Being happier with your job starts with reclaiming life outside the office – that’s what Simone Stolzoff
suggests in his new book, “The Good Enough Job.”
Stolzoff spoke to over 100 workers ranging from Wall Street bankers to teachers chefs & others across the American economy to understand how work has come to dominate our lives, and why it’s so difficult to separate it from our sense of self.
It could be rooted in the question when you were a child:
‘What do you want to BE when you grow up?’
I know I found it difficult when I was going through a tough time during the pandemic separating who I am from what I do.
Often, the complex story of your identity is linked to how you trade your time for money & psychologists use the term “enmeshment” to describe it – where the boundaries between the work you do and who you are become blurred.
Here are some ways that organisations can help employees who are struggling with enmeshment:
🎈Promote work-life balance:
Encourage employees to take time off to pursue personal interests, hobbies, or to spend time with family and friends. Offer flexible work schedules and ensure that workload expectations are reasonable.
🎈Provide access to mental health resources:
Enmeshment can lead to a sense of isolation and difficulty with setting boundaries, which can negatively impact an employee’s mental health. Provide access to confidential counselling or therapy services, or include mental health resources in your employee benefits package.
🎈Provide professional parenting support & advice
Parent coaching and parenting webinars can be a valuable resource for employees who are also parents as they reduce stress & provide strategies and tips for creating a supportive environment for both children and parents.
They also provide practical tools for communicating with children, setting age-appropriate expectations & dealing with challenging behaviours which strengthen relationships, improve communication & develop confidence. They also enhance feelings of wellbeing & job satisfaction.
Help employees to identify and explore their personal values, goals, and interests, and how they relate to their work. This can help employees to develop a stronger sense of identity and autonomy.
🎈Foster a culture of respect for boundaries:
Make it clear that it is acceptable for employees to set boundaries around their work and personal lives, and that doing so will not negatively impact their career advancement. Encourage managers to model this behaviour by setting clear boundaries themselves.
🎈Offer career development opportunities:
Enmeshment can occur when employees feel that their identity is too closely tied to their job. Offer opportunities for employees to explore different career paths within your organisation or to pursue professional development opportunities outside of work.
Here’s my Pause to Ponder
How can your organisation help your employees suffering from enmeshment? Have you even considered it?
My suggestions include:
🎈promoting work-life balance
🎈providing access to mental health resources
🎈providing professional parenting support & advice
🎈Fostering a culture of respect for boundaries
🎈Offering career development opportunities
Have you yoked your self-worth to productivity and your career title?
Many people entangle their identities with their jobs, with predictable damage to happiness, wellbeing & even professional success – don’t be one of them.
Get in touch if you’d like me to support your employees around family life – I deliver regular webinars with live Q&As to help people find a more balanced approach to raising children while enjoying their careers and I also coach parents 1-2-1