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
Have Less Frazzle and More Fun This Holiday
Holidays. The annual, breathless whirl of go-go socializing, shopping, cooking, decorating, wrapping — all building up to the gleeful spree of giving and receiving. It’s the time of year when we come together, and try to make special, memorable moments with the most cherished people in our lives.
For many of us, it’s the most important time of the year. Special outfits are bought. Pictures are taken. Gatherings are organized. People are paying huge amounts of money to fly to and from Denver through precarious weather, just to be together for those few days. We can feel a lot of pressure to make it special. I’ve been certainly hearing about the impact of this intensity in my recent life coaching sessions.
In trying to make our holiday memorable we often wind up focusing on The Stuff of the holidays. And I’m not just talking about presents. I’m talking about all the other Stuff: Wreaths. Tinsel. Sequined sweaters. Lights. Trees. Cookies. Handmade ornaments. Homemade peanut brittle. Centerpieces. Food. Wrapping paper. You know: The Stuff.
It’s hard not to get excited about The Stuff when Pinterest-inspired visions of sugarplums are dancing in your head. And the fact is that having special holiday Stuff is part of what makes this time of year so memorable and festive festive. It feels happy to look at twinkly lights, and to listen to holiday music, and decorate the tree together with people you love.
But notice as I just called your attention to happy parts of the holidays I was not talking about The Stuff itself, but the experiences you had with The Stuff.
And that’s the important part, and the true secret to having a happy holiday:
Focus on having happy experiences, not on The Stuff.
At the end of the day, no one remembers The Stuff. No one is going to remember the peanut brittle you’re killing yourself to make, nor will they think back about your awe inspiring decor or feel grateful for how many hours you sat by yourself painstakingly hand-painting ornaments. It’s only value of The Stuff is as an attractive background to happy experiences.
Here’s what really makes memories: Memories are seared into our brains through emotionally heightened experiences, and through novelty. So if you really want the legacy of your holiday efforts to be that of happy memories, put the glue gun down, abandon the idea that you’re going to make 36 hand painted tins in which to gift your brittle. Instead, start thinking about something genuinely fun you can do with your family that you will all enjoy. (Including you).
The details don’t matter. What matters is that you have a good time, and do something memorable together. So go ice skating. Have a snowball fight. Go caroling, or volunteer. The more energy you put into these activities, and the less you put into stuff, the more fun and less frazzling your holidays will be.
Tips to have genuinely happy experiences:
1) Smile. When you smile you will feel happier, and other people will feel happier. Lift up the corners of your mouth and whatever is happening will start to rise like bubbles in champagne.
2) Decide in advance that you’re going to have a good time. What will you need to be telling yourself in order to have fun? “Wow, this is great.” Decide in advance to feel grateful and appreciative of whatever experience you have, and then it shall be so.
3) Prioritize making other people feel happy and loved above all else. This will automatically make you feel happy too, if you are following rule #2 above: Decide how great it’s going to feel to bring joy to others. Give lots of hugs, tell people how terrific you think they are and smile at them a lot– no Stuff will make them feel any happier.
4) Do something different. Novelty adds interest and excitement to the most banal of experiences. So try doing something that you’ve never done before this year. Go to a hot springs, go somewhere on a train, try going down the sledding hill upside down and backwards. Go big or go small, but do something new.
5) Find ways to incorporate meaning in your holiday traditions through rituals. Mark the passing of time with letting kids make sloppy, crooked new ornaments every year. Take a new family photo every year in your shocking Christmas sweaters. Have a solstice ritual where everyone gets to say what they’re releasing into the darkness and what they’re embracing in the new light.
Be happy this holiday. Remember it’s not about The Stuff, it’s about having fun with people you love. So stop wrapping things and start wrapping people up in big hugs. You all deserve it.
What Did You Learn From 2014?
Happy New Year! This is a wonderful, introspective time and a beautful opportunity for reflecting on what you’ve learned from the last year. Just like you clean your house and clear out old stuff at the end of the year in order to have a fresh start, now is a great time for doing a little mental and emotional house-cleaning too.
So today on the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast I’m sharing a strategy that I teach my private Denver Life Coaching clients about how to uncover the things that they learned from this past year.
This simple exercise will help you gain awareness on what it is that you’ve learned from 2014: What worked for you, what didn’t work, and what you need to say goodbye to in order to say hello to the Love, Happiness and Success you’re planning for in 2015.
Wishing you wonderful things in 2015!! — Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby