5+ Reflections on Purpose Driven Work

Work is more rewarding when it reflects and incorporates our deepest values and interests. Use the following questions to reflect on the deeper purposes of your work. See if they help you find more enjoyment and meaning in what you do every day. Finding your purpose: Why does your work matter? Why have you chosen to work at UC Berkeley? How does your work make a difference? Does your work reflect your personal values? How and why?

5 of Your Worst Work Nightmares (and how to survive)

It isn’t always pretty at work…but you can respond with dignity. Here’s when and how… Your Boss (or co-worker) Doesn’t Like You (or even worse, actively undermines you): Personalities are tricky. Even if you are doing a great job, there can sometimes be mismatches. Ask yourself, is the source of friction personal, style-related, based on competition, politics or old history? What could you do to dial it back? The new goal oriented performance review process can help minimize the impact of personality or other conflict on your career prospects and future since it is based on evidence from a variety of sources. Be sure you seek and collect impartial input on your performance from everyone with which you interact, not just your boss or immediate working group. This will help minimize possible damage and help you defend yourself during performance review (and when you look for another job).

5 Ways to Make Yourself and Others More Actionable

Bureaucracy tends to invite organizational paralysis through “churn” based on “rigid hierarchy, inflexible rules, slowness due to procedural control, and highly specialized divisions of labor.” (As per Max Weber and Sociology 101). You can counter this when you put less emphasis on “rote” meeting and talking, and more on “creative” doing. Doing is action, and action is purpose and progress. Here’s how to improve your ability to make a difference.

5 Reasons to Focus on Giving at Work

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of others.” -Charles Dickens… Giving Builds Teams: High performing teams are often individually and collectively generous. They invite vulnerability and risk taking. Similar to many successful sports teams, their winning strategy is based on “selfless play”. Giving Improves Performance: When you lift others up, you improve motivation and job satisfaction.

Five Ways to Work Smarter in an Academic Environment

Get Good at Committee Work: Committees are an integral part of the way the University gets things done and are deeply imbedded in the fabric of our very special University culture. Committee work is different from team work and there can be powerful unwritten rules related to the ways committees operate. Be sure to understand your committee’s reporting line, charge, scope, and what it should produce (and hopefully make “actionable”) as you expand your involvement in committees across campus.

Five Ways to Expand Your Leadership Presence (Even if You Are Not Currently in a Leadership Role)

Boost Your Powers of Persuasion: When was the last time you tested your ability to influence others? Effective leaders often have the exceptional ability to influence, persuade, develop alliances and “vision” for others. As you develop your leadership skills be sure to regularly try out your ability to advance your interests and initiatives and get others not only to see your point of view but support your requests and plans for the future.

Take 5: Five Great Books About Work

Locus of Authority: The Evolution of Faculty Roles in the Governance of Higher Education by William G. Bowen and Eugene M. Tobin

“Do higher education institutions have what it takes to reform effectively from within? Locus of Authority argues that every issue facing today’s colleges and universities, from stagnant degree completion rates to worrisome cost increases, is exacerbated by a century-old system of governance that desperately requires change.”

Take 5: Five Ways to Negotiate Through Workplace Conflict

Start by being a “principled problem solver” by “negotiating on the merits as an alternative to positional bargaining”.

According to Fisher and Ury, “taking a position” and “arguing for it and making concessions to reach a compromise” (p. 3) is inefficient “as more attention is paid to positions, less is devoted to meeting the underlying concerns of the parties.” (p. 5)