– Leo Tolstoy
The same can be said of happy careers, bodies, marriages, friendships and lives in general. While we are each unique individuals, with different dreams and passions and life stories, there seem to be some common attitudes and practices that make successful people successful and happy people happy. In my work with clients from all different walks of life, the ones who take on these practices tend to feel more fulfilled with their lives than those who don’t.
Here are some of my favorite winning career practices, in no particular order. If your career is feeling a bit flat, try to incorporate one or all of these that are missing. Then see how you feel!
1. Widen your circle.
Each day, talk with one person in your team, building or organization with whom you don’t normally speak. Just because you don’t work closely with someone doesn’t mean that your relationship with them is not affecting you. Knowing a broad swath of people makes you feel greater ownership and pride in your organization. It also can help you “come up for air” and get a reality check outside of your micro-environment.
2. Resist the urge to gossip.
Gossip feels about as good as a handful of potato chips tastes: irresistible at the time, but then leaves a bellyache. Gossip polarizes workplaces and destroys your relationships, and not just your relationship with the person about whom you are gossiping. Anyone who engages in gossip with you will now see the “darker” side of you, and won’t trust you as much as before. Moreover gossip is a sorry replacement for having the real conversation to resolve whatever problem is bugging you enough to gossip. Tell your colleagues and friends that you are done gossiping, and each time you gossip moving forward, you owe each person you gossiped to $5. Gossip has a real cost to you and others around you; this consequence helps you feel it.
3. Summon passion.
Let’s face it, folks, you are in charge of igniting your own passion. I promise you that every task, every person, every meeting has SOMETHING in it about which you can become passionate. If your group meetings are boring to you, then focus on the people there and enjoying them. Connect the topic of the meeting back to the mission of your company and celebrate that. If the mission doesn’t excite you, then it’s time to investigate a job change. Make a promise to yourself that you will find something to be passionate about in every activity of your day. I dare you.
4. Get out of bed on time.
Such a seemingly small promise, and yet you’d be surprised how many people struggle with this, and as a result start their days to a frantic, rushed beat. Give yourself the gift of ease and space by starting your day on time. Give yourself that boost of confidence that comes with honoring your plan from the beginning of the day.
5. Know your dream.
Understanding your career dream and how your current job fits into that dream gives your daily life purpose and direction. If your job doesn’t align with your career dream, then you can take steps to align the two. (I recommend working with one of our coaches. We have a specific methodology to help you articulate your dream and get you into action toward it. Consider our career teleseminar to sample what our career coaching is like.)
6. Go above and beyond.
Each day, do at least one thing that is above and beyond what is asked of you. Generosity makes you feel so gosh darn good and helps you feel ownership in your organization. Even if this means that you pick up a stray piece of paper off the floor and recycle it, the act of caring helps you feel more connected to your workplace.
7. Deal with what you’re avoiding.
Make a list of the tasks and people you are avoiding, and decide how you are going to deal. When you avoid something, it feels like a weight around your neck. Are you avoiding a coworker because you find him too needy? Are you avoiding sharing results with your boss because then he or she may think less of you? The longer you avoid, the heavier issues feel, and the more damage you do to your relationships and your confidence in yourself. Have the direct conversations to address what is bothering you. It may be uncomfortable at first, but will lead to lasting peace later.
8. Celebrate your successes.
Many of us run on the treadmill of “do more-more-more,” and then when we accomplish one item on our master To Do list, we plunge straight on to the next item. If you want to feel more satisfied with and proud of your work, take 15 seconds to celebrate each task completed. A short bit of celebratory time goes a long way.
9. Celebrate your failures.
Let’s face it, no one likes to fail. But, if you think about it, failing means that you are taking on a big game. If everything you tried worked the first time, then that would mean you are aiming too small. Going for a dream that excites you and fulfills you almost always means taking on big challenges and goals, and hence a high risk of failure. So failing means that you are on the right track to living the life of your dreams. And THAT is cause for celebration.
Which one of these practices should you implement to make your career more fulfilling? Write me a note and let me know!
P.S.- Want guidance on creating your career dream and fulfilling it? Come hear how I did it and get coaching on how you can, too! Join me as I lead the one-hour teleseminar, Deal with Your Career, on Oct 4.
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