Is a good day at work becoming a thing of the past II…making sense…

Judging from the lapse in time for the second posting of this two part blog you may well be forgiven for thinking that yes, a good day at work is something that is just not that common any more.

If that is your way of thinking, then despite my previous blog that may have led you to think that I think this (lots of thinking going on here), please let me assure you it is not what I think.

Even with the toxic situations that are present in the workplace, even though bullying may be present, even though we are worn out, I believe that the workplace is an environment in which we can find real satisfaction and meaning.

The reason I believe this is that no matter what may be happening, whether we have just gotten the promotion we wanted or the redundancy we didn’t, we still have a choice about how we relate to those events, how we interpret them, how we make the most of them, and if we can do that then we still have control over what we want to do and how we do it.

Remembering that is really important because it is often the thing we forget when we are stressed or overworked/underemployed. If you can control your thoughts then you are in control.

One of our areas of work here at grays is all about wellbeing, one of the methods utilised has been developed from Antonovsky’s work on salutogenesis; in order to strengthen you own wellbeing at work we coach you through a process that helps you to figure out the meaning in what is happening in your work life. Why do we do this? Well if you can gain some meaning then you are on the path to making sense of what is happening, this contributes to your bank of wisdom or ‘lessons learned’. It is a really positive way to think about your work.

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Here are some sense making tips of how to do this for yourself:

  1. Draw a mind map of your current situation, put yourself in the middle and then connect them with all the events surrounding you (good and not so good)
  2. Draw one of you 3 years ago, and one of you 3 years before that.
  3. Step back from the 3 mind maps you have drawn and look to see if there are any patterns, if there are highlight these.
  4. From the highlights consider whether these are patterns you want to see in the future, if not then decide how you will let them go. If they are things you want then put them into your plan for the future. These are your ‘lessons learned’ and will help you to figure out that there has been a reason why what has been happening may be a good thing for your future.

To a greater extent you are in control of whether or not you have a ‘good day at work’, and this is because you have control over your own thoughts about work. By carrying out and repeating this process you are practising something that will help you to feel more positive about your future, and by making sense of events you will be able to direct your actions towards the future you want.