If you are what you do, what are you when you don’t?

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What is your relationship to work? Have you ever thought about this? If not I highly recommend you do.

Mine has evolved throughout my working life. Essentially it has been a vehicle to support my weekend and annual leave adventures. It has also been a wonderful vehicle to generate external feedback providing stimulus to help define who I am and to feel good about myself.

More and more it has become the arena to practice and refine decision making to take actions to gain clarity on and live congruently with my values. This leads to taking actions and reflecting on the impact of my behaviours on others. Some behaviours are more effective than others and different values, and varying levels of commitment to them, impact on my energy levels and feeling of contentment. What is has done is shift my relationship with work.

No longer is my work experienced as a desperate balancing act propelling me through hope and disappointment cycles. It now feels more like a place I want to be filled with tasks I am content to complete whilst engaging in relationships that are productive and enjoyable. Overwhelmingly I feel a sense of gratitude in my relationship with work. No longer a sense of entitlement fuelled by desperation. That sounds and feels like a far healthier and more productive relationship to invest in.

It is an interesting process reflecting on and arriving at a point of clarity about what the meaning of a twenty year relationship with work has been. For me that is making sense of choices to work for myself, be employed by foreign owned internationals, locally owned national organization and boutique family owned businesses in both the profit and non for profit sectors. Twenty years is a long time to find your ‘mojo’ and begin the journey of a healthy relationship with work.

“A fulfilling life comes from doing meaningful work.”   What a wonderful phrase. Simple. Insightful. Powerful. Is doing meaningful work a cornerstone in living whatever it means to you to experience a fulfilling life?

Trevor-Roberts looks at individuals’ relationship with work through the lens of their 5 Pillars of an Extraordinary Career. Encouraging you to explore your strengths and drivers to help set the direction of your working career. If structure and personal accountability appeal to you, you should check us out.

If you feel your work holds meaning to you and you want to be more productive have you considered managing your energy rather than your time? It is interesting how aligning to meaningful activities and making time to engage in them can impact your energy and capacity to contribute. If this appeals to you check out Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz book – The Power of Full Engagement.

Perhaps your work is not you. Your relationship with work is a means to contribute to what is meaningful for you in service of a community that is valuable to you. A wonderful opportunity that has a considerable impact on you and those most important to you.

So if I have motivated you to reflect on your relationship with work can I reinforce my belief that you are more than your work and encourage you to do two things;

  1. Identify a population you feel compelled to support and gain tremendous satisfaction from doing so and,
  2. Recall and reconnect with the tasks you do that come naturally to you and energise you. Let these activities guide you to the work that is meaningful for you.

Brian Klindworth has been supporting individuals to navigate their professional journey and supported organisations to facilitate them for over 15 years.  You can reach him at brian@brianklindworth.com or m: 0450 734 023

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