You may hear a lot about planning for your life and career. Yes, there are a lot of generalities, advice and platitudes out there. If you have let them slip by, take another look. Planning is well worth your effort and time. What does a plan do for you? It focuses your attention, sets your priorities and requires that you think about what you want your career and life to be.
Compare the differences between having a plan and not having one. Which looks better to you? Granted, without a plan you may feel you have more freedom, but planning is about creating freedom by defining the life you want to live and how you can get there.
Do you have a plan for your life and career? If not, try creating one. It can be short or long-term. Tie it to your dreams and aspirations and you’ll be on your way!
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Do you find yourself unchallenged by your work? Routine, lack of mental stimulation, or a sleepy organizational culture can lead to boredom. Sometimes, it is okay to be bored by your work. Perhaps your career is not a primary element of life balance for you. Perhaps there are other significant demands on your time and work offers some relief. Perhaps you have other interests that offer you the challenge you want and need. All this is fine. However, if you would rather not be bored at work, it is time to take action.
If your work bores you, then you are accepting boredom as part of your life. You do not have to. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you find yourself bored with your work and would rather this not be the case. Hopefully, they can point you in the direction of change.
• Are you bored because you do not have enough to do or because the activities you undertake at work are unchallenging?
• Do you sense that others around you are bored as well? Does your organization’s culture or the nature of its work tilt towards boring activities?
• Do you see any promise in stepping up and asking for a change in your responsibilities that can lead to being challenged by them?
• What would you love to do? What do you need to be challenged and fulfilled in your work?
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1. Insist that others treat you with respect.
2. Take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally so that you can perform at your best.
3. Acknowledge that while work is an element of your life, it is not the only element.
4. Believe that you can be happy at work.
5. Fully accept where you are now and make that your starting point for any changes you want to make.
If you come up with any good reasons not to do these things, let me know. ☺
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Time is a key factor in your career success. Take a minute today to look at how time has factored into your life and work since the start of 2018. How are you doing with time? If you are doing well, good for you! Keep up what you are doing. If time is getting the better of you, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
• How realistic are my expectations of the things I can get done in terms of the time I have to do them?
• Are stress or distractions getting in the way of using my time well? Am I maintaining the focus that I need to in my work?
• Is being tired or lack of exercise affecting my ability to get things done?
How you are handling time should always be on your radar. For more about your relationship with time, see my blog posts: Your Relationship With Time and Ten Ways To Change Your Relationship With Time
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There is a Maya Angelou quote that, for me, contains a lot of wisdom. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Emotional intelligence is key to your career success. Sure, you can stumble forward without it. However, understanding the people and environment you work in propels your way to success. What does her quote mean? It means no rose-colored glasses, no rationalizations, no benefit of the doubt and no fooling yourself when you size up the actions of people who surround you.
If someone has shown you that they are not to be trusted, what can you do? It is enough to see them as they are and stay mindful when dealing with them. You do not have to act on what you know. Key here is your awareness and letting what you know about a person be part of your actions and decisions regarding them.
Knowing the players in your workplace helps you function better and watch out for your own interests. Do not be fooled.
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If you are to have a productive and fulfilling year, what must you do? You deal with things that are urgent in many areas. Do you consider yourself enough of a priority to make your well-being an urgent matter?
Pick one or two actions that can bring you closer to having 2018 be the year you want it to be. Make them urgent and you will get them done!
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Fast Company Magazine has come out with their favorite business and leadership books of 2017. Reading books increases your knowledge and insight and lets you touch parts of the world beyond your own. Are books an element of your career plan?
Not everyone resonates with reading or opening up to others’ ideas. No problem there. The key is to figure out how to broaden your knowledge and insight in ways that can advance your career. So, what is it for you? Books, networks, experience, taking risks? Whatever it is, stay up on the game. Things change rapidly and keeping pace is essential to your success.
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It is beneficial for you to stay upright as you go forward in your career. Sometimes, however, things can knock you off balance and even turn you upside down. When that happens, it can put you at a disadvantage. Best to know where your vulnerabilities are, so that you can deal with them.
What turns you upside down? It can be many things – people who approach you with emotions that are alien to or opposite your own, situations that you perceive rob you of the level of control you need, fears or perceptions that certain circumstances can cause great harm to your career, your own insecurities getting triggered, doubt or being outside your comfort zone.
Know what turns you upside down so that you can right yourself quickly and get back on track.
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We live in a world that places a high value on connection. Especially in the work world – some believe your network is everything. There is truth in this, but not the whole truth. What is your preference? How much interpersonal connection works for you?
Here are some things to consider in answering these two questions:
• Does interaction with others energize or deplete you?
• How much value does your workplace put on interpersonal connection and communication?
• In your workplace’s culture, does connection create positive or negative outcomes?
• How have interpersonal connections and communication propelled your career so far?
We are in this together for sure. How together is your choice!
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Awareness of what you love is a great guide for your work and life. It is a built-in compass for where you should go if you want to be fulfilled and happy. So much of life discourages your dreams. You may even hear from others that you are not meant to be happy. What???!!! Yes, you are meant to be happy. That is part of the journey of life – to find the bliss that leads you to your purpose.
What makes you happy and lights you up? Give it some importance in your life. It can make the difference between a life well lived and a commonplace life without meaning.
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