More Than a Means to an End

September 13, 2017 ·

At work, it can sometimes feel as if we are just a cog in a machine. We don’t matter so much as the end result, the bottom line. It’s hard to feel otherwise when we’re pressured with quotas and deadlines and performance reviews. It’s easy to forget that each employee—whether colleague, boss, or intern—is a human being who has the ability to influence the lives of those around them. It’s easy to forget that about ourselves as well.

As an employee, we are parts in a machine, but it doesn’t have to be the soul-deadening mechanics of an assembly line. Every person in the company plays an important role, not just in the completion of the work, but it their contact with fellow employees.

As Susan Jeffers wrote in Dare to Connect, “When we realize that we aren’t just our job title we become less attached to our role. We realize that we may be the boss, the secretary or the boy in the mail room . . . BUT WE ARE MORE. We are all human beings who touch each other’s lives.”

Our work identity is not dependent on our position. It is more of a reflection of how much effort we put into our work and how much effort we make to connect with our colleagues.

When we stop thinking of ourselves as a replaceable unit and approach our jobs with the idea that we have so much to contribute, we can bring in the human values of integrity and humanity. We gain self-esteem by being a present and engaged human who also happens to do a certain job.

“As we expand the bottom line, money, status and power lose some of their importance,” Susan said. “Fear diminishes as we realize that who we are encompasses more than simply winning the race;

it also encompasses the notion that we are caring human beings.”

Think about work in ways that are more than just getting the work done and meeting your goals. Think about how much more you are than just a “means to an end.” You have so much to contribute to those around you. Remember that and your work life can be so much more than just your job. 

Tags: Personal Development

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