Work. When You Fall Out of Love.

The moment you awaken on your first day. The excitement to begin a new venture, new career, new job. When you enter the workplace on the first day is like beginning a new relationship. As you meet your new co-workers, leadership, or team brings the opportunity and thoughts for many possibilities. You begin to create ideas on how you will be an asset to the organization or what exciting things you will learn.

Starting a new job brings feelings of excitement and sometimes overwhelming emotions. Walking through the day, that first day, logging onto your computer, or engaging in your first meeting is exciting. However, what happens when you fall out of love? What happens when the first day excitement dwindles?

When you fall out of love with work, there are three things you can do to recharge those initial emotions and thoughts about your job and organization or develop new and exciting ones.

1. Learn how to refocus or re-engage.

With many jobs or careers, one becomes stagnate -complacent. In order to refocus or re-engage, you must first take a step back and look at yourself. In order to be an effective employee, you must first understand what motivates you. What gets you up in the morning? What are your core values? What drives your decisions?

Once you understand your core values, determine how best to bring them out in your current role. By doing this, it will allow for an alignment of one’s values and organizational goals to be seen. This alignment gives you a better understanding and assists with your drive and motivation for success in your role. Sometimes it is as simple as looking at specific tasks being performed and questioning the validity of the work.

2. Develop or expand your current network.

With any role in an organization, network development is key to success. Developing or expanding one’s network gives way for additional understanding of how all areas of an organization functions. It also acts as a catalyst for ideas and brainstorming sessions when working on solutions. Building a network, even going outside your current organization, allows for peer to peer interaction and collaboration that will aid in strengthening your communication and leadership abilities.

Another benefit in building and expanding your network allows for mentoring and coaching opportunities. This is an excellent way to enhance your communication skills while broadening your knowledge base and understanding. Networks open doors that individuals alone may not have access to.

3. Recreate your role.

It is easier said than done, but another way to recharge one’s self is to recreate your role. Look at your expected job function versus what you currently do. Are there any variations? Is there something additional you believe should be accomplished? Is there something that should be removed from your position? The key to transformation and innovation is not waiting for someone to articulate to you what to do but designing your future and illustrating ways it may succeed. Do not be afraid to step outside the box or recreate an entirely new box.

The work we do may not always be as exciting and thrilling as the first few days or the moment we receive the offer letter. However, when we re-engage, expand, and recreate, the possibilities are endless. Even with the above suggestions, there may still be times that you fall out of love. Just as any relationship, it takes work, reinvention, and re-evaluation.




Spanning Boundaries within an Organization


In a world full of uncertainty and ambiguity, organizations must focus on boundary spanning capabilities in order to effectively function in today’s complex and interdependent business world. A white paper developed by the Center for Creative Leadership surveyed senior executives to identify areas for current and desired state of boundary spanning. This capacity shift within organizations will allow for a more informed, prepared workforce of boundary spanning.

1. Functional/Cross functional

2. Local mindset/Global mindset

3. Generational gaps/Cross generational learning

Focusing on the desired future state of cross functional, global mindset, and a cross generational learning organization involves engagement from everyone in the workforce. As you span boundaries, a decline in borders/barriers to growth can be seen. Moving from functional to cross functional gives individuals not only an increased perspective on how their actions impact others and the organization, but it allows for expanded knowledge and innovative opportunities.

Regardless of where your organization is situated, developing a global mindset from a local mindset expands the understanding and awareness for diversity in cultures and systems and allows for the ability to identify common patterns. Organizational success is linked to the following qualities of global mindset:

– Acting on opportunities despite cultural challenges

– Communication effectiveness across global and local demands

– Best-practice sharing

– Acting on emerging opportunities

– Trust building across cultural settings

Many diversity training programs identify generational differences, but how often is cross generational learning a focus? Similar to utilizing multiple ways of teaching a school-age child, organizations should develop learning strategies for cross generational understanding. With a potential of five generations within the workforce, organizations must focus on developing strategies and learning opportunities for each of the generations.