Why People Don’t Flourish In Their Work?

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”
Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein wasn’t able to speak until he was almost four years old and his teachers told him he would “never amount to much.” People are not engaged in their work; they don’t seem to enjoy what they are doing and don’t stay long in their jobs these days. According to the US Department of Labor:

  • One in four workers has been with his current employer for less than one year.
  • One in two workers has been with his current employer for less than five years.
  • It is estimated that today’s learners will have 10 to 14 jobs by their 38th birthday.

If you want to unleash your greatness at work, you need to find your fit. For the employer, retaining talent is indeed a great challenge for organizations today. It often boils down to the elusive concept of “fit.”


1. Job Fit

Finding the right job to fit the right person has become a much sought-after skill. Headhunters and recruitment managers tasked with the job of recruitment have not found it easy. They find that interviewees today are better trained in giving politically correct answers.

Many interviewees have gone for interview training and are better equipped to answer questions from interviewers. Some are armed with impressive track records and even testimonials designed to sweep interviewers off their feet. Others are now interrogating their employers, demanding their terms and perks. It is therefore not easy to find the right person for the right job. Another challenge in a tight labor market is that you do not dwell too much on a person’s soft skills. It is almost a truism that you hire people for their competency but you fire them for their relationship and personality. Finding the right job fit has indeed become a real challenge.


2. Team Fit

However, just having the right job fit is not enough. Even if a person has a good job fit, the next factor is team fit Some people have resigned or have been asked to leave because they can’t fit into a team. To get staff members to give the extra discretionary effort, team fit is equally important. Sue, a Canadian woman, had joined an advertising company as a sales manager.She really enjoyed her work. However, she had much difficulty with her peers. She was unable to adjust to Mohan, the Indian administration manager; Tan, the Chinese public relations manager who had a completely different personality from her; and Tony, the Canadian finance manager who had quirky work habits and communication styles. Sue finally quit her job. You have to spend time building relationships, adjusting to and accommodating the different work styles and habits of others. Learning to relate and work well is another important step to achieving greatness. You need that extra emotional quotient to help them fit into a team. A Gallup Q12 study has found that having a best friend at work is an important factor that will raise engagement level.


3. Boss Fit

Another factor to greatness has to do with Boss Fit. The oft-quoted statement, “staff don’t leave bad organizations, they leave bad bosses,” is a truism. Your ability to work with bosses is an important factor to unleashing your greatness. But this is not easy because bosses have idiosyncrasies. They come in all shapes and sizes. Jack is a visionary leader in an event management company but he is, to put it mildly, rather disorganized. He is not into and does not like details. A one-page executive summary will do for him. But he drives his personal assistant crazy because she is hard-nosed, task-oriented and detail-loving. After three years, she quits.

Other bosses are meticulous and enjoy massively detailed information. They get frustrated with staff who are more fun-loving and creative, and not into the nitty gritty. These bosses can make life difficult for others as well. There are other bosses who are very direct and aggressive. The soft-spoken, more sensitive staff may take negative comments personally. These clashes can drive staff away.

Hence, boss fit is another reason why some people do not stay long in their jobs. But your ability to relate to, work with, and learn from different bosses is a tremendous asset to greatness.


Action Step

How well fit are you in your present job? Why?


There are more to greatness that I talked about in my latest book, Unleashing the Greatness in YouGo ahead and get yours today!

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