So, when did your job stop being fun? If you’re reading this, I’ll assume you’re not having a lot of fun at work. And that at one time, either at your current position or a previous one, you did have fun. Am I correct so far? If that’s the case what happened? Where did the fun go? When did your job stop being fun?
Make a list
I’d like you to take a moment and list the top three to five reasons you’re no longer having fun at work. Do me a favor write them down on a scrap of paper or type them into a word doc. After you’ve done this take a close look at them and find what they have in common? Is it the work, your boss, could it be you, or all of the above?
What Can You Do?
Last weekend my wife spoke at a conference. Between breakout sessions, my wife listened to a past officer of the organization who had cornered a new appointee. The former representative was haranguing the new appointee about the flaws of the governing body. When it didn’t stop, my wife joined the conversation and asked the former officer what he was doing about it. When he defended his statements and placed the blame again on “others”, she repeated the question. He didn’t answer. He walked away.
Here’s the Question
So, I have a question for you. What are you doing about it? I know what you’re thinking, its not your fault, is it? You hate being micro-managed, or your boss doesn’t listen, or since the COVID the world has turned upside down. And yes, if you’re thinking that you didn’t create these situations, you’re right—you didn’t. But does that mean you can’t do anything about it? No, it doesn’t. If you feel as if you’re being over managed have you ever discussed micromanagement with your manager? Have you told your boss you’d like time to discuss things? If the music is too loud did you ask anyone if you could turn it down?
It’s Not Gonna Be Easy
I didn’t say it would be easy. It won’t be. It may be tough, but if you haven’t tried to improve your situation, then you’re part of the problem. Take a look at your list again. One thing every point has in common is you. You’re the common denominator. And, there is something you can do.
How to Talk to Your Boss
First, don’t think of it as a critique, think of it as feedback. Pick your time and place and be professional.
- Meet one-on-one. Never give constructive feedback to your boss in front of the team. It might affect your bosses influence with other direct reports, and it will not turn out well for you.
- Meet face-to-face. Offering feedback to leadership isn’t something you send in an email. There’s too much chance for miscommunication. Meeting in person or virtually gives you the opportunity to communicate with each other with more than words words, with inflection, and facial expressions.
- Promote production. Tie your feedback to improved performance, increased production, and cost savings. Make it about the business not about you.
- Plan what you’ll say. Don’t improvise. I don’t care how well you speak extemporaneously, prepare your words before you talk with your boss. I wouldn’t suggest writing it word-for-word because that puts undue pressure on you to memorize a speech and you’ll sound…speechy. Make an outline, list bullet points, or use a checklist.
- Be professional. This is business. There’s no place for emotion in this conversation. Stick to the facts. Use logic.
- Learn what the priorities are. Ask your manager what they see as the priorities of your position and then tie that into how improved teamwork can help reach those goals.
- Share how you communicate best. Ask your boss what communication mediums they prefer? Is it email, phone call, social media, text or? Let them know your communication preferences, and while you’re at it share how you learn. Are you visual, auditory, or tactile? Understanding this will improve communication.
Put the Fun Back in Work
If you’re not having fun at work, you have three choices.
- Live with it and be miserable
- Find another job
- Do something about it
Number three may not work. You might not be able to do a darn thing about. It could even backfire, but doesn’t trying to improve your situation seem like a better plan than numbers one and two? Shouldn’t you try to make it better before you give up or quit? So. when did your job stop being fun?
How Can I Help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
So, does your business have a management training plan? Because, if not, many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out. It might help you stop putting off what you want to do.