How to Thrive at Work: A Practical Perspective
How in the world do you thrive in today’s workplace? I would argue there are some practical factors to consider to thrive at work. However, if your work environment does not allow you to operate this way — to some extent – you may want to examine “are you really in the right place”?
Bring YOU to the workplace
Value differences. Most mission statements have a variation of a theme on this principle. Yet we all know, what is on the wall may be different than what you see in practice. Regardless of what is espoused or actually practiced, you need to show up as YOU.
Sure, there is some level of conformance that we all need to make. But the more you have to sacrifice who you are, how you dress, how you express yourself – the more you will be frustrated with your situation. Even when you don’t recognize it – trying to be someone you are not just to fit in, wears on you consciously and subconsciously. Be proud of You and your uniqueness.
Surround yourself with assignments and people that bring you energy
Find the work that fills your cup. I have seen so many people struggle with what they think they should do just because it is an “expected” career move up or more money. This may be the path you take just make sure you are doing it for the right reasons i.e new challenge, personal growth or new learning opportunity. Don’t just chase the money or title or status – it will be a letdown.
Surround yourself with cool people at work – and don’t forget to be one too! Work is so much more fun when you enjoy the people you work with. When you work with people who have your back and genuinely care about you — that is the real deal. And, if you are lucky to have this kind of work environment, don’t take it for granted.
Remember, work is more than money, titles, status and perks. When you leave a job– it’s usually not the cool office furniture that you miss.
Don’t let yourself down – perform.
Work has a purpose. It is to work. A friend of mine always said, “I need to make the company more money each day than they are paying me in a salary, otherwise they wouldn’t need me”. Stay humble and stay valuable.
But remember – the most important person to impress is you. Don’t slack off at work, even if you can. Be an achiever and work to impress yourself because when you do, you will feel more confident. Funny thing about rock-star performance – it gets noticed by others. So, work hard – you deserve it.
Recognize the Bull—-* for what it is.
There will always be office politics. Every organization is political. It’s a given. Try to work within it or try to avoid it or try to ignore it. Pick your strategy but just don’t focus on it. That yields no fruit.
And when it comes to difficult people, see strategies the above. My theory. The more difficult the personality the more insecure the person. Try to show compassion. The real jerky people are usually the people who need your compassion the most.
How do you thrive at work? You bring your best self to work. You surround yourself with the right work and awesome people. You kick butt and perform like a rock star. You ignore office politics and show compassion to the difficult people. You set the bar high and leave people wondering “How do I get her job”.
* I don’t swear, I insinuate.