Connection to Your Work

When you get up on Monday morning, what do you tell yourself about going to work (provided work is the normal M-F)?  Do you know the regular thought patterns that show up?  Are some of them negative?  With the most heart attacks happening Monday morning, there seems to be a stress about going to work.  This is a problem for many reasons.  Lack of interest, not feeling connected to your work, not feeling valued by a supervisor, feeling irritated at work, etc. are ways that lead us to be disengaged.  And disengaged employees constitute a huge drain on the positive morale of an organization as well as some bottom-line facets such as absenteeism and turnover.  

How do you turn this boat around?  First, I think that you have to assess if the work you do is actually meaningful to you.  If you feel that the actual work is not a match for your skills, talents, and desires then you need to look at that and maybe find work that gives you energy.  But if the work is actually a good fit, then maybe it is your manager that is causing leaks in the boat.  This is challenging because to manage upwards causes anxiety.  People don't normally leave jobs, they leave their supervisor.  This is a well documented fact.  Managers need to give people clear roles, opportunities for development, praise and rewards and listen well.  These things aren't rocket science, but they do require focus and attention.  Unfortunately people move up the management ranks without this awareness and without much training.

So what we need is a match of sound management practices and actually liking the work, where it's not just focused on getting a paycheck.  Life is too short to settle, I know this firsthand.  I was in a job in my 30's that ran aground.  I let it go on too long because I was afraid to leave.  Fear definitely drives the train to have our desires go unmet.  Fear of negative outcomes of all kind (what people think of us, financial security, etc.) have us play small and not figure out what we are destined to do with this short life.  I envy folks who have figured it out:  feel connected to their work and have excellent supervisors (or own their own company).  I know it's not easy.  Some of us struggle with meaning and purpose.  Some of us settle over time into a rut and that becomes our dysfunctional reality.  In my coaching work it is my mission to challenge the status quo and make people uncomfortable.  Change requires this and creates this.  Now I don't advocate doing things that are a knee jerk reaction, like quitting your job, but maybe in some cases that shoe fits.  

People who are on their deathbed say that they wished they had better relationships, better health, more purpose in life.  It's easy with hindsight, not so easy in the here and now because fear keeps us stuck.  But if fear originates in our minds, then challenging fear can supplant it.  History is replete with successful stories of people moving through fear to accomplish great things.  Don't let your life slip away. Find ways to challenge your fear.  It doesn't mean you have to quit (unless you really don't like the work you are doing).  You can figure it out.  It takes time though to strategize, think ahead, figure it out.  If you start now though, in a month or year you will be further to finding it.  I have created it by going through the fear.  Monday mornings I spring from bed and am excited for the week.  You can create your life.  If not you then who is going to do it?