What will really get you ahead in your career may surprise you…
Career coaching is a billion dollar business for a reason: How good you feel about your professional life is extremely important. You’ll spend more of your waking hours on the job than doing anything else. Feeling fulfilled, happy, and like you’re getting ahead in a career you love is essential.
But there are so many things that can throw you off track professionally: Difficult working relationships, problematic communication, constant stress about getting things done, or feeling emotionally disengaged from your work can all drag you down. It can start to feel hard to get out of bed on Monday mornings. You might even start to question your career choice, and fantasize about chucking it all and starting over. (Listen: “What to do if you hate your job?“)
If you’ve been feeling “meh” about your job lately, here’s some free advice from a career coach to help you get your mojo back and start turning things around.
- Be Positive: As I recently discussed with Mic.com’s “Payoff,” (read “Smart brain hacks to help you feel and project more positivity at work”) few things are more important to your professional success than your attitude. When you’re focused on opportunity, solutions, and possibilities — as opposed to problems, criticisms, and obstacles — you’ll not just feel happier, but shine professionally. Projecting positivity to others enhances their perceptions of your competence, adds value to your contributions, and enhances your authority as a leader.
- Prioritize Relationships: When it comes to being truly successful, the actual work you do doesn’t matter nearly as much as your ability to form positive working relationships with your colleagues, bosses, customers and subordinates. While you should certainly strive to perform your job to the best of your ability, never do so at the expense of the people around you. Even the most incandescently talented or supernaturally productive workers will be let go eventually if everyone else hates working with them.
- Set Boundaries: Many people struggle to function and complete day to day tasks in work environments that interfere with their ability to focus, and manage their time. In the era of open floor plans and constant SMS pings from coworkers, it’s essential to set boundaries with others to protect your time, and your attention. Furthermore, you may need to set boundaries with yourself so that can prioritize effectively, stay on task, and get things done. Even more importantly, you may need to create boundaries around your non-working hours in order to create healthy work / life balance.
- Find Meaning: No matter how great your work environment is, and how well you’re doing in your career, you’ll still feel hollow if your professional life lacks meaning and purpose. For some people, it’s important that the actual work they do is linked to their values. For others, their meaning is found not through the work itself but in the life and relationships that their work supports. What’s your “why?” Make sure you know, so that you can stay connected with your higher purpose as you move through your work day.
- Cultivate Emotional Intelligence: Research consistently shows that the most successful, high achieving people are the ones with the highest emotional intelligence. Too often our education and professional experience trains us to perform tasks and solve problems, and neglects teaching us the “soft skills” that matter most. Your ability to manage your emotions in stressful situations, to keep your own anxieties and insecurities at bay, to communicate effectively, and to be sensitive to the feelings of others is what matters most when you’re on the job.
Now, back to work! 🙂
xoxo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby