Are You Happy at Work? September 8, 2021
Over the past 3 months, I’ve shared a tip a day for job seekers (on my Insta). Since wrapping up the 100 days in August I decided to review my numbers. I have no designs on being a social media influencer or professional blogger, so I rarely review things like “reach” and likes and comments.
I AM highly committed to helping people, particularly in their careers because I believe in my bones that when people have work that gives them a sense of fulfillment and value (monetarily and personally) they feel better all around. I don’t know about you but when I feel better, I am a kinder neighbor, a more patient driver, and a more gracious member of the community where I live. When I’m happy at work I have the space and emotional bandwidth to listen intently when someone talks – not so I can rush in to respond but so I can hear what they are saying and hear what is under what they are saying. Most of us don’t spend time saying what we really feel. Either because we are afraid of feeling silly or being misunderstood, or simply because we feel so deeply, we’re afraid that we may just break down into tears during a conversation. (No? Just me?)
As I reviewed the insights from the 100 job hunting tips, the posts where I was most human and shared pieces of humanity received the most interaction. What this says to me is not that I’m an amazing and super-interesting person with deep thoughts (no matter what my Mom thinks). It just means we’re all starved for humanity at work.
All the news about Millennials leaving work in droves, candidates demanding more before taking new jobs, and hiring authorities pounding their desks in frustration comes down to the fact that being polarized and consistently stressed isn’t what anyone wants at work. (Do you need me to tell you this?!)
What my results also show is we are all looking for the light in the day. Contrary to what the media may want you to believe (and no shade to the media – they are businesses too!) most of us are looking for humans in our workplaces.
Sure, the past 20 years have seen a sharp increase in litigiousness and fear among employers and employees and that has, to some extent, pointed a laser at unfair work practices and implicit and overt biases in workplaces across the US – which is a good thing.
When things change, as they are now in the state of work, people get flummoxed. No matter how big the company or what their stock is trading at today, they are composed of very flesh and blood people at every level. Change is scary for everyone and it’s particularly disturbing for people who “have always hired this way.”
Change isn’t going to stop, is it? What can you do?
If you’re a job seeker, find ways to bring yourself to the job hunt. I advise you to bring your BEST self to the job hunt and to your work of course. Because if you make yourself over into someone you’re not and you don’t want to be in order to fit in – you’ll find yourself trying to escape nearly as soon as you get in. Instead, ask yourself what your priorities are for your life and how your work can add value. Next, ask yourself how you can add value in the workplace. Then begin your search for a new job with that perspective. It may help to find a professional who can help walk you through the process.
If you’re a hiring manager or recruiter, build relationships and have conversations with the candidates you meet. Don’t pass judgment on things like how old you think they are, or what YOU think the person means when they tell you what they’re looking for in a new role. If you’re not sure, ask for clarification.
Most people who have been hunting for work for more than a minute aren’t used to anyone really listening to them beyond spouting the things in their resume. As a talent specialist, you can stand out by letting people be human in your presence. Also, don’t be afraid to push back on job requirements that don’t make sense. Whether it’s 5 years of experience for an “entry-level” position or the fact that the unwritten requirement says the candidate must have “runway” which is generally code that the hiring manager is going to turn down anyone that they “feel” may retire in the next 10 years. Have an honest chat about that because if we’ve learned anything in the last year – none of us are guaranteed another 10 years on the planet so partner with your managers to help them interview and hire the best person for the role right now.
When all is said and done, recruiting, job hunting, and hiring come down to everyone deserves to be happy at work.
Written by: PEGGIE ARVIDSON, Account Executive
Peggie Arvidson started recruiting in junior high school when she convinced her classmates to join her in creating a ski club. Since then, she’s held many positions from sales to recruiting to non-profit leadership and quality assurance. Her focus in her life and career is helping people to find their right work for the right pay because she believes that when people are happy at work, they are secure in life, and happy people change the world for the better.
Peggie has moved more than 30 times across 5 states and three time zones and is not a military brat. Before Covid, she spent her free time traveling with her friends and husband and now you can find her making beautiful things out of yarn, found objects, and her imagination.
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