Are you a Walter Mitty?
Find that what makes you happy; work should always be a labor of love! – Khalid Raza
Think about this…80 percent of the 18-44-year-olds check their smartphones as soon as they wake up.
It’s highly likely that your networks are reaching for their phones and scanning their newsfeed as they
start their day. No wonder every Monday morning, the social networks are mostly buzzing with ‘I hate
Monday’ posts. Today, of course was no different.
I, for one get seriously excited about Mondays.
Productivity gives me a buzz and therefore the
start of the week finds me bright eyed, raring to go.
And that makes me wonder, why is today’s
workforce so disengaged? What is missing? It isn’t
that the organizations do not have those fancy
activities and programs to ‘try’ to make them
happy. Organizations are trying to do everything
under the sun to keep employees engaged and
excited about work. For example: Quiz contests,
team outings (the worst of all), cricket tournaments,
some flash mobs (I seriously do not get it),
potlucks, dance, fashion fests, so on and so forth. Do they work, maybe yes, maybe not! I am not
suggesting all this is a waste of time, but what about before and after these activities? How would you
sustain the buzz and the engagement?
I was talking to a few young millennials (Yes, I am a millennial too) and for us the ‘experience’ is more
important than anything else. I asked this guy, “The org is doing so many events, why do you still want
to leave your job?”, and he looked at me, wondering if I am from Mars and quipped, “Dude, my job
sucks! And these events won’t take that away!” He was right. These wonderfully orchestrated colorful
events are worth zilch when it comes to ‘real’ employee engagement. Employee engagement is not an
event, it is a state of being, and you won’t get there with events! (Tweet this)
Last night, I was watching, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a light but enjoyable film by Ben Stiller
where the protagonist (Ben), a day-dreamer escapes his anonymous life by disappearing into a world
of fantasies filled with heroism, romance and action. When his job along with that of his co-worker are
threatened, he takes action in the real world embarking on a global journey that turns into an adventure
more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined.
I am not saying we all should become Walter Mitty (why not though) but why are we stuck in jobs which
do not inspire us, but may have promised us fatter packages? Why is it that only compensation inspires
us while we know that money would never be enough? Why do we want organizations to keep us
engaged? Why can’t we be engaged at work?
I am interested to know your thoughts – Do Mondays make you happy or sad? There is a discussion
happening on Facebook, feel free to add your bit.