As time goes by, you can get enveloped in the details of your work and career and what you want gets lost in the process. Don’t let that happen. You can be fulfilled and happy in your work and only you know what you need to be so.
If you had to pick three things you do not have now but that you want in your work, what would they be? What are you doing to make them happen?
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For generations, many organizations have relied on hierarchical structures. Hierarchies arrange organizations in a linear fashion and according to their designations of relative importance. Authority is paramount. People are “over” others and ranked determinedly. Hierarchies create a level of order, but also are confining and can limit innovation.
A group named The Next System Project has been looking at alternatives to current systems and recently sketched a model for a Participatory Workplace. Their concepts are quite a departure from hierarchical models, with democratically determined compensation and decision-making and emphasis on empowerment and engagement of all workers.
Changing workplace systems is no small undertaking. It is worthwhile to be aware of what new ideas are out there and also to look carefully at what type of organizational system you want to work within.
Change is all around us. My guess is that we may soon see hierarchical structures begin to fade as workers become more independent, we increase our focus on balance and technology empowers workers at all levels.
What do you think?
For many, it is preferable to know exactly where life is going. Predictability has its advantages. However, life does not always cooperate and you can find yourself experiencing unexpected turns. In your career, things can be going along smoothly and then your organization experiences a sudden downturn, for example. Or, you may change in an unexpected way and what you are doing is no longer a fit.
Unexpected turns ask you to come fully present to what is happening and chart a new course. They ask for your attention, courage, flexibility and intelligence, so that you can make them productive and meaningful for your life and career.
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So much is changing. Looking at our Presidential election primaries in the US makes this very evident. The changes are not limited to politics however; change is all around us. For a moment, bring your focus on change to your managing – of your team or of yourself. The work world is comprised of multiple generations – each with their own identity; technology is advancing at warp speed; our very concept of work is being redefined; individuality and freedom are increasingly desired; collaboration is sometimes, the only successful path forward.
Are you keeping an eye on the changes affecting the world and your work? Are you going further and getting in front of them? The quality of your leadership relies on your ability to be ahead of change and to respond effectively to it.
What changes are asking for your attention now? How do you keep up with change?
It is hard to work happy if you do not know what it looks like. What does working happy look like for you? Do you need challenge, harmony, growth, good coworkers, balance, a certain environment or growth opportunities, for example?
If you do not have a ready answer to what working happy looks like for you, create one. You deserve to work happy and it’s up to you to set a course to get there. I write a newsletter, Working Happy, guiding you to work that leaves you happy at the end of the day. You can find out more about it here.
Here’s to all of us being happy and productive in our work!
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What’s your next move to further your career? It could be something you do personally (rebalance, take time for something, nurture yourself) or professionally (build a skill, face a problem, take a step forward).
It is always good to be proactive. Your career needs your leadership. You want to guide it like an arrow, not let it be a target. Take a moment to look at where your career is now. Does something cry out for your attention? Are you bored or in a difficult situation? Is there something you’d like to do or a step you want to take?
Taking deliberate, proactive steps forward will bring your career to where you want it to be.
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I recently learned of a website WERK . WERK is an online talent exchange that pairs skilled women with career-building flexible work opportunities from top companies. WERK utilizes technology so women can achieve ambitious goals on a schedule that works for them.
WERK’s vision applies to men and women alike:
Today’s work culture says that the more hours we put in, sitting in one place, the more successful we are. That doesn’t make sense to us. Exhaustion is not a status symbol. At WERK, we imagine a world where women are able to work smarter, performing ambitious and challenging work in the context of a multifaceted life.
Attitudes about work are changing in a positive direction and are catching up with the reality of our lives. Work is not a one-way proposition – you giving your all according to the dictates of an organization. Work is an exchange that is productive for both parties. The sooner we all realize this, the stress of our current work lives will give way to innovation, balance and high performance.
How are you werking these days?
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This past Sunday morning, I was deeply into a dream when our dog Sarah woke me up abruptly. I got up and tended to her and went about my Monday. It took me 15 minutes to realize it was Sunday! It was as if I had tried to move time. I wondered, will I ever be able to do that – move myself to the next day? I imagined time as a slide ruler, moving from day to day, backward and forward. However, for now, time is immovable – I was in my Sunday morning and could not slide to another day. I readjusted to it being Sunday.
Even with time immovable, you still can flow with time. Doing so improves your efficiency, stress level and productivity. How can you flow with time? By living fully in each moment, keeping yourself centered, and returning to your center when you lose balance. It takes some time to find your flow with time but once you do, life and work get a lot better.
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Walls have different functions. When you build a wall best to know its purpose. Is your wall meant to protect you, keep others out or to serve another intention? Make sure the wall serves the purpose you intend it for.
What is a wall? A wall is a separation; a way to keep yourself in or something or someone else out. You can build a wall as protection from someone who does not act in your interest. You can build a wall because you are fearful of something or someone. You can build a wall for detachment, so that you can trust your perception of a situation.
Sometimes, you can build a wall unconsciously, driven by your emotions. Once you do so, the wall is affecting you and can have negative consequences that you are not even aware of. When you build a wall, know what you are doing. Walls are barriers – make sure they serve a positive purpose before you build one.
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It is natural to make assumptions about your work and career. However, it serves you to test them, lest you make important decisions based on false or shaky ones. Assumptions about your work and career can relate to the motives of the people you work with, how you think people regard you, what measures your organization uses to assess your performance, the culture of your organization or how good a match your skills are with the mission of your organization.
Ways to test your assumptions include: carefully observing whether the assumptions you have are valid (for example, if the people being rewarded are meeting the performance measures the organization says they are using), carefully observing people’s actions against what you think you know about them or looking honestly at whether your organization is using your skills and talents and rewarding you for them.
Assumptions are risky. Best to ensure that they are tested and true before basing your actions and strategies on them.
photo: geralt, pixabay.com