Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and had some time to rest and rejuvenate!
As you prepare to head back to work, consider some new ways to get things done. If you've been feeling like you can't work hard enough to get ahead, you might be falling into some common career traps. The good news - with some changes to your approach and mindset, you can avoid the pitfalls.
Common Career Traps and How to Avoid Them
Trap #1: Something comes easily to you so you discount the activity, thinking it must be easy for everyone. You figure it can't be a worthwhile skill if you didn't have to work at it.
Avoid it by: Playing to your strengths and appreciating that you really do have talent. Not everyone can do what you do so easily. Once you recognize your core genius you will get better results more easily.
Trap #2: You choose what you think you SHOULD do over what you really want. You figure that others have more experience or know better than you so you trust their opinion over your own.
Avoid it by: Not giving up control of your career to others. Yes it's scary to make your own choices and decisions but otherwise you get caught up in their goals for you. What about your personal aspirations? No one else is better qualified to fulfill your life purpose than you.
Trap #3:Rather than take advantage of small opportunities to take steps toward work you'd rather do, you pass. Why put yourself out there if it's not the perfect situation?
Avoid it by: Recognizing that the ideal career is a path, not a destination. It unfolds before you as you take steps, even small ones. Get some positive momentum started and you'll see doors open to amazing opportunities.
I've worked with thousands through my career coaching approach and my SIRIUSXM career talk show and unfortunately many of us are making work harder than it needs to be. I've even fallen into these traps in my own career. It happens but it doesn't need to continue. If you're ready, willing and able to have a career that works for you, let's talk about it. Comment below or call into my radio show this Friday 4p ET/1p PT at 1-886-675-6675. I'd love to hear your story!
I'm honored to be a part of Quintessential Careers 2nd Annual Job Action Day, the goal of which is to encourage workers and job seekers to be positive and proactive. As painful as the economic challenges have been, I am positive. People are focusing more on what truly makes them happy and fulfilled. Going through the motions in a job is really leaving us in this new economy.
Rather than just landing another job, people now need to focus on the right job for them. They need to soul search more deeply than in the past to know what they're passionate about, what they're best at and what they're truly motivated and inspired to do with their skills and talents. As I work with my clients through Soul Search, Research and Job Search, I see just how actionable this approach is in the new economy.
Take my client Kerry for instance. Kerry has been in a series of less-than-fulfilling jobs, not following her heart nor getting well compensated for her efforts. Through our soul search work, it became clear that Kerry has dreams of owning a business. I even see a marked difference in her demeanor when she talks about her job versus her dream career. Pointing out this difference in motivation and energy has helped Kerry see why her career to-date has been so lackluster. It's not Kerry, it's the fit between Kerry and her career.
To help you find a career that fits, take these steps and you'll find reason to be positive:
--Start your own Soul Search by writing out your ideal day at work. Include all the details you can such as a flexible schedule, a better title or role, what motivates you, and what makes for the most comfortable work environment. (To understand your key motivators, see my recent work values blog post.)
--Research using sites like TheCareerProject.org and find careers where a "day in the life" matches your ideal. I also conduct day in the life interviews live on my weekly SIRIUS XM radio show. Listen in for free this week!
--Job Search using unofficial channels like your college alumni network. Many alumni associations offer online searchable databases where you can find contacts in your chosen field. Take a genuine interest in the careers of your fellow alums and they'll return the favor. After building rapport, ask for feedback on your ideal career. You'll get ahead faster learning from an experienced mentor!
More and more I hear people say they just aren't falling into jobs like they used to. They need to be the perfect fit to get hired. The good news: you ARE the perfect fit for your ideal career. Don't wait another day to do the Soul Search, Research and Job Search to find it.
Share your comments below. Are you following your heart? If not, what's keeping you from going after your dreams? Share your concerns. Share your successes too. Are you in a job you love? How did you find it? We can learn from each other & take smarter action with our careers!
On my radio show Making a Living, I'm always interested in the questions and comments of my listeners. On this week's show about work life , a caller brought up the idea of work values. (Click on my radio page for a free trial of SIRIUS and tune in for the replay this Sunday.) Work values are the rewards we get from our work. For example, if you value creative expression, you might really enjoy a career that involves design and seeing your finished product on store shelves.
It's these values that get us out of bed in the morning, excited for the work day ahead.
If you've been feeling less than excited about work lately, chances are your work values are not being met. Most of us haven't formally examined or soul searched to know what really motivates us. We assume that more money or a bigger title will make us more motivated when time freedom or a feeling of helping others might better do the trick. (For those genuinely interested in more money, read my tips on how to ask for a raise)
To figure out your top work values, it helps to use an exercise like this work values worksheet. It's similar to the exercise I use with my clients. To get a copy of my worksheet, contact me and let me know more about your specific career needs and goals. This way I can support you in the best way possible.
To me work values are a great litmus test of job satisfaction. I used my top values as a test when deciding to become a career coach. My highest priorities were independence, helping others, time freedom, location, and exercising competence. Now 8 years later, I get those and more from the work I do. I'm motivated and excited to help people Soul Search, Research and Job Search their way into ideal careers.
What would you like more of in your job? Advancement? Excitement? Creativity? Share your work values here and let me know what your top priorities are. It will help you become one of those people who look forward to Mondays!