Fall in Love with Your Company
There are so many tropes where people absolutely hate their job. According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace Report, only 30% of employees are engaged and inspired at work.
Well, if you’re working 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year (let’s say you actually take your two weeks of vacation), that’s 2000/8763 hours a year spent at the office. That’s 23% of your life during a working year (and more if you’re like most people and stay at the office late and don’t take vacation time).
Why in the world would you spend a quarter of your working life (closer to a third if you only count waking hours) somewhere you hate?
You shouldn’t! Make falling in love with your company (and your role there) one of your goals for 2017.
It might sound silly, but you have a lot of opportunities to make your daily grind your dream.
You probably spend almost as much time with your coworkers as you do with your family, so it would be nice if you liked them. Foster relationships with your coworkers (eating alone is so much less satisfying anyway).
Bring lunch to share, congratulate them on exciting news, or just strike up conversations on breaks! Not only will having friend make work more fun, studies have shown people with “work best friends” are more efficient and driven.
You can use your role to create change and support a cause that matters to you. At Leeward we do work with many different schools, the local Boys and Girls Club, Girl Scouts, a Veteran Shelter, and more! It’s great to support a cause you care about and there’s scientific evidence behind the benefit people get from doing good deeds.
Maybe you wanted to be an engineer, but fell into a sales role instead. It might feel like you are compromising your dream, but simply changing your perspective can have a large impact on that. Instead of thinking you’re trying to con people into buying stuff, believe you are exploring new companies, learning about new industries, and engineering relationships and opportunities.
No matter what level you are at a company, you can make an impact. Companies never used to recycle, but now more and more are. Tons of office food waste used to get thrown away, but now many schedule food pantry pick ups.
Use your position to shape the company as possible. Encourage efforts to go green or suggest doing workshops for schools to help your company be more involved in the community. Start “Flannel Friday” and encourage all your coworkers to participate to drive a more connected work environment.
Make a Decision
If you really hate your company, don’t stay. Money is the biggest risk in switching jobs or leaving to follow your dream, but if you are fiscally stable enough, seek out other opportunities, and leave when you find one.
I started at Leeward with its conception and I have had the ability to share my input and provide ideas throughout the whole process. I’ve also been able to shape my role almost entirely as it has been very loosely defined from the beginning (and I’m the only one in marketing).
I love that our technology services actually help the environment, I encourage everyone to use reusable water bottles, and I’m working on ditching the K-Cups (that one might take a little bit).
Leeward does so much for the community like the JA programs for KTEC and Pewaukee High School, coding clubs for the Boys and Girls Club of Kenosha, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Wisconsin, and KTEC, donating services to a local Vets’ Closet, and hosting an event each year to provide a platform for organizations to get their message to the community.
Being at least 7 years younger than everyone else in the office sometimes makes it hard, but bringing in home-made lunch weekly tends to help me make friends.
I am excited about where Leeward is, how I fit into the bigger picture here, and where we are headed for the future.
Take control of your role within your company and use it to shape your organization to be what you want. Adjust your perspective so your role is exciting and close to your dream job, instead of a terrible thing you have to do everyday. Make friends with your coworkers, Try to make a change in your community and positively benefit causes you care about. Finally, leave your organization if you can’t find a way to like it — don’t waste your time on something providing no return.
About Leeward Business Advisors
Leeward Business Advisors is a Wisconsin-based corporation that provides business strategy planning, business improvement implementation, and full IT operational support. They offer world class Cloud Computing services, Cloud brokerage, Managed IT services, and a full US based Support Service Desk (called Quick Answers). Michael Polzin, CEO has 20+ years of enterprise business and technology experience gained while working at Allstate Insurance and Microsoft Corporation. Jason Klein, CTO has 15+ years delivering effective and efficient technology to Midwest companies.