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April 25, 2015

Employee Engagement: What if Hollywood Doesn’t Call?

Employee Engagement

In my line of work employee engagement is a big deal. And, the question on every leader’s lips is, “How do I get my people to come to work for more than a paycheque”. Leaders are struggling with and failing to figure out how to get their employees to come to work for something bigger than themselves.

One of the biggest mindset challenges I see with employees on a daily basis, is folks who have Hollywood jobs.

Let’s use Hollywood as a metaphor. Many aspiring actors end up in Hollywood hoping to make it as a star. Like Charlise Theron from our own shores. She made it big time.

Of course, stardom doesn’t just arrive (in fact, for most, it never does) so the aspirant has to find a job. “But, it’s only temporary, you understand, because I’m going to become a star”.

So, the aspirant ends up working as a waiter, barman, barista, exotic dancer and the like.

Sadly, probably in more than 90% of the cases, Hollywood doesn’t call and they either stay in their current jobs, depressed and defeated or they go back home.

I’m of the opinion that many of us are just like the aspiring actors we see going to Hollywood.

You see, we think the job we’re in is not our real job. No, our real job is out there. This one is temporary. When my agent calls I will become a star.

So, what’s the danger of that? Well it means that we don’t focus on the work in front of us and we don’t give our 100% effort.

Many of us think that when we get our dream job our attitude will change and our lives will change.

I think not. How we do our current job shows our character. And, if we have a slovenly and ‘do the bare minimum’ mindset a new job won’t change it. We will take our work ethic, character and attitude to the next job and get the same mediocre results we get in our current job. Not much will have changed.

So, what to do? Hit the reality button … our current job/career might be the one that we have for the rest of our lives. There’s no Hollywood agent call-back. If we do have an opportunity for a dream job, then we have the choice to pursue it and need to do everything in our power to get the job.

But, if we’re stuck in our job, we still have a choice.

  • We have a choice to be a giver and not a taker and put in 100% effort. This will define our character.
  • We can change our attitude and see the job in front of us as meaningful and useful.
  • We can live in the moment and make every moment magic.
  • We have a choice to work for a cause greater than ourselves … our team that toils with us and, of course, our family that relies on us. We can be there for each other and in the process create something masterful and wonderful.

So, maybe, just maybe we’re already in our dream job and we just have to change our perspective.

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