For most of us, the first day at a new job may include a complex array of emotions - enthusiasm and fear, confidence mixed with a nagging feeling of "oh boy, what did I get myself into?" It is unlikely, however, that you would start a new job disengaged.
Engagement - a close connection between who we are and what we do - involves three main components: physical, cognitive, and emotional engagement.
- Physical engagement means the expenditure of energy on the task at hand.
- Cognitive engagement means directing our attention and focus to the job.
- Emotional engagement means feeling passionate about what we do.
Now, consider the following consequences of the above definitions:
- Those who are exhausted do not have any energy to give.
- Those who feel worried about personal problems or who feel unsafe or unwanted may be directing their attention to such problems rather than to the job.
- Those whose jobs represent a poor fit are unlikely to feel passionate.
Unfortunately, "stuff happens" at work. Maybe you were given more to do than you could handle. Maybe your energy was drained by lack of resources, excessive demands, and confusing requests. Maybe it felt unsafe to be you at work - you may have faced the pressure to pretend to act or feel like someone else. Finally, maybe you simply discovered that your job did not match your interests or capabilities.
My question today is: When did you become disengaged ... and why? Perhaps if we could understand the sources of disengagement, we could:
- Better prepare and inform our managers
- Build a stronger community
- Focus on better selection and career development processes
When did you lose "the light in your eyes"? Can you tell us about it?
A disclaimer: You may want to share experiences from days gone by, rather than your current experiences - remember that anything posted online tends to stay there.