Reflecting closely on who I wish to be in the workplace and the values in which I’ll carry with me throughout my professional life has proved crucial in assessing what work means to me. When considering this complex, nuanced question three words clearly come to mind: dedication, respect, and willingness. Dedication to the company and to my role; respect for my colleagues and diverse perspectives; and an intentional willingness to pursue knowledge and step outside my comfort zone. You could say my philosophy is to view every interaction as an opportunity to learn and foster interpersonal connections. The goal is that these deliberate efforts to understand, empathize, and empower will help to create an inclusive culture that inspires growth and promotes success.
In an environment that presents us with significant opportunity to reimagine the ways we collaborate and innovate to improve ourselves and our work, teamwork will be key to success. I’m a firm believer that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” an often-referenced quote attributed to the great Aristotle (Langdown 2019). Throughout my years as a student and early professional experience, it has become abundantly clear that working together towards a common goal and being receptive to feedback has allowed me to be more successful than had I worked alone as an isolated “part.” A Stanford study from several years ago found that even the perception of working collectively on a task can supercharge performance at work. Participants in the research who were to act collaboratively “stuck at their task 64% longer than their solitary peers” and reported overall higher engagement levels and success rates, as well as lower fatigue levels (Gaskell 2017). What’s more fascinating is that this positive impact persisted for many weeks after the study concluded, which I believe speaks to the power of collaboration. The results showed that simply feeling like you are part of a team of people working on a task makes people more motivated as they take on challenges.
I plan to utilize the concept of job crafting to provide further meaning to my role and enhance relationships in the workplace. I’ve found that in making active changes and a conscious effort to create meaning in my day-to-day I can bring about numerous positive outcomes. With this strategy I have successfully made my work more engaging, established stronger relationships with colleagues, and increased my overall job satisfaction. As “one of the largest generational cohorts in today’s workforce” (Dik, Duffy 2012) I acknowledge my role in shaping generations of work expectations to come. I feel it is my unwavering duty to contribute in ways that aim to make work a more equitable, enjoyable, and healthier place. As you’ll find highlighted in the accompanying audio below, I am committed to making the workforce a better institution overall – which I’m confident can be accomplished through joint effort and crafting new perspective.
Dik, Bryan J., and Ryan D. Duffy. “Chapter 1, 2.” Make Your Job a Calling: How the Psychology of Vocation Can Change Your Life at Work, Templeton Press, 2012.
Gaskell, Adi. “New Study Finds That Collaboration Drives Workplace Performance.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 12 Oct. 2022, https://www.forbes.com/sites/adigaskell/2017/06/22/new-study-finds-that-collaboration-drives-workplace-performance/?sh=d1791783d025.
Langdown, Stewart. “The Whole Is Greater than the Sum of Its Parts.” Zen Control, 12 Dec. 2019, https://www.zencontrol.co.uk/the-whole-is-greater-than-the-sum-of-its-parts/.
Thoman, D.B., et al. “Cues of Working Together Fuel Intrinsic Motivation.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Academic Press, 5 Apr. 2015, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022103114000420?via%3Dihub.
This work philosophy highlights my core values and approach toward goals and expectations in the workplace. It emphasizes the importance of job crafting and collaboration to make work meaningful.