There Is Work and a Workplace for Everybody

by | Oct 1, 2023 | I-O Psychology, Workplace, Workplace Culture | 0 comments

Every individual holds great importance within organizations and to the world.

We each have value, something to give, and a need for belonging, especially in the workplace (Cluff, 2022).

However, in today’s world, many people feel like they play an insignificant role as a small cog in a big machine. People can:

  • Get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life
  • Find themselves under the thumb of a bully or a coercive boss
  • Make a mistake and fail to forgive themselves.

In these situations, they could forget that we all have something unique to offer.

Each of us possesses his/her/their own unique set of skills, talents, and experiences. We all have something to contribute to the world, whether our contributions make big or small changes. In fact, consider that the very presence of your position within that organization demonstrates you add value; without you, your position would not exist. The simple fact that you contribute to your workplace means that you have a purpose — a reason for being there at this time, and you deliver your own unique essence. When all of that value you and your colleagues offer comes together to work toward worthy objectives, we can accomplish amazing things.

In the workplace, every individual is essential. Do not forget that human capital — the essential knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) each person lends to the company while at work — delivers value to the organization. Without that value, the organization cannot succeed, and we loan that value to the company (Jiang & Messersmith, 2018) — the company can no longer use our unique KSAOs when we leave. Whether you serve as a CEO, a janitor, a customer service representative, a security officer, a construction worker, a real estate broker, a graphic designer, an office administrator, or any other role, your work bears so much importance to the organization, the people who work there, and the people they serve. You contribute to the overall success of the company, and you help to make a difference in the lives of others.

Here are some examples of how individuals can bring value to an organization and to other people:

  • The CEO sets the vision and direction for the company.
  • The janitor keeps the workplace clean, safe, and healthy.
  • The customer service representative helps to retain customers and keep them happy.
  • The engineer designs innovative products.
  • The salesperson creates the relationship with customers to generate revenue.
  • The teacher or trainer educates the next generation of workers.
  • The graphic artist creates beauty, inspiration, and visual communication.
  • The construction project manager helps to build new things to meet requirements for quality, budget, and schedule.

These are just a few examples of the many ways that individuals can bring value to the world. Every individual has something unique to offer. We all have the potential to make a difference.

When you may feel less than your worth

Please remember that we all have value; we all matter. So don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not important. You are.

However, sometimes we feel less than our true value when we experience rejection for a job for which we interviewed or when a company terminates employment. Then, people most often feel they have lost their identity and their purpose, and, subsequently, their value. They feel they do not belong. People can become depressed and anxious and have a poor image of themselves.

Our job does not define us. We exist as more than just workers for a specific company. We as individuals possess those KSAOs that organizations need to carry out their mission. These qualities make us valuable.

If you experience feeling lost or down after not getting a job or being fired, remember that you are not alone. Many people experience these feelings at some point in their lives. You must pick yourself up and keep moving forward. Don’t let one setback or even a dozen setbacks define you. You have power and a mind that can do and will do great things.

Focus on your strengths and what you’re good at. Find a way to use your unique gifts to help others. You will receive rewards larger and in greater measure when you find and live your purpose. It may just take a little time to do so.

Again, you are not alone; I can empathize as I too have had struggles with feelings of belonging. Hundreds of rejections for jobs during searches, bankruptcy from a lost business, two terminations, fractured relationships over the years, and the loss of my brother. You can move forward. Self-harm is never the answer*. You can find help, and you will find a place for you in your work and personal life if you continue to try with a growth mindset.

So what does this mean for you?

It means that you should never sell yourself short. You carry great importance. You have value. You matter.

Here are some tips for finding your place in the world and making a difference:

  • Identify your skills and talents. What are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? O*Net Online offers a great tool to help, the Interest Profiler: https://www.mynextmove.org/explore/ip
  • Set SMART goals. When you can set even a single goal that you make specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-constrained, write it down; it will motivate you (Latham, 2012). Look at that goal daily. Make strides each day to attain that goal. You can do it.
  • Find a cause for which you find passion. What do you care about? What do you want to change?
  • Get involved. There are many ways to get involved in your community. Volunteer, donate, or start your own project.
  • Be persistent. Do not give up on your dreams. Keep moving forward. Try different angles to solve a problem and achieve your goals.

Now knowing that you have value, go out and use your skills and talents to make a difference in the world unafraid. Find a way to use your unique gifts to help others. I’m cheering for you!

References

Cluff, C. (2022). Community and Belonging in the Workplace: Examining Nonmonetary Motivators in Talent Management. Journal of Individual Psychology, 78(2), 278–284. https://doi-org.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/10.1353/jip.2022.0029

Jiang, K., & Messersmith, J. (2018). On the shoulders of giants: a meta-review of strategic human resource management. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(1), 6–33. https://doi-org.libauth.purdueglobal.edu/10.1080/09585192.2017.1384930

Latham, G. P. (2012). Work motivation : History, theory, research, and practice: Second edition. SAGE Publications, Inc.

If you or someone you know is thinking about self-harm, please contact:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org | http://www.facebook.com/800273TALK | https://twitter.com/800273TALK | 1–800–273–8255

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