Manifesto (def): A public declaration of policy and aims.
What follows are my views about and commitment to work based on 30+ years of being employed and being an employer. These are philosophies I subscribe to and that I desire in those I work with and encounter in the marketplace. MHS
I work because I need to and because I want to. There is satisfaction in work well done. Good work produces value and isn’t just a means to an end but an opportunity to be a productive, contributing member of society. Work helps give life purpose and structure.
I don’t like everything about the work I do but understand that is the nature of work. Work often requires that we do what needs to be done as well as what we like to do. Doing great work is a choice I make; to do less cheats not just my employer and customer but myself.
Impediments to work are temporary. If my place of employment blocks my ability to be productive in an honest and ethical way, I will not sell my soul to continue working there. If my boss doesn’t understand the concept of a healthy work environment I will actively look for a different boss or organization that does. My current situation may not allow me to switch jobs or employers immediately but I refuse to resign myself to a work life of misery. I will endure for the short term with the goal of prospering in the long term.
How I do my work makes life a heaven or hell for others. How I treat colleagues and customers makes their lives better or worse. Neutrality is a myth as any attempt to disengage will appear to others as indifference, and that indifference is an insult to others.
I will not actively or passively inflict pain. While the bad behavior of others might make it tempting to do so, I will choose to play by a higher standard. I will do what I can to make working with me enjoyable.
I do not control how others act, but I completely control how I act. When others act inappropriately to me, I will respond professionally but will not accept and thereby condone the inappropriate behavior. I will politely but directly address the inappropriateness.
I understand that others come to me for solutions to problems and that is what I am paid for. Therefore problems, as difficult as they can be, are not an impediment to my work but often they are my work itself.
I will take responsibility rather than place blame. If I can’t fix it I will either live with it or leave it. There are no other rational options. I understand there is no perfect workplace, but refuse to make where I work worse by my own apathy or lethargy. I won’t let the poor attitudes and behaviors determine my own choices. I know that I often succeed at work not because of but in spite of undesirable circumstances.
In a time when not all who truly desire work have that opportunity, I am grateful for the work I have.
Note to readers: If you were to summarize your views on work, what would your personal manifesto say? What would you add to what I’ve written? What would you change?