A Content Career
Are you content with your career?
Teddy Roosevelt knew what he was talking about when he said "comparison is the thief of joy" and in your career no truer words could be spoken.
It's easy to get caught up in the career paths and salaries of friends, family and coworkers. But, if you want a career of significance and meaning you have to go your own way.
I tried HARD to stuff myself in the "normal" box. I tried to focus only on my career, getting ahead and the next promotion. This left me empty and feeling like my soul was getting sucked out.
When I finally embraced my calling I felt my heart wake up.
In case you’ve forgotten what this word means I thought I would provide the definitions.
-State of peaceful happiness
This week I want you to ask yourself a few questions to reach your work bliss:
Am I happy in my job? Why or why not?
This seems basic but it's amazing how few of us look up and take stock in our feelings. If you're happy in your role what about it brings you joy? If you're unhappy what specifically is dragging you down? The mundane tasks, a tyrannical boss or the overall culture of the company?
Pinpointing the problems will help you address them. Pointing out the positives will help you seek out more opportunities like them.
What did I accomplish last week that brought me satisfaction?
What if the answer to this one is nothing? Houston, we have a problem. But it's a fixable one.
Evaluate why you didn't accomplish anything.
Were you in too many meetings? Delegate some of those never-ending meetings to work colleagues. I bet someone on your team is dying to participate in a meeting that you find boring. Give them the chance.
Is your office a constant parade of people and requests? Why not constitute several times during the week as "deep work time." This time will be for you and anyone on your team. During these 2 hour periods set several times on the calendar during the week you and your team will place Do Not Disturb signs on their cubes, desks and office doors. You will also promise to not disturb each other during these times. I would recommend deciding these times as a unit so as to create more buy-in.
Organizations that have instituted deep work time have been shown to accomplish more, become more profitable and work fewer overall hours according to the book by the same name, Deep Work by Cal Newport.
What is my favorite activity and how can I create that same feeling at work?
I'm not suggesting if you love fly fishing to build a pond in your office. Instead think about what it is you love about that activity. I personally love jigsaw puzzles and realized it's the solving of them that I truly enjoyed. Because of this, each day I try to find something I don't fully understand and try to learn it. Sometimes this can be as simple as a new feature for my website or as complex as working with a client on their business or personal issues to find a solution. Either way I get a kick out of solving something each day.
Your job is defined by you. While there is a written job description nothing is written in stone. You have the ability on a daily basis to shape your role into a fulfilling purposeful job that leaves you feeling content.
If you don't feel you have this freedom then it's time to do something different. Run back through the questions above and you'll find what sets your soul on fire.