There is a new trend sweeping America - compassion. And I mean compassion in terms of careers, not just "Paying it Forward" (which is also wonderful). Americans seek fulfillment - a sense of completeness above career happiness.
We have become - or are becoming - a nation of COMPASSIONATE Careerists.
This isn't to say we haven't always felt compassion, shown compassion or exuded compassion. We are definitely compassionate people. WWI and WWII are prime examples. As are the wars in the Middle East. Look at the fundraising that ensues when the nation hears about a bus driver that was bullied. We want to help others down on their luck.
But over the past decade, we began to transcend that passion into our careers. In other words, we want the compassion 24/7. We want the sense of fulfillment 24/7 - not just when we are home. We want it at work too.
When Gen Y'ers entered the workforce 5 - 10 years ago, they ushered in a new era of work-life balance. In other words, they promoted more life and less work. Older employees scoffed at their "brazen" attitude. Because, of course, we believe other people should earn their stripes the same way we have. Yet, even old dogs must learn new tricks. And, the Gen Y'ers desire for balance caught on.
Working mothers also promote this philosophy. Working mothers want flexibility. They want adaptability. They want to be able to be good mothers and good careerists. They can't be good mothers (in their minds) if they are working until 11 each night and on weekends. Companies badly desire working mothers as leaders because of their compassion - their compassionate leadership, compassionate vision and compassion execution.
And, with disease, war and other tragedies, we all realize: life is short.
Therefore, today's employees (all generations) strive for career fulfillment.
Compassionate careerists avoid complaining and criticism. They don't whine or walk away from problems. They want to be part of the solution; not part of the problem. They strive for meaning in their work. They treat others as they want to be treated. They want their opinions to be heard - all the way to the top.
Compassionate careerists are engaging employees and companies. They are causing leadership to change - to focus on all employees...to reach out and touch someone. HR programs focus on engagement and communication. Studies upon studies show that high performing companies (financially) engage all employees, reward employees and communicate effectively with everyone. Workingmother's 100 Best Companies emulate compassion through their leadership and their HR programs. They strive to help their employees find balance and be heard.
Compassionate careerists pioneer shows like "undercover boss" to showcase how CEO's can connect with all their employees. These shows showcase how "out of touch" senior leadership can become with their employees. But more importantly, these shows highlight how easy it is to get back to the basics. To help someone who just wants a hug. Who just wants to be heard. Or who just needs some sensitivity. Some compassion.
Compassionate careerists transcend career happiness. This is the ultimate career. Being fulfilled at work and at home. Helping others. Being heard. Being socially responsible. Doing the right thing. Feeling positive. Acting positive. Being positive.
Be a compassionate careerist.
How, you might ask?
Today, just treat everyone respectfully. When you ask for people's opinions, actually listen to them. If you haven't asked in awhile, go around and ask. Ask how they are doing. Ask how their families are doing. Don't complain, criticize or whine. Smile. Don't micromanage. Empower your people. Make sure they understand your vision and how to execute. But then let them do it. Be there when they need you.
Tomorrow, if you don't love your job, determine whether you can. If not, find a job you love. Loving your job certainly helps. And being happy at home is a must. Work-life balance can only be achieved if everything is in balance - and that means the whole family is in on it. You need support from your homelife to be fulfilled in your worklife (and vice versa). So if something is amiss, fix it. Healthy mind, healthy body, healthy soul.
Be more than a working mom. Be a compassionate careerist.