Eight Things to be Grateful for at Work
It’s that time of year again to look back on the last 12 months, and while it may not have been perfect, there are many things to be glad about—including our being able to make a living
During the holidays and end of the year, many practice the lovely tradition of looking back and trying to be thankful for all the good things that have occurred for them in the past twelve months and the different ways that they are blessed.
Being grateful is easiest when off on holiday vacation, but when having to work during the last weeks of December or when immediately coming back in January, most of us are more likely to complain than affirm. After all, it's easier to whine about annoyances like bad traffic, and obstacles like taxes and politics, than it is to celebrate what's great about being able to live— and make a living— every day.
According to author A.J. Cook in his book, “Thanks A Thousand: A Gratitude Journey”, “When I force myself to utter the awkward phrase, "I am grateful," I actually start to feel a bit more grateful. It's basic cognitive-behavioral therapy: Behave in a certain way, and your mind will eventually catch up with your actions.”
Indeed, sometimes there’s not much to it but to do it, and recognizing what you’re grateful for at your job not only provides clarity and vision on your role, but it can also help determine the next step in your career (because why stay in a place that gives you little to be grateful for, right?)
There. We said it. While many would rather insist that their bosses need them than they need their bosses, the fact of the matter is the head of the business is a significant part of our employment. Not only do they approve the checks that become our salaries, they, more importantly, set the tone for the company in terms of culture and productivity.
So if you have a leader who shows support, encouragement, and interest in your professional growth as much as they do for the organization and actually believes you and your colleagues (and not him or her) is what defines it, then congratulations, you have a boss who deserves your gratitude.
If not, there’s also that saying about good employees not leaving jobs, but actually leaving (bad) bosses.
Speaking of company culture, are you employed where you’re excited to come to work and you feel that you are an integral part of the team and ultimately respect and identify with the company’s values? If you do, then you are fortunate to spend most of your time in a place where you are one with the company culture.
While the importance of this in any organization continues to be emphasized by many, it remains elusive to many, and we should indeed be grateful when we are fortunate enough to have a meaningful role in an equally meaningful workplace.
There's a reason most of us still go to a central location to get our work done— the workplace provides an environment in which people can collaborate and complete the various and numerous tasks and responsibilities related to their jobs.
Now while not all companies can be a Google or Facebook with their cafe-like office pantries and resting areas that can put some hotels to shame, they can be one that provides you a workspace that is not only safe, comfortable and (relatively) convenient to get to, but is one that is equipped with essentials like internet, ergonomic office chairs, and working computers that will help you succeed.
Remember, some companies are still operating out of the CEO’s apartment, or a rented table with another company, so we should be grateful when our companies no longer have to rough it.
Working from Home
While a suitable workplace is a major plus in any job, so too is the opportunity to be able to work from home or work remotely.
Whether your employer allows you to do this regularly, routinely, or on occasion, consider yourself fortunate to even have the option, as some jobs and/or employers can’t outright provide it.
Time is a resource that can’t be renewed, and being allowed to work from home or do so remotely is a great help in saving us from lengthy commutes to and from the office, as well as allows us to manage our schedules a little bit better when it comes to not just our work, but the things we do for or at home with our loved ones.
With plenty of solutions readily available to us, it can be easy to get caught up and take the technologies we have access to for granted.
So while we often complain of slow internet connections or the receipt of too many emails, just imagine having to types memos or messages to colleagues with a typewriter, or having to physically go to every meeting sans the option of video calls or chat.
So while it can be nostalgic for some to do all calls on a telephone and have presentations printed on plastic sheets and have the content displayed on an overhead projector, would anyone really want to still be in that era?
Most full-time professionals are at work at least 40 hours out of the 7-day week. With that said, we should consider ourselves fortunate if we work with a group of people who are smart, creative, inquisitive, and downright awesome.
While the daily grind can sometimes have us taking this for granted, it is great colleagues who have us liking to go to the office and have us producing better work than we would otherwise.
On the other hand, having colleagues who backstab and undercut you, among other negative things, are signs of a clearly a toxic workplace. So, if you’re able to be grateful for colleagues who are the definition of a team and/or family, that’s a pretty big win. If not, then it’s time to reconsider where to spend most of the week in.
Speaking of where you spend most of your time in, work can be stressful, be it the circumstances that surround it like deadlines or toxic colleagues, or the things that relate to it like traffic and taxes.
Still, these are considerably okay issues to have to face, as opposed to having an entire day to yourself spent mostly looking for work to successfully apply to. While we may not always enjoy where or how we make a living, we should always be glad to have the opportunity to at least take it as one step in a lengthy and fulfilling overall career.
While your commitment to your career is admirable (and something your employer should be grateful about on their end), your mind, body, and loved ones also need you to take a break from it.
Time off is typical at the end of the year, and you can be grateful for it by actually taking it, using the time to take stock in what you have and get ready for the year ahead. If you’re in industries such as retail, food service, and even healthcare, time off may have to come after the holiday season. Either day, take it as soon as you can and be glad to have it.
Taking a step back from work will actually give you a chance to view it from a different vantage, and help you be more grateful for the professional journey you continue to have as well as spend time with the people who drive you to do it in the first place.
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