So what’s been going on in my little world that’s been keeping me from blogging since February? Well, on a physical plane I’ve been simultaneously undertaking a career change and instigating a house move for which, and in spite of drawing on all my organizational powers and cashing in all my brownie points with the heavenly powers to get the job done, I feel like I’m still peering down a long dark tunnel, hoping soon to see some daylight.
On a metaphysical plane I’ve been immersing myself in new professional surroundings and learning a culture of a very different substance to that I’ve previously known, so much so that my current mission giver has (again) been recognized by FORTUNE Magazine and the “Great Place to Work Institute” as one of the 100 best companies to work for in 2015, with a current ranking of 35, and that for the past 13 years running! I won’t stoop so low and make comparisons with certain other companies I worked for previously and who are nowhere near the same distinction… that would be vindictive and probably not reflect the reality. In fact, as it happens, I have a great respect for some of the people I used to work with, mainly for their survival instincts, their quasi clairvoyant perspicacity and their faculty for making figures talk!
But the fact of the matter is that core corporate concerns are the same the world over at the moment, whatever the company you work for, with exactly the same “Ins and Outs” and “Ups and Downs” and staff well-being is managed differently from company to company even if this can now be quantified and “Moneyfied” using the latest version of any Risk or Change Management software programme.
That the search for an inner harmony (corporate and personnel/personal) seems more present and propitious where I am at the moment, going beyond the mandatory workshops, Bagels on Friday or spin doctor (Social) media articles, and says a lot about a company’s understanding that its more astute to maintain a happy workforce than to constantly have to hire and train new staff. OK so come evaluation time or the end of the Financial Year the stress may be a bit more present but then that’s the same the corporate world over, unless you happen to work at Tesco’s, where there can’t be too many smiling happy faces around at the moment.
By the way, this may smell like the classical three-month honeymoon love affair, you know, the “I love my new job and everything’s hunky dory” thing, so let me put this straight. If you’ve been around the figurative “Block” a few times you tend to get lucid about on-boarding, especially when in some recent past jobs the honeymoon period was over before the end of the first week!
So what’s my point? Well, it’s quite simply this. The secret to achieving (professional) inner harmony starts by being able to recognize when you’re being offered a job where the prospect of achieving professional satisfaction seems more of a reality than ever before. That you then have to make it work depends on you alone, and your ability to show the people hiring you that what they saw in you is real and not just a couple of lines of rhetoric in a CV.
I read an article recently about the quest for the inner light within us all and while most of us are a long way from reaching the degree of enlightenment the writer was talking about, you have to start somewhere (the sooner the better and better late than never, etc, etc…). Me, I got started by fixing myself one objective: Reducing my negative stress level at work.
But let me just backtrack a second. I understood that when I was hired it wasn’t only for my Skill-sets but for something others had discerned in me, emotional intelligence, empathy, poise… vital elements I know I’d picked up along the way when managing people or faced with tight situations and difficult meetings. I’m sure the hirers also saw some resulting scar tissue, but there you go! I’m dealing with a new race of professional who is able to factor in all this and still find what they’re looking for.
My second point is quite simple: Flair. If someone has had the “flair” (I won’t say “Perspicacity” again to labour the point) to drill down through a CV, filled with all sorts of skills & experiences, to the person beneath and say: “This is exactly what we need” you then in turn have to use all your flair and see the whole potential of what is being offered and expected of you! Are you up to it? Of course you are otherwise you wouldn’t be there asking yourself such existential questions!
But let’s come down from the clouds, even if, with convergence, clusters and Mars, that’s what it’s all about for me at the moment. There’s a saying that goes “What goes around, comes around” so while the person(s) hiring may be benevolent and Buddha reincarnated they are also, very assuredly, needle sharp, extremely pragmatic and eager for a return on their investment, so “Zero Chaos” checks will be run on the candidate and potential colleagues and partners will be solicited to talk to you because Zen or not the FUD factor has to be eliminated. Everyone’s been through it, even the most enlightened of angels, executives and entrepreneurs and why are they enlightened? Because they made that one existential decision, when it had to be made.