During a recent peer coaching in a community meeting, the following question was raised: I don’t like my work environment, even though I like some of the working conditions (good vacation plan, security, pay, generally good tasks). How do I deal with it?
The energy in the group showed, that this is a question, all of us have dealt with at some point in our lives. The answers to this question are different for everyone of us. I would like to introduce two ideas and plays, that you can use to find your answer:
Knowing my core values
Before I know my next move (and if I really have to make one), I need to know what drives me and where I am moving towards. One strong driver for making decisions are my personal values. Do I love communities? Security? Stability? Adventure? All of them? But which one most? To gain clarity, try out a simple exercise. Choose 10 values that resonate with you. There are endless lists online, check for example these ones:
Once you have selected your 10 value ideas, its time to bring them into an order. Compare every one to all the others in a matrix. You can use my Google docs template:
For me, the results were somewhat surprising. Some values, which I thought would be really important to me, did not make it to the top 5. Others were a clear winner.
(I cannot take credit for the exercise itself, I learned it at a great leadership session with Peter Dilg.
With this exercise (and the thoughts & reflections that come with it), you gain clarity of what is important to you. This can help to understand if
- you are in the right place. Because there your core values are satisfied, you may just have to find a balance, other inspiring people, hobbies, maybe go part-time.
- if you are clearly in the wrong place and have to consider a change. Then your values can help to find the next move. When looking for other jobs, check in your research and your interviews, whether this company can help you live your core values. Because this will make you a good employer for them as well. Being motivated, inspired and content to be in the right place.
Knowing the worst-case scenario
If you know you need a change but are hesitant to step in the unknown, try out the pre-mortem, one of the great plays in the Atlassian playbook. The play is intended for projects, but hey, changing your job is kind of a personal project as well.
The excercise gives you the opportunity to think of the worst horrible scenarios that can happen… Imagine them and write them down. Then look at that picture, think about: which of the aspects feel really bad for you? And which ones can you tolerate. Now look at the bad ones: What can you do to tackle them early and prevent them from becoming true, or minimise the risk. Write down the measures you want to consider and execute during your journey.
I bet you, the worst possible scenario can loose its gruesome face and become a less scary, once you think it through and make them visible.
I am curious if these plays could help you on your way. Let me know how it went or if you have other questions, feel free to give feedback.