Most of us probably spend more waking moments at work than we even do in our own homes. So doesn’t it make sense to make where you work just as enjoyable as it is at home? Think about it. After a long hard day at work, I love coming home to my beautiful wife and my wonderful kids. Likewise, when I get to my office, I love interacting with my colleagues and coworkers. Throughout my career, I’ve made it an emphasis to create an environment at work as enjoyable as possible. It didn’t matter if I was brand new at a company low on the totem pole or a seasoned manager or executive. I made it a point to make the workplace enjoyable.
As a recruiter, I hear various reasons why people want to make a move, ranging from the need for more money and career growth to a desire for shorter a commute and more flexibility. However, most of these same individuals imply that the work environment is not very enjoyable either. I can bet that if they enjoyed their workplace more, they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to change jobs. On the flipside, as a headhunter trying to recruit people away from their current situations to new opportunities, even more money and growth alone can’t lure them away if they truly enjoy the workplace they are at. I believe that the majority of people would be willing to sacrifice a few bucks here and there if they found their workplace truly enjoyable.
Still, for some reason, a lot of people don’t seem to be proactive in making their surroundings better. Believe it or not, you truly can affect a positive change in your workplace. You can make more of an impact than you think. Like a mathematical equation, there are two sides. We’ve all heard of the expression, “One bad apple spoils the barrel.” If you believe that, then you should also believe the converse to be true as well. Do you ever go to a party and there’s always this one person, whenever he/she is there, the party is even better? Well that’s what I mean. You can be that person at work to make the workplace better.At the end of the day, I try to advise people to be more proactive in making improvements in their current job and exhausting all their efforts there before jumping ship to a new company. Changing jobs usually doesn’t solve workplace issues. You should always start with “you.” You have to have a perspective to work similar to being married. Just because you have an argument with your wife or husband doesn’t mean you should get a divorce and find someone new. You got married for a reason. Similarly, you accepted the job for a reason. Both are long-term commitments. No employer wants to hire a job hopper. Employers want to hire committed professionals. If you’ve had five jobs in five years, you’re going to have a hard time convincing people you are a committed employee. So before you decide to change jobs, ask yourself if you’ve done everything humanly possible to make your workplace the best it can be. If you truly make an effort you’ll love going to work just as much as you love going home. Believe me, I do.
Song Woo, an employment and career management expert, is the President and CEO of Lighthouse Management Group.