Speaking up at work
“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road
But we don’t.
I’ve lost count of the number of people who’ve gone through an exit interview where they end up spilling their guts, but couldn’t (of course) bring themselves to say anything whilst they were on the company payroll.
Come on. If we see something’s not working or someone’s being a jerk, why don’t we speak up?
“Because I’m afraid of losing my job.”
I get it, I really do — you’ve got a family to support or legally binding obligations to fulfil — but are you willing to sacrifice being happy at work or, better still, being connected with true self, all in the name of security?
The obvious answer is yes.
Perhaps I’ve got this all wrong, but we seem intent of criticising our politicians, our networks and groups when they don’t perform, but work seems to have a different place in our hearts.
I still remember one law firm I worked for where it was made clear that you didn’t question anything. You toed the line or else! Needless to say, me and many other people saw the light and left but I’m absolutely convinced that if enough of us had got together to challenge the management, we would have forced their hand.
In the end, rather than battling another rules-based, toxic culture, I left the legal profession; it was the best thing I could have done. During the next six years, I grew up emotionally, psychologically and, most especially of all, spiritually. That doesn’t mean to say that there weren’t some tough times but I know I’m a better person for it.
If you’re not ready to make the leap, then my advice is to find a mentor or coach to work with. And ideally, someone who doesn’t offer great gobs of tips, tricks and techniques but instead someone that’s able to hear you into speech and help you connect with true self. If my experience is anything to go by, it’s only by being in that place that you’ll ever be able to deal with your circumstances and not default to the status (limited) quo.