How to FEEL for your job?
The current market conditions have companies make employees clock in minimum 9 straight hours for mostly 6 days a week. That’s over 200 hours a month (on a good day). Monotony and stagnation is bound to set it. For working moms, the clock doesn’t stop ticking. There is no ‘two punch and one lunch’ concept. These Sheroes are on call 24x7. Settling for mundane assignments becomes a norm in order to stay below the radar. Eventually their career graph stagnates, complacency sets in and retirement becomes their next career destination. However some exhausted yet ambitious working moms look for motivation beyond paychecks. After all, if they will spend 200 hours a month away from their kids, it better be worth their time.
So, is job satisfaction a myth for working moms? One can justify excuses like office politics, lack of inspiring leadership, poor compensation and inadequate team members. The most common dilemma is expecting differential treatment just because you are a woman. But as my ex-boss often said, ‘are you part of the problem or part of the solution?’ Over the years, I’ve learnt (often the hard way) that onus does lie in oneself. I’d like to call it FEEL for your job.
F – Firsts
Be the first to identify a potential opportunity. The first to anticipate problem areas. The first to make contingency plans for ongoing assignments. The first to help someone in need, they will return the favor someday. The first to take charge when meetings/teams go astray. The first to voice a discerning opinion. The first to come into work even – you will cherish the phrase ‘silence is golden’.
E - Elaborate
As the saying goes ‘God is the detail’, elaborate every critical step. Right brain and left brain need to work together. Look at your circle of influence and ensure every conceivable aspect has been covered. Follow the 80/20 rule and spend 80% of your time planning.
E – Excel
Be the best you can be. Come next day, better it. Always keep raising the bar, your own bar. Be it in terms of speed, or out of box thinking or collaborative working or leading. At the end of the day, if you can surprise yourself, it was time well spent.
L - Learn
Learning is a continuous curve. Learn the ropes. Learn from peers, counterparts, newcomers, baby boomers. Every single person brings with them their own unique frame of reference. Find role models to emulate from. Learn new skills, concepts, theories, frameworks. Personal and professional development will only widen your horizons to greater opportunities.
The next time you are at a dead end, remember to FEEL for your job. There would be several self-help books/practitioners out there but I hope these insights lend some different perspective. Eventually, all working moms face a glaring dilemma, will you wither or will you thrive? Only you can decide that for yourself. Once the choice is made, live with it.