|  Blog Post   |  We must choose to get & stay curious

We must choose to get & stay curious

People just don’t want to work these days.

How often have you heard this? Maybe said it yourself?
Which industries?

For me, I’ve heard it in many industries, if not every single one I work with. And as I sit here managing three little dogs while a big crew works in the front & the back of my house tearing out old stone to pour new concrete, I’ve once again heard this statement that, for me, has become one of the biggest reasons why I do what I do.

We must choose to get & stay curious about why we think “people don’t want to work.”

Do we think this because our definition of work & how one works isn’t the same for everyone? For example, maybe we worked 80 hours a week to get to where we are, & we don’t understand why the generation behind us doesn’t want to do that. Or maybe we grew up with parents who worked all the time & at a job they hated & we are determined not to continue that cycle because we want something different.

Perhaps, it isn’t that people don’t want to work. Maybe it is simply that what we do for work & how we work are different. Neither better or worse, right or wrong-just different.

We must also choose to get & stay curious about why “people don’t want to work.”

Because based on my experience, it may have way more to do with where they are working than them. For example, is your culture full of comparison, favoritism, gossip, blaming, unhealthy nostalgia, or self-worth tied to productivity? Do I only matter if I produce? Is your communication clear, are expectations spoken, is power shared, and are we providing compensation that is fair & deserved in the world we are living in? Is it only about power-over rather than power with & to? Do you people fill like they matter & belong? Does your culture help people feel seen, are loved, & are making an impact? In other words, are we connected to one another & give a shit about each other & what we are doing?

Perhaps, it isn’t that people don’t want to work. Maybe it is simply that we spend more time awake at work than we do with the people we love & live with, & we want to feel seen, heard, known, loved, accepted, like we are valued, & matter there.

So, as I sit here with Gertie & Gracie wanting the other one’s chewy & Winston trying to hide his even though the girls couldn’t care less about him, I am once again reminding you of what I am always reminding you of…stay curious.

How come you think “people don’t want to work” these days?
How come “people don’t want to work.”?

It is only in the curiosity that we open up the space to wrestle out what needs to be healed, connect with one another, & move forward together.

PS: As accountant Chad reminds me often… sure, there will always be that percentage of people. In this case, are there some people, albeit a small %, that don’t want to work? I suppose. I guess I am wondering just how many of them you actually work beside. And if so, what coaching, & training, or hard conversations & boundaries do you need to set?


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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