The July holiday, for obvious reasons, always makes me think about independence and what it means to each of us, particularly as it relates to work. (Yes, I’m pretty much always thinking about the world of work.) The sensation of appropriate freedom at work can be enormously important to us, but it’s also very individual.
What do you need in terms of independence at work? The truth is that your needs are probably pretty unique. Some people need absolute freedom to work as they please, with only a set of due dates or goals to meet. Other folks need a little more guidance, and yet others need clear outlines of their responsibilities and the structures they work in.
Nobody likes a micromanager, of course, so keep your eyes peeled for signs that a potential new boss (or a current one) might lean in that direction. Signs to look for are the supervisor’s deep attention to tiny details (often expressed by others as perfectionism), an inability to let go of tasks, and a constant need to be the final decision-maker on everything. More to come on this topic!
Post-pandemic, many people I work with have expressed a desire for a hybrid workplace. Others want the freedom to do their work at their own pace whether that means planning everything in advance and proceeding in an orderly manner or waiting for the deadline to approach and chaotically, frantically working through it. (As strange as it sounds, I actually prefer Option B, and find the frenetic pace invigorating.) Some need to know who the go-to people are when they have questions, and some need to be able to shut the door and really get to the tasks. There’s no right or wrong except as these needs apply to you.
This idea might seem silly or frivolous, but our work needs are important, so don’t discount yours!