In Honor Of International Dog Day I want to tip my cap to canine wisdom. You can learn a lot from watching dogs. Thinking more like a dog may help you feel happier at work and advance in your career.
I learned some of my most valuable lessons about relationship, leadership, and commitment from horses. But today is about the puppies, not the ponies. If there’s a dog in your home, offer an extra hug, skritch, or Scooby snack.
Become Happier at Work:
- Show your enthusiasm. Learn to love whatever you’re doing. When your job seems routine, remind yourself of its purpose, whether that’s to provide for your family or invent a new medicine. Sometimes just smiling will make you feel more joyful. Go ahead and wag your tail. You may feel foolish for a moment, but I bet you’ll be smiling.
- Greet everybody. Take the time to wish everyone a good morning before you settle down to your tasks. Your relationships with your co-workers play a huge role in your job satisfaction. Create a friendly atmosphere by exchanging daily pleasantries.
- Lend others your support. Take a break from your own concerns to notice how your colleagues are feeling. When stress levels are high, offer your assistance and encouragement. You’ll feel good about helping out, and people will be more likely to reciprocate when you need a hand. Hand-licking not required.
- Give early warnings. Minor workplace conflicts can escalate if they’re allowed to fester. Speak out tactfully at the first sign of a misunderstanding. This will make your work environment much more pleasant than just growling right before you bite.
- Bounce back from conflicts. Forget about holding grudges. Put any unpleasant experiences behind you and demonstrate your willingness to cooperate with everybody to get the job done. Learn to wag and share.
- Follow your instincts. Sometimes you have to respond to unfamiliar situations without much time to prepare. Trust your instincts when you need to take a risk. If it’s your first time giving a staff presentation, boost your confidence by adapting what you already know from your days on the student debate team.
- Get plenty of sleep. You may never be able to arrange your schedule to get as much sleep as your dog, but you can still strive for 8 hours every night. Adequate rest is critical to your mental health and good disposition.
How to Advance in Your Career:
- Show off your accomplishments. Humility is an admirable quality, but sometimes you need to promote yourself. Watch how dogs soak up positive attention without looking like they’re bragging. Use your success stories to your advantage in job evaluations and interviews.
- Follow the rules. How does a dog know which objects are okay to chew? The logic behind some rules may elude you, but it’s usually best to go along with them to preserve order in the workplace. Understand the lay of the land before you mark your territory.
- Practice active listening. Your co-workers are bound to value you more if you take a sincere interest in them. Listen respectfully to what others may be able to teach you.
- Persistence is a big part of success. Stay focused and keep on the trail no matter what obstacles arise. If you get blocked from digging under the fence, maybe you can persuade someone to open the gate for you.
- Reduce waste. Mail carriers and couriers perform valuable jobs, but many dogs obviously would prefer a paper-free world. Some dogs also regard as edible the many things that humans throw away. Impress your boss and help the environment by cutting down on paper waste and recycling more.
- Contribute to the pack. Above all, think beyond your own interests to participate as a team player. Take satisfaction in working together to achieve common goals and improve everyone’s well-being. You can accomplish much more working with others than you ever could on your own.
Although chasing your tail may not get you anywhere in life, dogs are otherwise great role models for becoming more content and productive at work.
Jesus tells us we must become as a little child to enter the kingdom of heaven. Today we honor the simplicity of dogs!
More Dog-Related Posts to Enjoy
Diva, our three-year-old miniature dachshund, is the one squeaky wheel in our house. She can be pushy, demanding, and vocal. The shrill noises emanating from our cuddly little cutie translate to, “Throw my ball!” or “Pay attention to me!”
Some days I wonder if the ones I love (especially dogs and horses) have lost their minds. They behave in outrageous ways that shock or mystify. My usual first response is to ask, “What were you thinking?!?” (Yes, I usually wait for an answer.)