Can You Speak Your Mind At Work?

“18 years in one company! Seriously?”

Why would someone stay in the same job for that long? It’s a question that often puzzles the younger generation. Sticking to one place seems almost anachronistic in a world with frequent career changes. But there’s more to it than just tenure.

In my parents’ generation, retiring from the company where one started their career was not uncommon. Today, the scenario has flipped. Regular job changes are seen as a sign of dynamism and growth.

The key takeaway?

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. What works for one may not work for another. It’s about finding what aligns with your career goals and personal values.

Earlier this year, on completing 18 years in my current workplace, I shared how my team was my primary source of sustenance at work. To see them happy at work and play a small part in helping them grow motivates me to keep going.

“But was that all,” a reader asked me. He wanted to know what else contributed to my long tenure at one company.

The Freedom to Speak Up

Reflecting upon this, I realised a vital aspect: The ability to express my opinions, even when they weren’t what my bosses wanted to hear.

My voice was never stifled throughout my career, under seven bosses and amid top-management transitions.

Of course, it wasn’t always smooth sailing. At times, expressing my opinion led to significant disagreements with my boss. Years ago, I was on the verge of leaving, but a colleague’s persuasion made me stay. Luckily, things improved rapidly, and looking back, I am grateful for that decision.

The crux of job satisfaction has always been the liberty to share my professional views openly. Agree or disagree, these opinions must be respected and considered. This freedom isn’t just a perk; it’s a necessity.

I give credit to my bosses for never stopping me from saying what I feel. They understood that differing opinions weren’t personal attacks but a part of healthy professional discourse. This has played a significant role in the longevity of my tenure.

Not just in this company, I have been in a unique position to have been able to do so throughout my work life.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. Why would I work in a place where I can’t share my professional opinion? That’s always been primal to me.

You may think: “Isn’t that how it should be?” Yes, but in the real world, very few get away by speaking their mind.

The Value of Open Communication

Now, consider your workplace: Can you voice your opinions freely? Do your bosses listen, even when your views diverge from theirs?

They don’t always have to concur, but the respect and attention given to your perspectives indicate a healthy work environment. It’s not just about being heard; it’s about feeling valued and respected.

The freedom to express oneself professionally is a barometer of a healthy work culture in the corporate world. It’s a crucial aspect of job satisfaction and personal growth.

Your career is a significant part of your life; make it one where your freedom to speak and express is not just permitted but encouraged and celebrated.

If you find yourself in a place that values your input and respects your opinion, cherish it. And if not, it might be time to seek an environment that does.

Remember, the quality of your professional life is not just measured by your achievements but also by the respect and freedom you experience in your workplace.

Don’t let another day pass in silence. Your opinions matter. Make them count.

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