I love the spring. I like the skies getting lighter and the sight of the first crocus or daffodil. To me, spring represents hope and optimism.
By contrast, I find winter a bit of a struggle. Days spent with the lights on, cold wind chilling your bones and TV schedules that numb the mind. Thinking about it makes me feel sluggish.
But winter also brings crisp, bright days. Thinking about a bracing walk, followed by a great lunch feels energising and creative.
The way we think has a huge impact on how we feel and, in turn, those feelings affect how we behave. When you think about work, which words come up? If your thoughts include themes of dissatisfaction, disappointment or boredom, it probably feels quite unpleasant. Those feelings will affect how you come across at work and will impact those around you.
Would you want to work with you?
Do you identify with any of the following?
- When changes are proposed, your first thought is “Here we go again!”
- Your network (people at work with whom you regularly keep in touch) is getting smaller rather than bigger
- You find yourself talking more often about why things can’t happen rather than what can happen.
What impact does this have on you and the people you work with?
So what? (Again)
When you are highly experienced, particularly in an area of technical competence (for example finance, IT, engineering, telecoms etc.), it can be tempting to ignore or play-down the impact you have on others because you are "being honest", have "seen it before" or are certain others "don't know what they're talking about".
If this is true for you, consider who you have enjoyed working with. What was it about them that made the work enjoyable? What did you contribute during that time? What were you like as a colleague?
What are you like as a colleague now?
Make a choice
Work can be a bit like the weather. We complain about it but we can’t necessarily change it. We can, however, change how we feel about it. Use these tips to notice how you think, feel and behave at work. Then you can make a choice about what kind of colleague you want to be!
- Notice your themes
When you talk at work are your words and comments generally positive or negative? Be honest. “I don’t think it will work” is negative. “I need more information to figure out how we can make it work” is more positive.
- Write down the good stuff
Remembering or anticipating what you DO like about work (e.g. utilising your specialist skills, being with people you like/respect) helps move your focus on to more positive aspects. Writing them down strengthens the impact.
- Be the person you’d most like to work with
Think about you at your best. Do one thing every day that embodies those characteristics.
- Plan your next move
However you feel about your job now, exploring “what next?” gives you options. Having options helps balance out the odd difficult day and is the first step towards taking ownership of your future.
If this sounds familiar and you'd like to discuss how I can help you enjoy your work and take charge of your career, I'd love to hear from you.