The Grass is Greener Where You Water It

The grass is greener where you water itJanuary.  It’s been a long, long month – the excitement of Christmas is over, it’s dark when you leave the house for work in the morning and dark when you leave the office at the end of the day, and it feels like forever ago since your last pay-day.  Ah yes, the good ‘ole January blues!

I know that in my current contract, I’ve seen and heard a lot more work weary, disillusioned conversations recently.  Even if you’re a naturally positive, glass half full type, it can be difficult to avoid getting pulled into the vortex of the January blues.

With all that discontentment swirling around, you might start to wonder whether it’s your job or company that’s making you so miserable.  So you start thinking about the things that you’re not happy with – your boss is a micro-manager, your team don’t pull their weight, you have the workload of two people, and so it goes on.  Pretty soon your list is huge and you come to the conclusion that you need to look for another job.  I’ve heard of three official resignations in the last month, and I know of at least two other people who are unhappy and potentially would consider moving – that’s in a team of twelve.

And that brings me to a conversation I had with a colleague yesterday.  She was telling me that the girl before the girl (!) who had been in the role I was currently covering for had been with the company for almost nine months, had come in every day and got on with her role, had done the long hours, had seen the mess her predecessor had left her in, half-heartedly tried to deal with it, but given up fairly swiftly and finally moved on.  My immediate predecessor only stayed in the role a couple of months.  There is a lot to deal with and sort out, and it’s not particularly fun – I know, because I’ve been dealing with it.  In the six weeks I’ve been working on it I think I’ve made inroads.  That’s not to say I didn’t go through the same misery the two girls before me experienced – I definitely did.  But I can see a little light at the end of the tunnel.  I think within the next four weeks we’ll have weeded out all the old problems and dealt with them.  We won’t have a new slate, but the old one will be cleaner.  Which means whoever inherits the role from me should have a slightly easier time of it.

I guess my point is that I could have done the same thing – seen the weeds, become disheartened and left.  But who knows whether the next role would be any better.  It could quite conceivably be worse.  This role though, this patch of grass, this is mine (for now), so instead of looking across at a lush patch somewhere else and wondering how I get there, it might be just as easy to cultivate my own patch.  And if I weed, water and feed it diligently, there’s no reason for it not to grow lush and green in time.

The grass might be greener always appear greener on the other side, it’s true.  But you don’t know how green it really is until you get there (and what if you get there and it’s artificial, or just a clever trick of the light?).  Before you write off your current role, maybe look at it through gardener’s eyes – can you see any potential there?  Is it worth the effort of watering it?  If you spent some time clearing the weeds, what would it look like?

Because what is also true, and more importantly in your power to control is that the grass is greener where you water it.  Where will you choose to use your watering can?

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