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Feeling Euphoric or Used-Up?

Take this quiz to help you decide if your job or workplace lacks a spiritual core.

April 06, 1998|BOB BEDOLLA and DANIEL GAINES | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

If you feel trapped and unhappy at work, it may be because your job lacks a spiritual core. Or maybe you fail to bring spirituality to the workplace, or your employer or colleagues discourage it. Or it could be you haven't learned to integrate work with the rest of your life--to transcend your job by working with it rather than fighting it. This quiz is designed to help you decide if anything is spiritually wrong at work and to see whether you are fulfilled, frustrated--or just plain flummoxed.

1. You have promised to give the next few hours to your spirit. It's time to go to church, meditate, pray or do yoga. But you also are under the gun at work and face a deadline on a particularly important project.

You:

a. Reschedule your spiritual time until after the project.

b. Decide to attend to your spirit first and address work worries afterward as best you can.

c. Combine the two, seeking to address your spiritual needs by focusing on the project and "lifting" yourself into it, making it part of you, and bringing together soul and work to complete the project.

a = -5

b = +5

c = +10

2. After five long years with a fast-growing start-up, a co-worker confides that stock options are no longer enough. He wonders, "What's it all for?"

You:

a. Offer to check today's stock price on the Internet.

b. Share with your co-worker that you bought a red convertible when you had a midlife crisis.

c. Smile sympathetically and ponder how you can turn this "lack of commitment" to your advantage at the next staff meeting.

d. Relate how participating in the company-sponsored stress-management and personal well-being classes sounded hokey, but did help you regain some perspective and helped make work fun.

a = -1

b = +1

c = -5

d = +10

3. You are angry and think it is because of conditions at work.

You:

a. Allow yourself to fill your mind with that familiar fantasy about winning the lottery.

b. Spend all your creative energy figuring out how to get back at your colleagues or boss.

c. Meditate or exercise.

d. Dismiss the anger, focus intensely for a few minutes on what you need to do next, then do it?

a = -1

b = -10

c = +5

d = +10

4. Your company encourages employees to volunteer in a variety of community involvement teams.

To support this:

a. The human resources department offers a list of organizations that could use your help on weekends or during vacations.

b. The company pressures employees to participate in activities or charities that its public relations department then uses to bolster the company's image.

c. The company strategy includes only activities that boost the company's return on investment.

d. The company believes that success is measured not only by shareholder value, but also by commitment to social responsibility. Employees are encouraged to form their own action groups and are given the use of company time and resources to organize and execute those programs.

a = +1

b = +5

c = -5

d =+10

5. Your boss has caused a serious problem for you because of a series of decisions she has made.

You:

a. Assume it was done on purpose and steam about it.

b. Complain to your boss and lay the problem at her doorstep.

c. Think about possible solutions and alternatives, then present them to your boss. Ask her how she would like you to proceed.

d. Take a deep breath, walk around the building, stare at the sky and then come back to your desk and try to muddle through.

a = -5

b = -1

c = +10

d = -5

6. Your company's annual report states that "People are our most important asset." This commitment is demonstrated by:

a. Computing the sales that are generated by each employee divided by the cost of compensation. That way, the company knows at a glance what each asset is worth.

b. Company-sponsored, ongoing career development and skills assessments. Attendance at job-training classes is scheduled during regular work hours.

c. Giving each employee his own copy of "What Color Is Your Parachute?"

a = -5

b = +10

c = +1

7. A member of your team comes to you and says he needs a more flexible work schedule to accommodate the kids' soccer schedules.

You:

a. Commiserate, sharing your desire for a more flexible work schedule as well, but say that the department vice president believes that work hours are from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

b. Remind your employee that professional responsibilities take precedence over soccer practice and suggest that he "get his priorities straight."

c. Check with personnel about the company's policy on flexible work hours.

d. Ask your employee to design a plan that will meet business needs and eliminate conflict with personal responsibilities.

a= +1

b = -5

c = +5

d = +10

8. Your company now embarks on a quest for "spirituality in the workplace" following a chaotic re-engineering and a debilitating downsizing.

You and the other survivors:

a. View this as management clutching desperately at the business fad of the month.

b. Recognize that there is a real need to discover meaning in your job, and as soon as you have caught up on the backlog of work, you'll read some books to find out how.

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