In a recent interview I read with George Clooney, he said “Anyone would be lying if they said they didn’t get lonely at times. I’ve been infinitely more alone in a bad relationship; there’s nothing more isolating.” He was talking about personal relationships and I think the same can be said about our relationship with work.
I can think of numerous people, during my salaried career that hated their job and complained about their work on a regular basis. In fact, it was one of the reasons that as a graduate trainee I promised myself I’d remain passionate about my career and, if I ever felt that enthusiasm waning then I would move on.
There’s a school of thought that to be successful, the first step is to fall in love with your work. A great place to start, I agree and we typically love doing the things we are naturally good at. There is more though to job satisfaction than simply being good at what you do. Experience tells me that we also need to have a sense of success in our endeavours and that usually comes through our working relationships.
Business owners and those of you in customer-facing roles will relate. A good day is when people are available to take our calls and respond to our emails or better still spot an opportunity to work with us and so make a direct enquiry. Less satisfying are those times when no-one picks up the phone or responds to any of our attempts to engage.
After 8 years running Robertson Fox it still takes me by surprise when everyone seemingly disappears off the radar and that feeling of being disconnected can be quite disconcerting. And yet it is part of a natural cycle of peaks and troughs; ebbs and flows. Most important is how you react, in particular to the lows. Once you recognise what is happening it is easier to accept and de-personalise. Remember, it isn’t about you. People haven’t disengaged because you’ve done something wrong; their attention is simply focused elsewhere.
The tide always turns and when you become busy again you’ll be wondering why there aren’t more hours in the day. So make the most of the quieter times and use them to get yourself organised or complete those jobs that are taking up headspace but that do need to be done.
Even better, have all that stuff on standby and you may find you can pick off a few of those jobs even whilst you’re busy.