Tag Archives: success

Am I Drifting in My Career? 3 Ways to Know

Time moves very quickly in our busy professional and personal lives. And it’s easy to allow things to just happen because they seemed like a good idea at the time. But before we slip into the second half of this year, let’s step back and do a “career health checkup”.

Remembering that we each have unique needs, here are my 3 favorite ways to help us honestly assess if we are simply in “career drift” or actively creating the career and life we want at this time.

First, let’s start with engagement and that intuitive voice in your head that often asks questions (and challenges) you as you drive home from a typical work day. Questions like: “Where has the day gone?” or “Did I really get anything worthwhile done?” With an answer like: “It was just a day like any other day” followed by a deep sigh. Your intuition is telling you something you already know but may be reluctant to admit. . . . You really are not fully (or even semi) psychologically engaged in your work at this time.

Second, where is the genuine joy in your work? It’s a simple question. . . . “Do you enjoy your work most days?” Or do you find yourself dreaming about how things could be different? There may have been a passion you deeply enjoyed in the past and now you don’t even allow yourself to dream about it because “it’s simply not possible anymore”. Where is the joy?

Third, are you enthusiastic about your work? Or do you find yourself a bit sensitive and even defensive when others ask you about your current work? That’s a red flag that you are in career drift. And if you hear yourself justifying your choices with lots of “shoulds”, “its better in the long run” or all the reasons why it’s not as “bad as it could be,” then you are drifting for sure.

I hope these simple questions get you thinking as these delicious days of summer approach. If you need anything, always feel free to contact me!

And in the spirit of not letting life drift by . . . my twin sister and I are headed to Lima, Peru, for three weeks (6/4 – 6/25) to work with Global Volunteers, an international organization serving developing communities. We will be working in a very poor village up in the hills of Lima. This is our second international assignment and although this one will be quite challenging physically, it will no doubt be emotionally very rewarding as well. I’ll have lots of stories to share with you in July!

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Inventory Your Successes from Last Year

This is a great reminder for all of us. It’s so easy to slip into thinking about everything that we didn’t do, couldn’t do, postponed doing etc. We often do that at night before going to bed. Instead of focusing on what we did accomplish during that day, we are busy thinking of all that we didn’t do. The result? We just feel more overwhelmed and exhausted.

So try this instead . . . do an “inventory” of your successes from last year. Start with flipping back through your paper or electronic calendar and start noting down all that you accomplished in both your professional and personal life. Now go to anyplace else that you write these things down. Ask colleagues, your spouse, your friends as well. Often their memories are much better than ours.

Make a HUGE list for 2014. If you are on a roll, go back another year and another year. You will be amazed that you actually have been very successful! Now give yourself a warm pat on your back, curl up next to your fluffy pillow and go right to sleep knowing that you have been very successful in the things that matter most to you at this time.

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Thrive: The Third Metric…

Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder, by Arianna Huffington, Crown Publishing Group, Random House LLC, New York, New York, 2014.

If you get the opportunity to see Arianna Huffington speak live at any kind of event, make sure to go! I saw her at the ASTD International Conference in Washington D.C. last spring and immediately bought two copies of her brand new book, Thrive.

Huffington’s personal story, combined with her own extraordinary success as the co-founder of the Huffington Post Media Group, grabbed my attention right away. She was singing my song! All of us need to be very aware of how we are defining “success” for ourselves. And then to have the courage to ask ourselves if that definition is getting us to where we really want to go at this time in our lives. Don’t hurry reading this book – savor it and enjoy!

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360 Degrees of Influence

360 Degrees of Influence: Get Everyone to Follow Your Lead on Your Way to the Top, by Harrison Monarth, McGraw-Hill Publishers, New York, New York, 2012. 

Okay, I admit it! I haven’t finished reading this book cover to cover because it is that good. I’ve only had it for a week but I keep finding new chapters to read each day that I can apply immediately to my executive leadership coaching work.

In this brand new book, Monarth tackles the complex challenge of how to initiate significant organizational change through the power of influence.  I applaud his 360° approach which encourages all of us to gain the trust and respect of those around us – up, across and down – to expand our spheres of influence.  My favorite chapters are on how to break through resistance; organizational politics; influencing your boss, how to use your words to change minds and Monarth’s emphasis on becoming EQ smart.  So if you are a seasoned professional in a well-defined leadership role already or a rapidly raising young professional that wants to rock the boat this book is for you.  I loved it!

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