How are you?
When someone asks ‘How are you?’ How do you respond? If you’re like most people, chances are you will say ‘fine’. Or even ‘fine thanks, how are you?’ Fine. What does that even mean?
Personally, I respond with either ‘good thanks’, or ‘great thanks’, depending on just how well my day is going. I can’t remember the last time a ‘fair to middling’, ‘better than the weather’ or ‘one day closer to retirement’ has been uttered from my lips, if ever.
Thriving not Surviving
So what’s my secret? It’s simple. I love what I do. And if I find myself not loving it anymore, I know it’s time to do something different. Loving what I do is of huge importance to me. I’m not the sort of person who can go to work every day and just get by, doing what I need to do until lunch time then again until home time. I like to feel that I’m making a difference, adding value to the teams that I’m working with and being fulfilled by the goals I achieve and the lessons I learn along the way.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this makes me any better than anyone else or that it is easy to live this way. There are times when I am envious of those around me who clock off and have the skill to be able to do this both physically and emotionally. Additionally, doing a role that is ‘fine’ (whatever that means to you) and sticking at it is in many ways far easier than taking the leap into the unknown.
A generation game
We’re in a situation now where there are five generations in the work place at once and the attitudes and behaviours of these generations have subtle but noticeable differences between them.
- Gen Z seek out purpose in their work,
- Millennials prefer their work to engage with their values,
- Gen X are more likely to be interested in status and hierarchy,
- Baby Boomers will be least likely to change jobs or careers,
- Silent generation more likely to respect tradition and conform to social norms.
Regardless, fulfilment – whether that’s in the role itself or what the working pattern and/or remuneration makes possible – is a key driver for engagement. An engaged workforce is more likely to offer discretionary effort, go above and beyond what’s expected and actively contribute to the success of the organisation.
So ask yourself, do you love what you do?