Let’s be real for a few minutes here, I’m talking about the majority of us now. Not the 1% of us swanning around Instagram with the secret to happiness glowing through a softened Valencia filter.
No, I’m talking about the 99% of us who Excel at spending days and days trapped in our Office dreaming of a better Outlook on life.Trying not to say a Word to anyone. Dreaming of the genius it would take to cleverly insert a PowerPoint pun into a rant about dreaming.
Dreaming of a vision better than the one staring back at us through the flicker and blue shine of the DailyMail.com sidebar.
But we don’t do we? We don’t dream of a better life for us. We dream about whether to cook or get pizza from Saino’s. We dream about whether there will be a second series of Killing Eve. We dream about whether this is the weekend we start CrossFit (it isn’t) We dream about other people’s lives through Facebook.
It’s as if we are caged polar bears. Great big fat beautiful animals strolling around, repetitively, back and forth, eating the same, shitting the same, doing the same. Whose sole purpose is to appear as if we are living life like we should, like we are meant to. Living our best lives. Enclosed in an environment that has been created to mimic the one we would thrive in, but actually completely artificial with secret little walls all around us, keeping us deceptively rigid in our ‘natural habitat’. Gazing out helplessly to the people that pass us by. Looking out curiously at the apparent freedom of our visitors with a rehearsed smile slapped on our mouths that repeat a stunted mundane language of pleasantries and agreement. Our eyes in full disagreement.
Who put us here? Are we safer here? Are we really that endangered? What’s the point in it?
Well, money I guess? Money and security? (whatever security is)(whatever money is). We work so that we earn money so that we can do the things we want. That’s the deal right? That’s what we signed up for right? That’s why we went to university right? So that we could work, year on year for that 3% increase in the ability to do the things we want to do.
1. They are not respected as people at work. They are viewed as production units, rather than valued collaborators.
2. They don’t have the right tools, equipment, information and basic operational requirements they need to do their job. When they ask for tools or guidance they get yelled at or ignored. What kind of company would impede its employees’ ability to do their jobs, then get mad at them for asking?
3. Their employer disregards their personal life and has no compassion for their obligations outside of work.
4. Their immediate supervisor is a tyrant, unqualified for their job, or both.
5. They are tired of being lied to.
6. They have no visibility into the future and no confidence their leaders will do the right thing, either from a business standpoint or a human standpoint.
7. They are tired of dealing with the politics in their workplace.
8. They are underpaid and overworked.
9. They go to work every day and push a rock uphill, trying in vain to get forward motion on their projects. They’re tired of pushing.
10. They have to watch every word they say and every move they make, because the knives are out and they could get in trouble — or get fired — for almost any reason.
It seems the old adage is true, You start a job and leave a manager. People really shape everything at work.
Change is almost never easy — but you’ll be very happy you made the decision to step into something new, once you’ve done it.
I walked away from traditional full time work with the calm rage of Hannibal Lecter eating a peach. If it wasn’t for certain ‘push’ factors, I’m not sure I would have had the guts to pull myself through to my working life now.
I’ve retrained, re-focussed and resisted the fear. In fact, I’ve revived fear. I’ve revived excitement, I’ve revived feelings and emotions (no place for those at work, no no, heaven forbid). It’s a funny one actually, like the polar bears in captivity, there is a constant numbing feeling with work (I know this is not true for all, and I love meeting people when they say they LOVE their jobs (and you sense that they actually mean it)) but how often does that happen?
I’m not preaching, and I’m not saying it has been easy for me, but by following my gut instinct and listening to what my body and my emotions were signalling, I am now experiencing a shit scary version of freedom everyday, and I love it. It is possible and I never thought it would be. Never.
So, What do you want? If you had the choice and there were no barriers in your way, what would you want to be doing right now? Why aren’t you doing it? If the answer is money, how much do you need, right now to make that step? Just have a think, that’s all I’m saying.