Archive for July, 2018

Career Conversation-Why am I doing This?

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

Chances are you’ve asked yourself this question when the going got rough at work.

What were you thinking!?

Really. What were you thinking when you were excited about this job? Spend a few minutes recalling what is appealing to you.  List those things that are  still present.  Do you still have the opportunities to learn new things (even about how to handle challenges)?  Are you proud of what you’ve done so far? Has it made a difference for others by providing information, ensuring compliance, solving a problem, etc?

You’ll likely slide into ruminating about the things that are not so appealing or thwarting your efforts. Such as, having trouble getting buy-in on a no-brainer improvement? Waiting on decisions or information from others?  Consider how those challenges are part of making any kind of change. These challenges are part of everyone’s work.  Despite all the ‘Yes, but…,” is there something inside you that says, “this is what you were meant to do?”

Does the thought of quitting make you feel panicked or at peace?

Are you doing this for the recognition you hope to get as a result? If you are never recognized for this work, would you still be happy?

Yes, we are compelled to manage the rough spots because I need the paycheck. When I think about these questions, it helps me re-boot by remembering what I love about my work.  My answers help put into perspective the daily frustrations that interrupt the good things I’m contributing.  Perhaps they can help get you through this rough patch.

Career Conversations: 5 Questions for Staying Alive in Your Job

Wednesday, July 4th, 2018

Do you have days at work when time stands still? ‘Wondering if you should be doing something different?  Before you jump on the job boards, there are plenty of things to consider to energize yourself in your current work.

Consider the following 5 questions from Gallup:

  1. What do you know you can do well but haven’t done yet?
  2. What sorts of activities do you finish and think, “I can’t wait to do that again”? Or what are you doing — inside or outside work — when you’re truly enjoying yourself?
  3. What have you done well that you didn’t need someone to explain how to do?
  4. What have other people told you you’re great at doing?
  5. What activities are you doing when you are unaware of time passing?

I hope these got you thinking about the types of activities you enjoy.  The next step is the creative one:

  • How can you do more of the things you enjoy in your current work?  Really, think about it. Don’t assume it isn’t possible.
  • How can you use a favorite skill in a different way to contribute to your team?
  • What can you stop doing, start doing or change the way you do it to get better results?

This is an important career conversation to have with your boss.

If you are a manager or team lead, asking these questions with each person on your team, can:

  1. Help you identify what motivates them (and what doesn’t) for better work assignments.
  2. Build relationships within your own team and across other teams.
  3. Raise performance by tapping undisclosed preferred skills and interests.
  4. Energize and empower people to perform better by doing what they naturally do best every day.

Make time to have this career conversation this month.