What's the difference between a custodian and a healer? Mindset.
To the point that one custodian saw herself as a "healer," someone who creates a clean and sterile environment that inspires patients and encourages healing.
What was the difference between the two? Their mindset, their approach to work and, you guessed it, the outcomes they achieved.
This made me think: how do you see you work? Are you "just" a teacher? An administrator? A dean or manager or secretary?
I know I'm more than a consultant. I'm a "maximizer of human potential," and that makes all the difference in the way I approach my work.
The custodian example came from this powerful article about one of my favorite topics: job crafting. In job crafting, you do the same tasks but in a different way, changing either the process, the people you interact with, or the way you see the task altogether. The end results are higher satisfaction and more meaning, and often better outcomes.
Instead of seeing bus duty as "getting kids on the bus in an orderly fashion" you approach it as a competition, an opportunity to build relationships, or an experiment to test out different methods on a daily basis for streamlining the process. The buses don't change, nor do the students. But the task takes on new meaning, thereby increasing your engagement and, often, the satisfaction of the constituents involved.
You could simply attend your meetings, or you could use them as an opportunity to practice reading nonverbal cues, tracking them on a separate sheet of paper to increase your emotional intelligence. You could be intentional about who you sit next to, and make it your mission to learn more about them and develop trust. Or you could practice listening empathically. Suddenly, meetings are more than a duty.
Job crafting is the key to loving your work without having to leave it.
See, most people I coach believe there is something better "out there" than what's right in front of them. Sometimes that's true. But often, like most of the time, what's needed is a mindset shift -- a RESET.
Last March, I wrote "RESET: How to Get Paid and Love What You Do" and people mistakenly took it for a book about changing careers.
It's definitely that, but it's more than that. It's about the concept of reframing your work and approaching it from a new angle that incorporates your greatest asset -- YOU. It's about getting clear about who you are and bringing that to what you do, and reaping the rewards of congruence.
So change the way you approach your work and take control of your satisfaction. Here are the first basic steps:
1. Pick a task.
2. Explore how you could reframe it in one of three ways:
- Task Crafting (changing the activities involved in your job by taking on more or fewer tasks, expanding or diminishing the scope of tasks, or altering the way you perform tasks.)
- Relational Crafting (changing the extent or nature of your interactions with other people. Altering who you do it with, to, or for.)
- Cognitive Crafting (changing the way you think about the purpose of tasks, relationships, or the job as a whole.)
If you want to take your job crafting to ninja level, create a Profile of Self and figure out how to weave your values, strengths, and environments into formerly mundane or monotonous tasks.
My guess is you'll find greater satisfaction from simply attempting to job craft.
From the article: "Whatever your disposition, actively working to hone your job into something nearer to your heart can increase satisfaction at work."