I had several requests after the Easter themed article article How to die at work for a more positive follow-up on how to be fully alive and human in the workplace. So with some concern that people may view me as the wrong kind of crazy…here it is:
How to be Reborn at Work
Many people complain about their work and colleagues and some even say they don’t feel “fully alive” at work. Whining is in fact something of a national sport here in the UK and in many other countries I’ve worked in. Clients sometimes tell me everything would be OK if they had a new boss, got promoted…or whatever. What focusing on external things that can not be changed easily does is dis-empower people, which has the nice pay-off that no action is needed and righteousness is assured. Rather than focus on bitching, moaning and complaining however here are a few areas that anyone can work on to feel like a human being again in the workplace.
This is the part where I tell you what you already know and have to give my mum 10% of all royalties. If you look after yourself – and start with the basics – sleep, exercise, diet, drug intake – you will feel and work a lot better (fact) and may start enjoying your job more (probable). Health is your foundation and you can’t cheat the biological system – prioritise it.
Many people split off a part of themselves at work and put on a face to get by in a job they hate. Used sparingly this can have a positive side (professionalism) but as a daily tactic is psychologically unhealthy, undermines your own values and leads to an inauthentic soul destroying workplace. Try getting real at work – by this I don’t mean be rude – “be yourself…but carefully” was the best pre-date advice I ever had and applies here too. By getting real you can start to ask for what you want and make positive changes rather than building quiet resentment.
Creativity is increasingly part of the modern workplace. While “we are all artists now” may be overstating it I believe that creativity as the hardest thing to outsource is not only essential for feeling fully alive but is a critical employment skill. How else could you do what you are doing? What other possibilities exist? Go on, live a little, be creative.
Get it Together
Managing stress and getting yourself together under pressure by centring at work is a great way to cope with the madness and feel human again.
Reach out to other people at work and really communicate with them. Really ask and answer “how are you?” Being human is a communal process and you can’t go it alone, so why not build real relationships at work? I will also use this opportunity to plug the communication and team building training I provide which helps with this aspect tremendously.
So What: There is a lot you can do starting today to feel more alive at work.