Yeah, I know. Your job sucks sometimes. Servers crash, users complain, you are looking to your next job but haven’t quite gotten there yet, etc. Or maybe you’re having some troubles at home, not sleeping, etc.
I promise you that I will do my best, as your manager/leader/director/chief whatsit officer, to make your job better.
I will shift your workload, give you plum projects, take you out for beer, approve tons of personal time, etc. I will do everything in my power to make you happy and productive, because I know that happy workers are better at their jobs (except lawyers. No, really–I don’t have the citation on hand, but I read a study in business school that said so.).
But, honestly, I can’t keep you fixed.
I will protect you from politics, and defend you like a mother bear defending her cubs. I will fight for your requests even if I don’t necessarily completely agree (but do see the merit). I will joke with you, cry with you, and get angry alongside you.
But, still, I can’t keep you fixed.
As adults in the workplace, sometimes we need to take responsibility for our own happiness. Should we fight for what we want? Absolutely. Should we go to our managers with our complaints/problems? Yes.
But it’s not their job to keep us fixed. It’s our job to fix ourselves. If I’m going to my manager with a problem, I should also have some ideas of solutions. Maybe they’re not tenable solutions, but “I’m not going to do that” isn’t a solution–it’s creation of even more problems.
So yeah, jobs suck sometimes. And as a manager, I do my best to keep my team happy. But as a team member myself, I need to be cognizant that there is mutual responsibility for the fixing. I can’t keep you fixed, just like my manager can’t keep me fixed. But together, I think, we can probably do a decent job of getting through the day.
**Note to fellow grammar geeks: I know I switched personal pronouns, but it sounded really cranky when I didn’t…
Photo Courtesy of DaveOnFlickr.