On what we want at work

By Jen Thorpe

Last night I was reading a book written by my work supervisor and it encouraged me to complete this graph. The activity was called the ‘Wheel of Work’ and it involves dividing up a circle into 8 pieces, and labelling them with the various aspects of your work which you then rate.

The categories were:

  • Physical environment
  • Infrastructure
  • Relationship with colleagues
  • Organisational culture
  • Leadership
  • Career advancement prospects
  • Salary and benefits
  • Content of work
Making the centre of the circle 0/10, and the outer edge of the circle 10/10 you then needed to colour in each wedge according to how you felt about it.
So it looks like this:
The reason that I found this really interesting was because it is sometimes so easy to think that your problems at work are because of your work, or your work environment and you can feel trapped there or limited. It’s easy to make excuses for why you stay, or to make excuses for your own part in those issues.
If you look at this circle, and fill it in honestly, it might help you to evaluate if the problem is your work, or whether it is how you are at work. My supervisor, genious that she is, says that you essentially have two choices relating to working:
  • You choose if you are there; and
  • You choose how you are there.
When you’ve filled in the wheel of work, it can also be useful to identify what things are letting you down at work – if for example, your work colleagues are your lowest rating, think about whether you can do anything to improve that rating? It also helps you to see whether the low rungs are outweighed by the higher rated areas, and if not, it’s time to stop thinking.
I found the exercise really helpful, because I’m in a period of transition in my life. I moved to a new city a few months ago, and am missing some of the comforts that I’d got used to in my old office. This little wheel helped me to evaluate where I’m at, and where I need to be in the future. I think it’s totally worth it.

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