The turn of the year is for many people the time of reflection. It is a time when every-day-life slows down and the possibility arises to think about the New Year, make some plans and probably align oneself. Many people make New Year’s pledges that often refer to private life, such as „do more sports“, „eat less chocolate“, „stop smoking“, etc.  However, it could actually be even more important to you ask yourself some interesting, meaningful questions regarding your work and what you effect on Earth and to make some New Year’s pledges in this area. Why? Well, most of the people work in companies, exchange valuable life time for money and do jobs that don’t fulfill them. Instead they hope each day that the working time is over and that they can finally leave the company, because – like an employee of a mid-sized German company once put it – „life begins after closing time“.  The question is, whether this has to be that way and you settle for that or you would like to have more meaningfulness in your job and thus in your life.

It could therefore make sense to ask yourself some reflective and partly dangerous questions and answer them sincerely, with radical honesty, in order to effect in the company you work in a new, meaningful way of working for yourself and others.

Here are 30 meaningful and somewhat dangerous questions for the turn of the year:

1. How fulfilled are you in your current job?

2. Do you do your job, because

a) You love it and it inspires you? Or

b) Because it brings money?

3. How important is money to you?

4. To which degree does your happiness actually depend on the money you earn?

5. How important is power/career to you compared to your well-being?

6. How high is he pressure in your job? How is it for you to stand this pressure?

7. How about your work-life-balance?

a) Does it suit you?

b) Which relation do you wish for?

8. How much energy do you have left when you leave your job in the afternoon/in the evening?

9. How would it be for you to do a job that gives you more energy than it sucks?

10. How authentic and warm is the cooperation in your company?

a) How do colleagues treat each other?

b) To which degree can you be authentic?

11. To which degree is your being and doing truly appreciated in the company (not in the form of money, bonus or company car)?

12. To which degree do you feel seen and taken seriously by your boss and colleagues?

13. When was the last time you had real fun at work? How often does this happen?

14. What would you wish for regarding the cooperation that you are missing right now?

15. Which kind of boss do you have?

a) A boss that empowers you and lets you make decisions? or

b) A boss that makes employees small, scares and manipulates them?

16. In case you have a boss that falls into the category b) of the former question,

a) How can you allow that somebody makes you small or manipulates you? – respective

b) How can you arrange it with your conscience to not say anything, when your boss obviously degrades and disempowers other colleagues?

17. To which degree do you take a stand for yourself and your personal values?

18. To which degree are you able to make boundaries towards your boss and/or colleagues and not let yourself be manipulated?

19. What are your true talents?

20. What inspires you?

21. To which degree could you bring in your talents in your current job?

22. Which talents are still sleeping inside of you that you could not bring to effect in your current job?

23. If money was irrelevant, what would you love to do?

a) What would you want to effect on Earth?

b) With whom?

c) And why?

24. For which company principles would it be worth for you to get up in the morning?

25. What is your vision regarding

a) The company you are working for?

b) The teamwork in the company?

c) The development of your job?

26. If you had a magic wand, what would be one specific aspect that currently annoys you at work and which you would change immediately?

27. How can you actually change this aspect or start the initiative to change it?

28. If there were no limitations and no conditions, what would an ideal work day for you look like? (Would you e. g. come home fulfilled and nourished? What would you have brought to effect during the day? Be precise!)

29. Are you ready to start realizing this vision?

30. For which specific change aspect will you take responsibility?

The New Work movement that has been gaining more and more speed during the last couple of years clearly shows that something about the way we work in companies has to change. Oftentimes you can hear voices saying: “Yes, but me alone…I cannot change anything.“ This is a very comfortable statement that allows the employees to stay „victims of the circumstances“ and not taking action steps. How often do you hear people blaming or complaining about the boss, the CEO or some colleagues? Whining, complaining and blaming others are part of one of the most known games on our planet and especially in companies, which is called Low Drama  (the classical persecutor-victim-rescuer game). The advantage of a “victim of circumstances” is that it does not have to take responsibility, gets pity and attention and can take revenge some day. However, this does not change the actual situation. In order to experience a fulfilling job and being with among colleagues in the company, it is necessary that you take responsibility yourself.

Considering this, it can be very helpful to change perspectives regarding responsibility. Responsibility is the personal interest and the willingness to be the source for necessary results. As soon as you have overcome your resistances, reasons and excuses, the only thing that remains is personal interest. This opens up a completely new game called adult responsibility.

Responsibility – Old Perspective Responsibility – New Perspective
Responsibility is about what happened in the past Responsibility happens here and now in the presence
It is my fault. I am guilty I own it. Responsibility is my commitment
It is a heavy burden I can ride it, play it, fly it
I am the victim and the scapegoat It is an opportunity to serve my interests. It is a reward
I should have avoided it I stand at the point of origin
It will have consequences. I will be held liable. I will be punished I can create authentically. I am active. I create results
It is pressure I have the freedom to choose
I am abused I am one with it, in integrity
I blame myself. I will regret it I express care
Others let me down Disillusion offers new possibilities. I learn
I am afraid of failing I serve something greater than myself. I am well needed
I feel overwhelmed It is an exchange
I will be accused I have the power to declare how things are

For which kind of change in your job do you take responsibility in the New Year so that the business world becomes more human again and that you find fulfillment also in your job?

Nicola Nagel

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