How Is Your Work Going?
April 19, 2013
How is your work going?
It was the question an associate of mine asked me. I must also admit that it was not a pleasant question. I am sure we encounter this question so many times that we dare not avoid thinking a little about our work.
Personally I have hated this question so much that I have often become defensive or angry when people asked about my work.
The other day I was so much into thinking about my work and how I can better it, that I decided that I needed to calm myself down to get some insights if not solutions to my quest. So off I went and I found
myself sitting in the prayer hall of our institution, thinking about how to improve my working habit. I must admit that I asked divine guidance. And it was then that some thoughts seem to have floated into my mind.
Right before we go further, shall we remind ourselves that there is always some work for everybody; many a time we look at our work as a dull, jaded chore that we have to chug on with.
We think of work as something that we have to bear, as if a punishment. We look at it the way a prisoner looks at the grills in the prison window.
When will I stop working?
When will the clock strike five?
When will the boss leave?
When we wake up in the morning, we are not enthused by the thought of going to office. We dread the mails, deadlines are dread-lines for many and that results in a decreased performance.
Our graph tilts downwards and then we somehow try to make ourselves invisible so we donít need to answer any uncomfortable questions.
We start avoiding the lift. We stop going to the coffee corner when most of our colleagues are going. We try to take the back entrance. Oh, the pain of not liking one's job!
This spills over into our mental attitudes, capabilities and performance. We are afraid to pose out our ideas. We are afraid to ask for a pay raise. We can't look into the eyes of our boss and speak.
We think we will doomed if we lose this job. We don't want to believe that there is a whole world out there ready to welcome us if required.
And how do I know? I have gone through all of this.
What are the major obstacles?
Why these things?
What can we do now?
How can we improve our performance?
How can we be a contributing part in our team?
How can we make a difference in our office?
How can we walk out the door of the office with a smile on our face?
How can boldly walk through corridors and interact with our colleagues without feeling small?
These are some of the questions that I had to painfully consider.
I asked myself: Who sought the job you are in now? Did the employer come to your door step and beg you to join or it was you who dropped an application, pushed an email, made a phone call or uploaded your resume?
Obviously the answer is 'YOU". You are the one who applied for the job. You are the one who in the first place said directly or indirectly 'Give me the job and I will perform'. Didn't you imply that when
you mailed your filled-in application?
So my friend, don't have the thought that your Job is not giving you satisfaction. Face it: that is blame game. Accept that it is your choice...your job...your chance...your life.
If you are an entrepreneur - who handed over your firm to you? Did someone from nowhere land up before you one fine evening and say 'Hey buddy, how about taking care of this firm?'
No, it was you who wanted to start your business in the first place. It was you who went after the banks to apply for that loan? Why blame your work now? Don't let the stock market make you dislike your job.
Stock market was there before you and probably will be there after you. You have to brave the fact that you are the choice maker.
Suppose you are one of those who say, 'I never wanted to be in this place. It was my mother who pushed me towards this career in law.' But don't you think you could have easily outdone your parent's
coercion? You thought you offered yourself as a sacrifice for your family's pride and honour.
Maybe you had a family history of physicians and now you are trying to tell that you never could become
anything else because your family would not have allowed you. You could still have firmly said a no, but you chose to go their way.
Someone might try to convince and do so emphatically by saying, 'My financial situation pushed me into this hell-hole. I would have never taken up this job if my finances were better.' Well it is true
that your purse had a big influence in your decision, but you must also be true to yourself that no matter what the circumventing reasons were, the decision to take up this job was yours.
Or if you are one who says, 'See I landed up in this job just as a stop-gap arrangement before I get a better paying job or start my business.' Then face the fact: If you are not looking at the
present work for the long-term, then why do you complain that your work is hard? Keep your options open, but don't blame your present job.
So one of the early steps in having a meaningful job is to realize one thing - it was you who decided to take up the job that you do. Unless we accept that it was our choice that had us end up here,
we are not truly going to get out of this 'I don't like my job' syndrome.
Now some might say, 'OK, I chose this job, so what?' My friend when you have realized this blatant yet mostly missed truth,
you are very close to accepting your job and its requirements with a mind that is better adjusted. Your temperance will decide how you handle the daily tasks. This attitude will give you a clearer
understanding on how to meet you deadlines better. This attitude will get your mind out of the miry muck that you are a slave to your job.
When you realize that you were the one who made the choice,
you come to understand that you are the boss - not your job.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I have whined if not lamented for a very long time that I am not in the career that I wanted to be in. I wanted to become someone else and I have ended up in this
job for so many reasons that I thought were insurmountable. I have been so filled with apathy and lack of zeal that many a time I have forfeited my own successes. But then as life has it, and every man
comes to the realization, I too slowly came to the realization that it was I who in the first place is responsible for being in this career or field of work.
And my job was not unbearable after all.
I came to this conclusion pragmatically and with an honest attitude. That has of course eliminated a lot my unwanted tension.
Someone might ask 'How about work pressure and goals?' Well I do have work pressure. No work is without pressure for that matter. And the truth was that I was able to accept my job not as a thorn in
my flesh but as a tool to make my life better.
It is not that I do not get frustrated during my work. It is also not that I am reaching whatever goal I set for myself. I do get in the slumps. I do feel tensed. But nevertheless I do not forget that
I chose this job. And no job by itself is bad or unworthy. The job that is dull for one might be the most enjoyable job for someone else. Or the job that you think is the best one you can get might not be
likeable for someone who is already there.
So there it is: Human mind at play. The only way to like our job is to ruthlessly accept the fact that ultimately it was our choice that we are doing what we are doing today. Even if you don't end up
loving your job more than anything else, you will still be reasonably even-tempered to accept responsibilities and perform in a constructive way until you find another job. Yeah, it is not easy to accept that.
It is painful. But it is something like the kind of pain that comes with a vaccine injection. The pain serves you in the long run instead of leaving you hurting.
So the first step to job satisfaction: Accept that it was you who first wanted this job. Don't blame your job. Live up to your own promise that you will perform well if given a chance. When you accept that
fact, you are already in the process of bettering your working ability and style. And by any means there is a big world out there with opportunities innumerable. So remember you made the choice. And you
can make more choices in the future. Your job is not the master of your attitude, you are!
--- Copyright © 2013 Sam Vijay Kumar
About the Author: I am a biotechnologist from India, working in the field of bio-medical research, with interest in theology, positive thinking, philosophy, creative writing and in living a purposeful life, thereby contributing to fellow humans. My personal desire and struggle is to be keen to (and) learn anything that will uplift human life and place us in a better position at handling the challenges that life throws at us. To discuss and write about issues of life, thoughts and mind are some of my passions.
I have received a lot from this world through many thinkers and their writings. and hence I want to contribute something to this world by presenting my thoughts to the world as well in these areas. 'Positive people' are the ones that I am most comfortable interacting with. I am sure you who are reading this are a positive person and am glad to have connected with you.
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