Saturday, May 13, 2017

What I want (out of a job)

I just spent the better part of an hour trying to set up a LinkedIn account. It was depressing. I feel like I have no skills and I couldn't even find a category for my present job or my interests. Plus, you know, I'm 54 years old and not exactly lighting any fires anywhere.

So I started thinking about my present position. As I've stated many times, I LIKE what I do, I just don't seem to fit very well. I think the people who run things really do care deep down, but they just don't know what to do with a malcontent like me.

The GM is a nice guy with loads of energy and enthusiasm, and I feel bad because I think he really, really, really wants me to like working for him, yet he has no idea why I don't. He tries to encourage me by offering more money and giving me gift cards and such, and doesn't understand why that doesn't motivate me. He also puts forth great effort in trying to tell me what a good job I do, but fails to recognize how patronizingly droning it comes across.

All of this has got me wondering... so what DO I want out of a job (or boss)?

There are two phrases clanging in my head as I ponder. The first is from the Christian Bible. Proverbs 29:18 in the old King James version says,
"Where there is no vision, the people perish."
I realize expecting Godly vision in a secular job is far-fetched, but I like the idea it conveys about leadership nonetheless. Putting aside biblical interpretation, the simple concept of life-giving-ness coming out of good leadership does not seem that difficult to grasp. In other words, good leaders/managers are going to know how to inspire their workforce and create an environment where people want to work. Not to do so leads to the second phrase bouncing 'round my noggin:
"People don't quit jobs, they quit bosses."
You can like what you do, but if you don't like where you do it or who you do it for... well... that's my dilemma. And, again, it's not that I don't like the person(s), but I feel like I am perishing because of a lack of direction. In other words, I don't know what I'm supposed to do!


I know my boss is frustrated with me, and he knows I am frustrated with him. That's why I have asked a couple times about a MISSION STATEMENT for the company. I could be wrong, but I think something as simple as that is what I'm looking for. It should go beyond either of us personally.

When I say I don't know what to do, I'm not saying I don't know how to talk to customers, or rent storage units, or sweep crud off a concrete floor. I DON'T KNOW WHY I'M DOING WHAT I'M DOING. I guess I am looking for the REASON; the PURPOSE; the over-arching GOAL of what the company is asking us to work towards.

I understand many people are content to just go to work and get a paycheck. I know most people are probably motivated by dangling bigger dollars in front of their face.

As for me, I suppose I'm just one of those queer folk who need something more. I want to be contributing to a team, and I want the team to be contributing to something bigger than ourselves.

So, that's a lot of words just to say... I'm going to try to put down some thoughts about mission statements in hopes of gaining more clarity about what I want.

I think company mission statements create CLARITY (for the company AND employees) - what are we about?

I think company mission statements establish IDENTITY - who are we?

I think company mission statements give DIRECTION - where are we trying to go or what are we trying to do?

A simple google search brought me to Glenn Smith's coaching page (whom I forgot I have actually rubbed shoulders with in the past). The following points come from his article HERE:
7 Reasons Your Company Needs A Clear/Written Mission Statement:
  1. It determines the company's direction.
  2. It focuses the company's future.
  3. It provides a template for decision-making.
  4. It forms the basis for alignment.
  5. It welcomes helpful change.
  6. It shapes strategy.
  7. It facilitates evaluation and improvement.
As Glenn says, "Smart business owners use this statement to remind their teams why their company exists..."

THAT is what I am asking for more than money or perks or anything else. Are we here to provide safe, secure self-storage in a locally owned company, or do I simply go to work each day in order to make more money for the owners of the business??? I would honestly like to know.

So, my plan at the moment is to look further into mission statements. I have started noticing them everywhere I go - hospitals, restaurants, hotels, parks - just about everywhere EXCEPT on our company website! Maybe I will write a post at some point just sharing a bunch of different statements. Then, maybe I will waste some time trying to come up with some random ideas for the company I work for. I realize that sounds a little cynical, but the truth is it can't really come from someone at the bottom. But... what else have I got to do????