Engagement and Connection:
Finding your Work Valentine
By Andrew Sutherland

Engagement and Connection:
Finding your Work Valentine

By Guest Writer Andrew Sutherland 
Finding Good Certification Member

Andrew

We often do a skills inventory when looking to change jobs, but we don’t always stop to consider which attributes of our current work we enjoy doing that we may want again in our next job. Given we spend roughly half our waking hours at work, doing things we enjoy while at work has a significant impact on our overall wellbeing.

This past February, as part of our Monthly Wellness Wednesday initiative, I asked my colleagues to consider and share what aspect of the work they most enjoyed. Taking what I have learned from Brian, through the 2 day experience and now the certification, I set about to help identify and amplify the good by sharing and finding stories.

I shared about my career and invited others to share their experiences in their careers of what they enjoyed, and how, if they had struggled with job change, they found what to love in their new role.

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We found stories about production work that gave a sense of completion. We talked about finding the good in longer work projects and how they used skills like solving problems, as well as helping colleagues and clients. We also discussed job attributes that they enjoyed like having autonomy in how they did their work, while others enjoyed the more regimented routine, and many expressed enjoying the sense of community with their colleagues.

With roughly 300 people on the call, half those contributed to the discussion about the work or work environment that they enjoyed. Which ended in a list of about 30 things. In the post call survey 92% of the attendees enjoyed the event, and said they felt it positively impacted their wellness.

So why did a short 15 min call, have such a large participation rate and positive survey results? While it was billed as a forward looking skills analysis, it had people considering what in the present they were enjoying about their work. This is especially true given whenever we hear a question we cant help but answer it ourselves, even if it's not out loud. So while it first focused on finding the good, when we shifted into sharing the good, they experienced connection and validation by hearing others stories of joy in their shared works places. They also heard other examples that many of them connected to, but may not have noticed before; giving them additional examples of what to look for in their own work. It also, hopefully, improves their time at work by helping refocus their attention on the good in their daily activities. There will always be things that come up that we don’t enjoy at work, but if we lose track of the things we do enjoy, we start to disengage from the work and from our colleagues and it negatively impacts out mental health.

I am pretty proud of what I accomplished with 15 minutes. So what’s your work valentine?