We should be celebrating our work wins.
Think back to the last five conversations about work you had with your friends.
How many were devoted to stress? To how tired, busy and completely over it we all felt?
And how many were devoted to work wins, like small achievements and jobs well done?
We usually emphasise the areas where we’re falling over and forget to mention the parts where we’re making good progress.
Dwelling on the negative won’t get us anywhere.
Sometimes a work-related vent can be very, very relevant (and also very therapeutic).
But consider the fact that most full-time professionals spend about 1900 hours at work every year.
It makes good sense to acknowledge the positives too! If only to stay sane.
We don’t need champagne and flowers every time we kick a goal. But we SHOULD start investing in making time for recognition when we do a good job.
Now some of you may think, but I don’t have anything to celebrate.
I just don’t buy it.
Because I don’t mean we should only celebrate the big stuff like promotions and pay rises.
I mean we should also celebrate the smaller stuff too. Like handing a report in early or doing a nice job giving a presentation.
Is this a cultural thing?
From where I sit, most of us don’t even realise how much we talk about the negative aspects of work.
And for a lot of us, we probably feel a bit uncomfortable reading this blog post and recognising the trend in our own behavior.
It’s almost like sharing about the downside is programmed into us. An acceptable focus for the conversation.
Better to bond over commiserations than risk standing out, right?
I’ve often wondered why reminiscing on the struggle is more comfortable than admitting we’ve done a good job.
Why we can feel nervous about sharing our achievements with friends. Are we fearful of looking conceited?
I think it has something to do with wanting to fit in and wanting to appear humble. An unfortunate knock-on effect from Australia’s Tall Poppy Syndrome…
But I want to challenge that thinking.
You can still be humble while celebrating success.
I’m not asking you to run through the office corridors singing about your latest achievement.
But I AM saying you should start sharing your wins with your friends.
Next time you’re talking to friends about work, give them both sides of the story. Your wins AND your losses.
Sharing our experiences is exactly what friends are for. All experiences. The GOOD, the bad and the ugly.
We SHOULD be proud of a hard day’s work and we SHOULD be the cheer squad when our friends do well.
I want to start celebrating our wins and focusing on our progress, rather than just defaulting to all the things that are going wrong.
If you have achieved something, tell your mates. And celebrate with them when they achieve too.
And honestly, if your friends aren’t there to celebrate with you when you’ve done a good job, then maybe it’s time to make some new ones.
So give yourself a break. And a pat on the back. And start focusing on your wins, not just your losses.
Until next time,
PS. Want more work-related reads? Peer to peer mentoring: everything you need to know and Prioritisation: how to work smarter not harder