As a passionate person, you are more likely to have the desire to work on yourself and improve. By having this passion we are making ourselves more valuable, and therefore we can add more value to our team and others. Passion is what really gets people out of bed in the morning.
How do you think the world sees you? Do they see you as a “go-getter”? Do they see you as a leader? Do they see you as a person with a lot of influence? Do they see you as a person with a positive influence? Do they see you as a person with a negative influence? Do they see you as a happy person? Do they see you as an unhappy person?
In my experience as an engineer for the past twenty one years, most of the people I have worked with have not enjoyed what they do. They saw their job as, just that….a job. They didn’t want to get up in the morning to go to work, and they couldn’t wait to leave work at the end of the day to get home.
1. What Experiences Have You Had?
Have you had the same experience in your place of work and industry? The few that eventually changed jobs or got promoted still had exactly the same feelings and attitude. I didn’t see that as any way to live a fulfilling life.
The reason there are so many people like this in the world of business is because of the people they are role modelling.
As we discussed earlier, a role model can have a positive or negative influence, and if most of the people you work with have a negative attitude then it is highly likely that the rest of the team will have the same attitude. Behaviour breeds behaviour.
These people were not headed in the right direction. They were headed in the wrong direction and worst of all, they were bringing people with them. This can cause a huge problem for any organisation.
Everywhere these people go, they always have the same problem. It is either a problem with the job they’re doing, a problem with their boss, a problem with the work environment, or a problem with their work facilities. Maybe these people need to take a hard look at themselves and realise…….they are the problem.
If you are the problem, seek help to try and solve you. It is very difficult to solve you on your own.
I know this, because earlier in my engineering career, I was that problem. In my first job as an apprentice mechanical engineer, I was very unhappy at the boss I had, and the people I worked with were all very negative and bitter.
2. Do You Have The Right Attitude To Improve?
So I was developing the same attitude. I lived at home with my parents at the time, and I remember on most days of the week when coming home from work, I could snap at anyone for the tiniest thing, which I regret massively.
A month after I finished my apprenticeship, the company I was working with went down and we were all made redundant. I have to admit, I was over the moon because I didn’t have to work with the same engineers again, and more importantly, I wouldn’t have the same boss.
A couple of weeks following my redundancy I got a new job as an engineer for a company who made the colorant in plastic bottles for companies like Sprite and Fanta. My job was to help maintain the machines that did the mixing of the colorant.
From day one I had exactly the same feelings as before, I didn’t want to be there, I didn’t like my boss, and the team I worked with had the same bitter and negative attitude.
I remember thinking to myself, is this how the world of work is going to be for me? Was I going to wake up every single day feeling angry that I’ve got to go to work? Would I not like anyone and watch the clock until it was time to go home?
Thinking like that really depressed me, and the worst thing about my thinking was that I believed that it was everyone else’s problem. I believed that it was their fault that they were making me feel like this.
After about six months in that job, I moved to my next job which was in the rail industry and working for the train operating company in Liverpool.
I started there as an engineering technician, which was office based but also required hands on work to help maintain the trains. I thought as the job was different to my two previous jobs, it would make me happier. But, I was wrong.
I still felt the same as before, I still had a bitter attitude towards my boss and also the people I worked with. It must be the engineering industry is what I thought; it must just be full of miserable people.
So, I was again thinking of moving jobs after about six months of working there. This was no way to build a career and I had to address this issue.
In my six months review with my boss, I told him exactly how I felt and that I had felt very similar in my previous jobs. Before I could tell him why I felt like that, he immediately said, “You are the problem, Tom. The only way you can change how you feel and become happier in your job is to change yourself, not anyone else”.
He had made me realise that no matter where I went, I always had the same problem….ME. He also made me realise of the amazing position I was in to build a career and life that meant something. His exact words were “Be grateful for where you are Tom, but always strive for something more.” Those words have never left me.
I made the decision at that very moment to ALWAYS be grateful for what I had, but ALWAYS strive for something more. I had to change what was necessary to change: ME!
About a year after that conversation with my boss, I was in a much better and happier place. I was still working with the same company, and proud to be part of it. The company had invested in me by putting me through my engineering degree and signing me up to an engineering graduate scheme.
3. Do You Invest In yourself?
The investment that the company had made in me helped me to realise that I needed to also invest in myself to continually develop. The fact that I was developing myself increased my influence with the rest of the team, and they then wanted to do the same.
There were more engineers who were invested in and put through university. This improved morale in the team and ultimately was better for the company as a whole.
Leaders embrace change, they focus their energy on change, they don’t fear change. How much are you willing to change?
When your company invests in you, it shows you that they care by making that investment. That simple gesture of investment by them cannot be it though, you have to invest in yourself too. Only you can make yourself happier, like I did.
Making that decision to ALWAYS be grateful for what you have in your life and in your job, allows you to see what you have differently. Be grateful for your boss, your teammates, and the benefits that the company provide you.
4. How Grateful Are You With What You Have?
For example, your salary, and what the benefits of having a job allows you to do in life (holidays, material things etc.). Most importantly, be grateful for the opportunities that your company provide you.
These opportunities allow you to grow both in your role and for the future. See what you have in your job and as a future leader as a privilege.
Since I changed myself and my views on how I saw things, every job I’ve had since has been a place for me to grow and to learn new things. It has also been a place where I can make a difference, every day.
I find it amazing that companies will pay you to develop yourself. They are getting you ready for your next step in your career; no matter if that is with them or with a different company. How can you not be grateful for that?
Make the decision to ALWAYS be grateful for what you have, but ALWAYS strive for something more.
By making that decision, you are setting yourself on that right direction. So, it is one of the most positive decisions you will ever make, because that is what it is…A DECISION!
How would you like to be remembered?
By being an average person or an excellent person? By being a leader or a follower?
I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.
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All the best,