Stop me if you’ve heard this one, “I like my job, but…” It’s a hard truth that a lot of us like parts of the jobs we’re paid for, but accept that our jobs have plenty of things we don’t like about them, too.
Over the years, as I’ve interacted with people from all walks of life, I’ve come to the realization that it doesn’t matter what the job is, how an individual approaches that job makes all the difference in the world. I get it – some companies are fun to work for, while other companies doing the exact same thing are terrible. Even differences between managers can make one day – or one location – better than another.
But how can you control the effect the job has on you?
Is it even possible? Well, I think so.
The solution, of course, isn’t a bunch of management buzzwords, or a new owner, it’s actually some basic rules and ideas that YOU control. If you find that you cannot control these in your current job, then the reality is – you need to find the company and the management team that allows you to live by these rules. When you do, you’ll find that not only do you enjoy your job far more, you also enjoy your life, because you’ll be far more active in the living of it.
This doesn’t start with merely reading a list, though. You have to internalize these rules, because they can begin to shape your life, influence your relationships inside and outside of your company, and allow you to live and work without all the worry that always seems to be nearby.
…And I get it, these rules are simple, but when you really think through them, you’ll see how critical they really are. The best companies I’ve ever seen all empower their systems with these ideas, and the reality is this: these rules not only create a better employee, they create a better person.
Know what you want.
Know you have the power to get it.
There can be no causes other than your own.
If you cannot manage yourself, you cannot manage anything.
There are no simple answers, only complex questions.
Before it gets better, it is going to get worse.
I’ve always seen these in action, and they always seem to create a degree of independence as a team member in a business. In spite of that, people who choose to live and work by these little rules have identified the things they want and their purpose for living.
A lot of folks have forgotten that a company doesn’t exist for the employee and they are let down when their company especially one with a charismatic leader, provides a stand-in for the personal and professional goals they’ve never had to set.
Think about Bill Gates. As a leader, he knows what he wants, and his focus is finding men and women who are capable of serving that desire. The managers who work for him may or may not have ideas for themselves in business and life, so many of them will fool themselves into believing their goals are – or must be – those of the company.
After all, isn’t it seductive to align yourself with something that is already successful?
Bill Gates and his ideas are proven.
His vision is bright, his enthusiasm is contagious, his purpose is global.
…And when that manager or employee makes the decision to go “all in” with that type of company, he or she abandons their own goals, dreams, and vision.
They’re choosing to bring someone else’s Dream to reality.
Now, I’m not saying this is somehow wrong – it’s simply the way things often are. Nearly every employee and manager has experienced this same journey at some level:
The plumber who decides he’d rather work for someone else than open his own company.
The young computer programmer who decides the benefit package of the Silicon Valley startup is better then what she could do as a freelancer.
The manager who convinces themselves that the company they work for is the problem, not the industry.
…Chances are, you’ve been there, too!
But in your life, you have the opportunity to change this, and when you do, if you follow these rules, what you create is the chance to truly create an environment that allows you to get all you ever wanted from your life – and your job.