Ever experienced a time when circumstances point to a lesson you best learn, much like an episode of My Three Sons? My Three Sons was a TV comedy series (1960 to 1972) that followed the life of a widower named Steven Douglas (Fred MacMurray), raising his three sons.
The Theme of Spring and today’s blog episode is PERSONAL VALIDATION IN THE WORKPLACE. So, let’s put this out into Cyberland and see if we can’t define this life lesson for those struggling in Employment Land.
We arrive into this world helpless and clueless. Through our education system and child rearing with the best of parental intentions, we are coddled, reinforced, and often pushed to succeed. As children we win ribbons at Field Day, quiver with report cards, anxiously await the grade on a term paper, and the review of a thesis until one day, we are dumped out of academia and into the cold, cruel Working World. Most often we are in our 20’s, anxious to be on our own, our heads finally out of textbooks, but totally in the clouds. We hit our first jobs ready to change the world, earn our first million, cure cancer and show the world we know what it needs.
Within a few short months, reality takes hold and it dawns on us, “Whoa! I no longer have immediate feedback to tell me where I stand.” Projects and customers and revenue become the new buzz words as we look anywhere and everywhere for performance feedback – for someone to tell us we’re (still) awesome, a cut above, and that the world cannot possibly turn without our index finger to push the globe. You realize that you’ve been dropped in the Employment Ocean expected to make it on your own, likely in an entry-level position with a supervisor or manager who is way too busy to show or throw you the ropes because he/she’s so busy trying to appease his/her boss.
~Enter the CRACK COCAINE of PERSONAL VALIDATION! ~
I remember serving in the federal court system and private law firms in my 20’s. Attorneys and judges did not exist to validate my existence. I was expected to affirm and help THEM and THEIR clients with billable hours. This is the time when the “all about me” era should come to a crashing halt. In the best of worlds you have someone (human resources or a trusted mentor) who will be frank with you about the reality of what’s going on. But often the addiction simply grows in severity until YOU become a real workplace problem.
So, here’s the “HR ADVICE” you should remember in addition to Hey! It’s Business! Whether you’re a new employee or been in business for decades, take this to heart:
Never, ever, ever hand your validation as a person or business professional to anyone. DO NOT grant anyone the power over your value and self-worth – not a business colleague, a trusted friend, a supervisor, manager, department head, CEO, not your spouse, your mother or father. YOU are the keeper of your value and worth forever and always. You ultimately answer to yourself and, if you are a person of faith, to your Maker.
At the end of the day, what ultimately counts is if YOU know in your heart and mind that you have done your best to make a difference. Was the day and the world better because you were a part of it in service to others? Can you thank God for the mission field you served upon and be willing and ready to serve it again tomorrow?
~From the desk of Becky Morlok~
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