I know that most of my survival tips have had you thinking about preparedness, tools, and keeping your cool. Today my survival spotlight is upon workplace survival. It has been called a rat race, the urban jungle, the grind and a slew of other slang terms; we know it better as our jobs. We all need income to survive, whether we like it or not. We must make the best of what we have and be thankful for our jobs. In a job climate where it has become the norm to do more with less it is crucial that we do all that we can to prevent burnout, breakdowns, and complete insanity. I have a few little tricks of the trade that have been passed down to me by a guy in a field where burnout runs rampant.
The first thing that we must come to terms with is “acknowledging our limitations”. I have a hard time with this one, and it’s only the first step. I think this is where it all goes wrong. I feel like my limitations are limitless and I blaze a trail into the perils of my work load. This usually ends up with me becoming very annoyed with those around me. This is probably an adverse side effect of not accepting my own limitations.
When the words “spread the load” hit my ears it was a life changing moment; my eyes were opened and praise the Lord I could see!!! My problems were not with my workers, they lie within. They do not have a clue about what is going on unless I tell them. All that they see is their manager working freakishly hard, in a bad mood, and sweating profusely. I have neglected to spread the load with others. This is a key point in backpacking and it works very well, how I could have overlooked this seemingly obvious step in life. I must focus on my verbal communication with my guys. If they don’t know what I am working on or why I am doing the things I do how can I expect them to help? It is unfair to leave your workers in the dark about what is going on behind the front lines. They were hired for their own individual talents.
Recognizing the great talents of those around us is a tough thing to do when you are out of breathes, sweating and irate. I am not the all knowing, all seeing Wizard of OZ. The fate of the world is not in my hands alone. Take a break, a moment to reflect, or what ever it is that you do to get to your happy place inside of your brain and remove your self from the situation for a brief moment. Go over the individual skill sets that your personal cast of OZ possess and make an inventory of their major assets. The main factor of personal satisfaction at work is having workers know that they are important. Hand off the tasks they can easily conquer on their own, and save the important stuff to be done personally. I have a hard time doing this because my OZ seems more like the setting of the Showtime prison series, Oz, than the Dorothy and Toto version that most of us are more familiar with.
We all face down our own daily demons when it comes to surviving work, you may be a CEO or your family’s chief financial officer, we all have a work load that sometimes swamps us and puts us in a funk. I am here to let you know that many have passed before us and done their jobs and sought out ways to make it more like fun than work. My best advice on this survival scenario is to surround yourself with great people, and if you don’t have the luxury of choosing the people that you surround yourselves with at work, look for the best in everybody. You may be pleasantly surprised with what you find. It is hard to recognize the great talents of those around us until we find out what our own limitations are.