We all want to feel good about our jobs. But how can we meet our goals without feeling overworked and stressed out? Michel Giffard, a corporate coach, explains that being happy in your job isn’t an aim in itself, but rather an on-going endeavor that requires you to let some things go.
Be Aware of Your Value
A job can give you a positive self-image, a sense of being part of society, an outlet for your creativity, and financial rewards. A company aims for you to participate in a collective effort. Therefore, as a salaried worker, you accept responsibilities and feel part of a group initiative. Companies that have made strong social and environmental commitments, like Veolia and Danone, even invite their employees, suppliers and clients to get involved in decision-making. German groups put more emphasis on this concept of shared objectives, and are better able to handle this aspect of operations than French companies are.
Ask Yourself How Autonomous You Are
In corporate life, incompetent general management can undermine employees. If management fails to motivate people, employees must find their own motivation within themselves. Your company could call on a coach, whose role is to encourage you to ask questions and help you develop an autonomy that can make you more effective at your job. In contrast, the existence of a chief happiness officer, pinball tables and soda machines will not reinforce autonomy, and will not really contribute to employee satisfaction.
Listen to Your Feelings, without Being Overwhelmed
The problem isn’t stress; it’s too much stress. And a negative comment affects us only as much as we take it to heart. As an African proverb says, “Those who make peace with their external enemies will have no internal enemies”. Stress comes from within us, from our own urge to conform. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed: making a clear distinction between professional life and personal life can be life-saving. Burn-out is mainly caused by external forces that have a strong internal impact. It’s necessary to take a step back, live your own life, protect yourself, while also being able to question yourself.
Don’t Be Afraid to Leave the Company
Don’t confuse your own interests with those of your company. Quitting your job can be a beneficial choice, but you need to choose the right moment, the kairos moment. And before you take the final step, make the best possible use of the company’s resources and competencies, thinking of them as a launch pad. You could eventually opt for outplacement status, an external reclassification. A counselor can perform a skills assessment and help you create a new business activity.
Michel Giffard (H.70)
Having served as an engineer dedicated to economics research, a financial controller and CFO, and a consultant, in 1989 he founded his own consulting company that specializes in management and personal development, executive and team coaching, and training of professional coaches. He is the author of many books on the subject.