You may have heard the saying, “charity begins at home”. The idea is that before you take care of others you take care of those who are closest to you first. Don’t give away your last dime if you have no money to feed your own family, don’t give away your time and energy to others if your own family is waiting at home for your time and energy. Today I would like to propose to you an updated version of this expression, one for our professional lives – “charity begins at work.”
There are many ways that you can put “charity begins at work” into practice, let’s examine a few.
- Before you leave your current position or company make sure you have given your position or company a fair shot. Before you take your next assignment, are you certain that you have learned as much as you can from this assignment? If you are leaving because you are unhappy, can you walk away knowing you did everything you can do or everything you are willing to do to make it work? Are you willing to acknowledge your part in the situation?
- Before you decide that your boss or your colleague is a jerk, have you given them the benefit of the doubt? Have you considered that there could be extenuating circumstances that cause their behavior? Have you remembered that other peoples behavior is not about you, it is about them so do not take it personally?
- When you see a colleague having a difficult day have you thought about what you can do to help? Maybe you bring them a cup of coffee; maybe you poke your head in their cubicle and say “Hey, hang in there.”
- When you hear a colleague or team member coughing and sneezing, do you offer to bring them Kleenex or perhaps a cough drop?
- When you know someone is completely overbooked do you offer to help them out? Even just running to the cafeteria for them or picking up a to-go order can make a huge difference in their day and you need to eat anyway.
- What about your team member who has a big presentation to make and they are very nervous? I bet you could give them some of your time to practice that presentation.
I know YOU can think of more wonderful ways to live “charity begins at work”. After all, you spend lots of time at work; sometimes you do see your co-workers more than you see your family and friends, why not make that time count?