5000-hour Work Stages Theory
Has there a time when you were working and you realized that you had enough of it? That point happens when an individual clamors to change either partly or wholly the nature and objectives of one's job. Personally, I have experienced that and I got to describe how things have been before the period of "exhaustion" took place and the need for work change occurred.
In this blogpost, I will describe how I personally experienced the different stages of working regardless of where and the nature of work.
Stage 1: The Beginning (1 to 1250 hours)
Every new beginning is characterized by extraordinary situations, which require one to adapt and learn in the most efficient possible. Being new in a work place does not merely involve one to know, understand and perform the tasks expected for a certain position, it also requires one to fit to the existing social structures within the organization. Whether one agrees to the organizational culture or not, one must find himself or herself without option suiting in one or another to the structure. This is as difficult as the daily routines needed to be accomplished.
Personally, I have encountered colleagues trying to test my capacity or observe how I do my work. Since I am not perfect, I met criticisms that gave the reason to improve and change some habits. However, admittedly as an "onion skin", I fight back for others to know what I stand for and the principles I believe in. In this way, they learn to see my worth at the same time adjust mutually thereafter according to the situation and need.
Stage 2: The Challenge ( 1251 to 2500 hours)
After quite some time, one identifies the key strength and weaknesses of the organization and also with oneself in the performance of one's duties. At this point, one sees major hurdles needed to overcome. One may choose to deal with the challenge or remain safe by not addressing it all. However, those who attempts to avoid will in certain ways be partly or wholly obliged to find solutions to these pressing difficulties. On the other hand, those who successfully pass this stage may have to pass the third stage of plateau.
Many times, I would want to be honest and direct about the state of the organization I work for, but I am confronted with the dilemma of not telling it because people may think, I do neither fit well in the organization nor appreciate the goals and objectives of the company I work for. My problem is always how can I express myself in a way that I still gain their trust and respect even though my ideas would require them to change some behaviors for general improvement.
Stage 3: The Plateau ( 2500 to 5000 hours)
The plateau is a stage of seemingly boring and monotonous routines. Since one has found the solutions to major difficulties, one assesses the situation quickly and implements interventions efficiently. This results for individuals to feel fulfilled in their job; but in the long run, there is a chance for people to see no humps and challenges that provides motivation and enthusiasm to go to work in a regular basis. For some, this stage may be longer for there are people, who finds the contentment in their work, in spite the regular repetition of tasks and ease of physical and mental exercises.
In my previous teaching work experiences, there were times I feel like I am a robot myself. I do certain tasks, teach and gain appreciation thereafter. Eventually, I saw the pattern and even have made a mental script and plan of what to do, when something new arises. The clamor for change was obvious. I wanted to have longer breaks and more flexibility at work. This is something I wanted to avoid me being physically and mentally unchallenged and exhausted.
Stage 4: The Critical Point ( approximately 5000 hours)
This is the point when one feels that he or she has gain the expertise in one's work. Citations and merits are common after people recognizes the worth of the person working in the organization. However, these recognitions may not be enough to cover the need for novelty, innovation and change. Some maybe afraid to embark on improvements as it entails risks. On the contrary, some individuals may find themselves in a crossroad, where they have to make some valuable decisions either to continue or make some changes in their future carreer plans and direction.
Perhaps, the reason why I ended up in Norway is this critical stage. There was a time I kept asking myself for something new. I wanted to prove something for myself that I capable of doing something risky, unfamiliar and strange. At the back of my mind, I wanted to engage myself in an adventure. All of these things I encountered and felt.
The description of exhaustion at work is felt during the time around 5000th hour. However, the phenomena is common and the ability to handle the situation is the most important. There are people, who will simply make a career shift like what I did. On the other hand, there are some, who opt to remain in the job and engage in another cycle of work stages. They simply attempt to find something new in their job or find deeper meaning of it for encouragement. More importantly, what matters most is to possess a job and be happy about it.
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