Redefining Work

“He who has a WHY to live for can bear with almost any how.” – Friderich Nietzsche

The word work needs tuning in order to make aligning every individual’s strengths and every organization’s needs to their rightful counterpart.  The word work does not need to carry with it negative connotations or sweeping associations such as ideas relating to imposition, force, negative stress, frustration, and more.  Looking forward to every day needs to overthrow the idea of looking forward to living for the weekends only.  In not living for 5 days out of the week, an individual may have the fortune to age into his or her 80’s and not lived nearly close to the age attained.  Similarly, rather than look forward to a vacation away from the realities of every day, especially work, a change must occur by which individuals do not feel compelled to abandon their posts and duties.  Instead, individuals are absorbed in what they do as members of society, while remaining balanced in other spheres of human living.  The aim is to change the perception of work from “having to” to “wanting to”, from “no fun” to “play and creativity”, and from “just another day” to “an opportunity every day to do good.”  In essence, the aim is to lose track of time at work, because of its unique access in leading to internal harmony, due to achieving alignment with tying one’s core values to an external purpose.  The reinvention of the word and associated action related to work could include clear and focused vision, macro and micro-scale purpose, and meaningful connection.  Both an individual and an organization must feel committed to the greater goals; they must both think and feel they are connected and dependent upon each other in creating something of value and feeling the mutual urgency in bringing it forth into the world.  Once the word is redefined, then the faster implementation of matching work seekers with work places is made possible.

When analyzing the labor market, whether an individual is seeking their first or new opportunity, both an individual and organization should pursue a partnership between employee and employer.  The power held in the interview phase of the sourcing process should not rest on the side of the employer only.  The individual has as much duty to interview the employer and their needs in order to secure an ideal fit.  By both parties diligently learning about the other, future losses such as time and energy are prevented. The reason why an employee should thoroughly interview the employer is to discover the needs and expectations associated with the position, and therefore enabling the chance to make an honest assessment on whether or not he or she can fulfill the demand.  Honesty and awareness should guide the search from both sides in order to find the best match.  Furthermore, rejection is not cause for personal injury on both parts.   An organization may seek other qualities that they either failed to see or the individual failed to show.  Regardless of whose failure, however, the rejection does not diminish the qualities the individual embodies; they were just either not clearly demonstrated or not needed for that particular position.  A position elsewhere seeks the strengths that the individual possesses and was rejected.  In either case, hopefully both parties gain experience by which to move forward more wisely.  Similarly, a work-seeker can reject an organization’s offer due to several reasons such as not having enough creative reign.  An organization rejected by an individual does not limit it in finding the right individual, who performs best under its current status.

Individuals spend a third of their life sleeping, a third of their life in leisure, and a third of their life at work; the former two are not as neatly cut into 8 hours each.  Rather, with the current information age based labor market individuals spend more than 8 hours at work per day.  12 hour work days exist too in many labor sectors, whereby individuals go to work, return home to rest, and awake to go directly back to work; they do not have time to manage a home until they have an off day, which creates a work day at home during an off day from work.  In essence, there is no rest.  Thus, creating or acquiring work, whether it is produced with the mind, the hands, or both with assistance from the heart, is of utmost importance, since on average individuals spend a third of their lifetime working.  To perceive work as work is missing an invaluable opportunity or spark to living.  With every new day there are exactly 24 hours of time available to do, to play, and to rest.  To do and to play do not need to dwell in separate spheres of time.  Meaningful and fulfilling work can transcend the boundaries of mundane drudgery and into realms of playfulness, creativity, and flow.  Likewise, the work life balance do not need to exist apart.  Colleagues are able to transform into extensions of family, if the right conditions are met for meaningful connection brought by sharing hope, conviction, and purpose in the shared labor.

Therefore, work seekers and work organizations should seek compatibility or alignment with one another in order to create maximum synergy for a productive and meaningful outcome.  Every individual is born with strengths, and strengths are also developed.  The responsibility of both parties, the work seeker and work organization is to find a right fit.  Developing awareness to recognize certain embodied skill sets and personality traits in the self will lead to direction in matching with work opportunities.  The skills required for various types of work are diverse, and as such require a diverse pool of individuals to fill them.  Some individuals are not able to sit at a desk alone for several hours; they need to communicate with others.  Others are either shy or introverted and prefer and thrive at tasks requiring more solitude.  The point is that there is a task for everyone just as there is someone for every task.  The responsibility falls on both sides to make an honest and objective assessment about the compatibility of the potential relationship.

“What man actually needs is not some tension-less state but rather the striving and struggling for some goal worthy of him.”
– Viktor Frankl




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