Are you married to your job? Don’t worry this is not a loaded question to make you feel bad about spending more time at the office than you should. How much time you spend at work is your own choice. You might really enjoy those long hours.
Most of us spend a considerable amount of our lives working, so perhaps I should phrase the question in this way. Are you happily married to your job?
For me, a happy fulfilling marriage or partnership is built on many things. The same goes for a happy fulfilling job. Besides good communication skills, sharing common goals and having a strong self-awareness. A strong foundation for both of these is having a set of shared values .
Now, it probably depends on which stage of life you are in, as your priorities and values at 22 are very different to your priorities and values at 45. A fresh out of school or college graduate will most probably say that having a job is all about getting a pay check, finally gaining independence and building up the required work experience. So in a nutshell they value money, independence and experience above all else.
Now you may maintain these values throughout your career and be perfectly happy. However, as you move through your career your values may shift. This shift is not always known to us upfront, but what we might start noticing or feeling is that our work satisfaction and motivational levels have decreased. This could mean a host of different things and before you pull your hair out perhaps start by asking yourself these questions.
- What was the initial reason for me joining the business?
- Have my prioritise or values changed since joining the business?
- Are the business values aligned to my current personal values?
- Does the business live up to their stated values?
- Do I trust that the business will align all important decisions it makes with its values?
By answering these questions you will clearly see if you share the same values, or you may identify an area which needs to be reviewed. For example one of the parties might not be living their values, or your own personal values may have shifted. It may not be about money and independence anymore, it may be about integrity, honesty and trust.
Then like in any marriage or partnership, the crucial question is asked. Do I stay and work through these issues, through good times and bad times, or do I choose to leave? The choice is yours.