Lessons on Belonging

Have you ever wondered about “Belonging?” There are two deep feelings about this word – either you feel that you are safe and “at home,” or you feel unsafe on rocky ground where the earth could swallow you up at any time.

Sharon Preszler has a great post about this feeling. Sometimes in the first few days of a new job, we feel this tug on our hearts that we’ve made a bad choice. There were two companies that showed me the power of this word.

Company No. 1 had a set onboarding process including a drawerful of goodies and a Welcome sign. This company also assigned someone to be your Work Buddy who took you out to lunch on your first day and answered any questions about the company for the next few months. The learning process was more gradual – about 2-4 months to get up to speed, but then it was full steam ahead. This was an empowering experience!!!

Company No. 2 welcomed you at the front door, told you your selected spot to sit wasn’t where you were going to be (after telling you that you could select it yourself), let you fend for yourself at lunchtime while they went to lunch with their friends, and started the steep learning curve ASAP to get to 100mph as fast as possible. It took me over a year to feel somewhat safe there and I never felt like I truly belonged. It felt as if I didn’t matter at all. “Come in, sit down, figure things out here, go home.”

There is goodness in the word, “Belonging” as it is human-centric and full of interlocking arms. It is a basic need we humans have as we walk throughout our lives. If you don’t feel it at an employer, you might be correct in thinking that you’re in the wrong place. But give it some time – YOU may be the person who brings the word to a landing inside this company. Finding the right environment for you and others to thrive in, is a must for every person, and, in the best of circumstances, for every employer.