I’ve been experiencing lots of moments of inauthenticity at work lately. Moments when I feel like I’m being inauthentic. Moments when I feel others are being inauthentic. Moments when I feel that situations and interactions would be vastly improved by just ‘getting real’, taking a moment (event just a fraction of a second) to consider what others may be thinking/feeling/perceiving, and exercising just a little bit of humanity.
The PS News lands in my email inbox every Tuesday and lately I’m finding that many of the articles echo this inauthenticity. A recent article that stood out gave tips on how to remain professional at work when you are not feeling well. Maybe I’m being too harsh, or too unrealistic, but do we need an article to tell us how to hide the fact that we’re physically unwell from our co-workers and managers? Ummm, what about the implications in terms of presenteeism and reduced productivity? What about if we had a work culture where we were sensitive to that fact that sometimes people feel crappy (in a variety of different (and potentially more uncomfortable and embarrassing) ways) and that we’re adults and can treat these situations with compassion and discretion when required? Is that such an impossibility? Or better yet, what about we work in a way that reflects the values/approach of the Results Only Work Environment and work when we feel good, and don’t when we don’t. And as long as agreed outcomes were achieved, it wouldn’t matter when or where you did it. No more sitting by the door in meetings, with your emergency stash of painkillers, willing the day to be over so that you can get home and go to bed!
And today there was an article about how to decide if an unsatisfying job is worth keeping. Huh? There was much that frustrated me about this article – jumping between talking about careers vs jobs etc. But most of all, I was frustrated about the lack of options and optimism in the article. And I know it’s syndicated content and wasn’t written specifically for the PS News or its audience, but I though it lacked any kind of innovation or inspiration. How depressing is it to think that at the end of reading this article you might in fact decide that keeping your unsatisfying job is indeed worthwhile? Hmm… what about figuring out how to make your job more satisfying? What about figuring out what you do like about your job and trying to emphasise those parts while reducing the parts you don’t like (Marcus Buckingham‘s love it and loathe it exercise is a great way to start identifying these – google it for more detail)? What about some guidance or inspiration for figuring out what you do find satisfying so you can go get a job (or create a job) that aligns? I realise that there were a few useful tips in this article (eg. determining if it really is your job or something else in your life that’s making you unhappy) but on the whole, the tone seemed pretty negative…
So, now that I’ve had a little rant about other people’s writing (and I realise that often it’s much easier to criticise than create) what am I going to do about it? I’m going to challenge myself to write an article for submission to the PS News. A more positive, inspiring article. I’m not sure about what… Perhaps about the perils of sitting at your desk (not really very upbeat at all), and the fun ways that you can get more movement into your work day (that’s the upbeat bit).