day in your life. You'll bound out of bed. Until you don't. Until a deal doesn't go through, your work or ideas are not acknowledged, your workday extends into nights and weekend.
Find - or Create?
In The Quit Alternative: The Blueprint for Creating the Job You Love WITHOUT Quitting, authors Ben Fanning and Chris Brogan argue that you can change your whole perspective on work and avoid burnout with a simple shift in perspective. Instead of "finding" the job you love, you "create it."
If this is the environment in which you find yourself, try to:
- Find common ground. We're good at identifying our differences; take the time to find out what you have in common. What goals do you and your coworkers and/or direct-reports share? Begin with communication - simple chats establish common ground far more effectively than any "team building" activity.
- Increase civility. Watch yourself: are you making rude, sarcastic, or snide comments? Are others? Take steps to temper your communications, and as a leader, enforce a zero-tolerance policy for abuse/insults.
- Improve communications. Ask targeted questions, listen to the answers, and reach out to people - whether they're new and unsure or experienced and discouraged.
- A culture based on respect and civility.
- Fair and consistent policies and procedures that discourage favoritism and discrimination (e.g. hiring procedures that promote diversity).
- Clear practices for reporting discrimination and/or harassment.