Recently I was hit by a picture on social media: a man being honored by his company for his 85th aniversary within the firm – he being 100 years old, sitting on his desk with a certificate smiling into the camera.
Although I get the beauty of the value ‘loyalty’, this picture moved loyalty to a certain level of absurdity. Absurdity because you could see that his tasks were done at a desk – but all the colleagues and people who got to know him along the way were missing.
If you look back at the years, you have been working so far: What do you remember?
There might have been a cool xmas party in the office. There was this nice colleague on day 1 who have helped you get through the onboarding struggles. There are these people you have conquered a tough deadline with. These memories show: We ususally remember moments with people that were full of emotions. The fun parts. The sad news.
But what has been done during that time, blurs over time. We can remember that colleague who helped us – but we cannot recall what the Excel-table was about. We can remember how the successful end of a task felt – but the emails that were written to reach this success are forgotten.
What can we learn from this reflection?
Maybe our daily tasks are not that important – but the people we are meeting during this time are. Maybe it is okay, not to change the world with what we do – but we strengthen the relationship to our colleagues. And maybe these relationships lead to trust, friendship and deep talks – and then we can actually enjoy our work (and life) because we are surrounded by friends.
Maybe the relationship to people will last.