Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Human Connection, Imposter Syndrome, and the Great Resignation

I have been thinking a lot about connection recently, and I came to a startling realization. I need connections and close relationships. It is weird to me that this is a revelation. Shouldn’t this be obvious? We have survived as a species by having close, tight-knit tribes. The tribe protected us, the tribe pitched in when someone needed help, and the tribe allowed us to help others.

My pondering made me consider the importance of my work tribe. Unfortunately, with COVID-19, my coworkers are scattered across the globe. And we only connect in video calls or meetings. At times, the lack of connection has been a lonely endeavor and has made me think about the correlation between Human Connection, Imposter Syndrome, and the Great Resignation.

Human Connection: Do you have a Best Friend at Work?

Put another way, are you connected to others at work. If you don’t, you are most likely disengaged and unhappy. Work is challenging, and if you don’t have a safety net of people to help you weather the storms, it will be lonely.

The Gallup Organization has some powerful insight into this question. “What are Workplace Buddies Worth?” The simple Answer A LOT.

Executives and managers might be surprised to learn that employees who have best friends at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs — and, if they have at least three vital friends at work, 96% more likely to be satisfied with their lives.

I need to make more effort with and deepen my work friendships.

What to do?

  • Realize you need friends at work
  • If you are a manager, foster friendship with your team
  • Try this simple counterintuitive way to connect with your colleagues. Praise or recognize your peers’ good work. It is surprising how much this will help you and your coworker.

Imposter Syndrome: Being exposed as a fraud

Wikipedia states that Impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which individual doubts their skills, talents, or accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a “fraud”.

Have you felt like a fraud at work? If you haven’t, please call me because I want to know your secrets. Imposter Syndrome is remarkably common, especially as you progress in your career. Remember when you knew it all in your teens and twenties? There wasn’t room for “Imposter Syndrome.” The older you get, the more you realize you don’t know the more you can feel like you are a fraud.

If you are not connected at work, you will be suck on fraud island, which is a terrible place n these work funks because we often downplay our strengths and magnify our weaknesses. The worst thing about being isolated at work is that we don’t have an opportunity to share our unique gifts with others, and we don’t get the benefits of our coworkers’ gifts. In other words, without connection, there is no safety net. There is no way to you areas of weakness with other people’s strengths.

What to do?

  • Find a trusted friend at work and share your insecurities. If you are unsure if they can be trusted only, share a little at first
  • Build a professional safety net of people with complementary strengths
  • Ask for people’s help. We often time forget that helping one another is critical in building a happy and healthy tribe.

Great Resignation

The Atlantic reported that in April, July, and August, the number of workers who quit their job in a single month broke an all-time US record. As a result, young people or people with a low income had more freedom and flexibility to change something else. Hopefully, this will lead to a better life for those allowed to take a risk.

But what about people with great jobs that are making changes. Let’s go back to see what Gallup has to say about the Great Resignation.

People are calling it the “Great Resignation,” and as the Gallup data show, it’s not an industry, role or pay issue. It’s a workplace issue.

Gallup finds that it takes more than a 20% pay raise to lure most employees away from a manager who engages them, and next to nothing to poach most disengaged workers.

We can expect that as engagement decreases, resignations will increase.

What to do?

  • If you are a manager or executive
  • Make sure you are fostering friendships
  • Tell the company story. How is the work an individual’s work is impacting the client
  • If you have attrition issues, watch for friendship connections. Unfortunately, friends often leave in packs.
  • Take a career engagement audit. When you have been most engaged, have you also been most connected.

Are Human Connection, Imposter Syndrome, and the Great Resignation connected? I am not sure, but I will take some time this week to foster my Work Tribe.

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