This is how it begins; you land a good job…the pay is good (or so you tell yourself), the company has great standards, the hours seem okay, your co-workers are nice. Seems like just the right sort of place to settle down nicely.

Then, in what seems like eons after that, the job becomes “not so good”, the company sucks, deadlines are a crucible; a torture you constantly face, your boss is a micro-manager who is always breathing down your neck, targets are impossible to meet, the hours have become horrendous, your co-workers bicker, and you ask yourself how you will survive another day. Finally, you develop a system; one that helps you survive each day and each task. Your code of ethics are shoved aside; “It’s all about surviving”, you say to yourself.

Truth be told, there is nothing wrong in being a survivor. After all, a survivor is someone who beats the odds, isn’t she? Doesn’t sound like a bad place to be. But picture this; a terrible thunderstorm, flower buds in a patch swaying helplessly in sync with the ferocious wind, the storm dies down and you see that some buds have been virtually uprooted from the ground, a few others still stand…the survivors. Now, picture this, the storm has passed, it’s a beautiful morning, you look at the flower patch again, the buds are still there, some bruised, others bent over, but one…one has opened its buds to enjoy the morning sun. That is what you can have. That is what it feels like to do more than survive; to thrive.

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While it is true that many external factors may change the way you look at and in fact approach your job, the number one factor is within you. A crucial key to personal and career success is understanding yourself and your limits.

So, you work in bank and have a huge target. Moral descent in a bid to meet your target, making something over which you have control into something you can’t control, in a bid to stay afloat is you merely trying to survive. Being a people-pleaser, saying or doing things just to make other people happy or like you; or having your sense of worth and value wrapped up in people’s opinions of you are just tools of the trade when it comes to surviving in the workplace.

In order to truly thrive in the workplace, take cognisance of the following:

Don’t take anything personally in the workplace. Though you do not have control over things that happen or what your boss thinks or says of you, you do have control over how you handle it.

Don’t try to control every circumstance, every reaction, and everyone’s feelings: these things are out of your control, so stop stressing.

Don’t be forceful, but be very clear about who you are, how best you do your work, what you can offer the company, your personal and moral boundaries.

Among all these ‘don’ts’, there is the all important ‘do’:

Do be confident in yourself. Not arrogance; not cockiness, just that inner knowing that you have what it takes to thrive. Nothing stops you from having that fantastic career you want. Do more than survive, thrive.

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Life is beautiful!


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