Choose Your Environment — Synergy Step 4
Welcome to the final installment in our six part series on living with synergy. In this installment, we will discuss the importance of choosing a suitable environment for your life’s work.
If synergy is a new self-improvement concept to you, I recommend reading my introductory article on synergy, the follow up article on the synergy process, and my article on message discovery before proceeding. A complete list of the articles in this series can be found at the bottom of the page.
Choose Your Environment
The environment you choose to work in can have a tremendous impact on your ability to do your life’s work. Even if you’ve taken time to identify your message, inventory your strengths, and pick the perfect job, a bad boss or a stifling work atmosphere could spell disaster.
Unfortunately, the only way to really know what a work environment is like is to work there. I can’t tell you how many well-intentioned friends have tried to warn me away from places that turned out to be great and how many others have encouraged me to join places that turned out to be grave disappointments. You can’t really trust anyone’s opinion except your own, since your preferred environment might be stifling to others, and vice versa.
The process of selecting an environment is trial-and-error by nature. However, I will offer one word of caution. If your employer is the only thing standing between you and true career satisfaction, consider finding another one. Life is too short to work for a boss you hate.
When I was younger, I created project schedules for a crazy person. I’m not kidding. This guy was certifiable. He enjoyed barging into meetings 15 minutes late, barking out orders for 10 solid minutes without taking a breath, and then bolting off into the darkness from whence he came. He was always screaming about how he was going to “take people down to HR” if they didn’t shape up. And his most annoying character trait was his refusal to listen to anything that his employees said. Working for him was exhausting. So I quit.
Working for Yourself
There is one form of employment where you already know your boss. That’s right, you could work for yourself. That’s not to say you wouldn’t be beholden to customers (of course you would), but at least you would have final authority over the jobs you accept and the terms you agree to. They say the risk is greater for entrepreneurs (and I suppose that’s true, depending upon how you look at it), but the benefits are tremendous if you can make it work.
My body clock, my time, my priorities, my objectives, and my mission belong to me, not my employer. That’s the ultimate reason why self-employment is so appealing to me. I have never liked the idea of giving total control of my day over to someone else.
I also dislike the politics that comes part and parcel with every corporate job I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong, I can be a smooth politician when I want to be, but it’s not my cup of tea. The politics of the workplace creates a skewed reality. To me, stepping through the front door of a company has always felt a little bit like stepping into a comic book.
Within this crazy world of corporate culture, employee evaluations can seem arbitrary. And the business decisions that effect your bottom line and job stability can seem as though they were made with very little thought or planning. The illusion of progress is often more important than progress itself. And within these little corporate bubbles, the real world is sealed off. Leave your sanity at the door, friend. The key to success in the corporate world is learning to climb up the rungs of the ladder, whether those rungs make sense to you or not.
In stark contrast to the corporate employee, an entrepreneur gets to decide his own terms for personal success. Customer satisfaction remains critical, but when it comes to personal priorities, goals, and achievements, no one can tell an entrepreneur what to aspire to or how to obtain it. For these reasons and more, I am now happily self-employed doing my life’s work. One facet of doing my life’s work involves running this Web Site. I truly hope you are enjoying it!
I love my work. I really do. And if you take time to consider the 4 steps outlined in this series of articles, I believe you can love your work too, whether you decide to work for yourself or someone else.
You Are Reading an Article Series — Synergy, The Key to Greater Energy and Happiness:
- Intro: Synergy, the Key to Greater Energy and Happiness
- 4 Steps to a Fulfilling Life Mission
- Discover Your Message — Synergy Step One
- Discover Your Strengths — Synergy Step Two
- Choose Your Medium — Synergy Step Three
- Choose Your Environment — Synergy Step Four
May 9, 2007 Wednesday at 5:38 am