Life Improved: Career

Want to feel good about your career? Many people desire a satisfying career, and with good reason. A career that fits well is a luxury that enhances life overall. In addition to monetary resources gained through work, a good-fitting career fuels self-development and self-confidence. It is a main avenue for continued learning and development. Through the work you do every day, you demonstrate where you are willing to focus. Finding work to focus on that meshes superbly with your inner nature and what you want to experience maximizes your personal power, creativity, and freedom.

Sometimes people are surprised to realize what an inside game career development is. Magic happens once you plan ahead to feel good about your career and begin to include your work seamlessly into the fabric of your life experience. Building a satisfying career begins with knowing it is possible and believing you can tap into that kind of abundance.

People who have found their perfect work are passionate and proud of the work they do. They exude a special type of joy and zest for life. I wish that for you. Dive into your career development one optimistic step at a time. Follow what appeals to you now as an indication of your intuition at work.

A career is more than one job, a progression of jobs, or even a certain task or title. It’s your life’s work and may include many areas of focus, some paid, and some not (such as schooling, volunteer work, or being a stay-at-home parent). Finding a larger perspective like that can make the significance of the immediate day-to-day more palatable, especially if you are currently in a job you hate. The job doesn’t feel so bad when you take the bird’s eye view. What you are doing now is just one step on the path.

If you can find a big perspective and lean positive with your outlook for the future, you suddenly find yourself with more patience and room to maneuver. It starts to feel like it is possible to make small changes that get you closer and closer to discovering the sweet spot where work feels like play. That’s what happens when you find the flow. You realize you are working on something or for something that feels significant to you personally that uses your best skills and provides the right amount of challenge for development. Add to that the feeling that your work fuels you with purpose and your career begins to feel very sweet indeed. Below are a few ideas for your to consider as a basis for creating a career that you love.

Be selfish. Embrace and pursue your own path.

Sometimes people feel pressure to choose a career based on what someone important to them expects. Often it is easy to turn away from our interests because of what those around us would think. But remember, you are the one putting in time and attention to whatever you choose for your career. You are the one noticing every day how you feel about your work. So be selfish in your career development planning. Intend for your work to enhance your life. Those you care about will be glad that you are happy in the end.

Building a career is an ever-evolving process, not a one-time choice. Each day you learn and gather new skills, meet new people, and gain important insights and info about yourself and what interests you. Through self-analysis and experience, you become more knowledgeable about yourself, what it is you do best, and how to present that to others. You learn more about what is a good fit for you and you become better able to match up with opportunities.

Follow your interests without concern about what other people think. It doesn’t matter if others notice what you are doing or what you are interested in, but when you fully engage with your work without the need for their attention, everyone will notice. You can feel confident knowing that people recognize you for what you do best as soon as you own it and keep working on it.

Begin by focusing on how you want to feel about your work. How does it feel when your work is easy and enjoyable for you? What feeling are you mainly wanting from your work at this time? Feel it now. Feel what it is like to do what you want. Make it a daily practice to visualize and feel that money comes to you without struggle and that your work is a joy.

A fulfilling career is built upon natural strengths that enable you to work with ease and to gain expertise faster. Strengths are activities that you enjoy doing, that you do well, and that you don’t mind doing repeatedly, as defined by Marcus Buckingham, one of the first strengths researchers. Once you find your top 2-3 strengths, I suggest you build your career around them ruthlessly. Work with a career counselor or coach to help make them the hub of your life’s work. Use them to communicate what distinguishes you from others in your cover letters and resumes and in important conversations with hiring managers, bosses, colleagues, and mentors.

Build on your career keyword and your strengths.

Your career keyword can provide clarity in understanding what you want recognition for and likely what will be easily recognized in you by others. Once you have it, you can integrate it with your strengths to use as a guiding light in your career decision making.

Identifying a career keyword is an exercise in big picture thinking. It is kind of like choosing a theme song, but in this case it is one word that describes what your career is about at its core. What is your career keyword? Get quiet for a few seconds then ask yourself, “what is my career about?” See if your intuition supplies an answer. If not, choose one for now and change anytime you find a word that fits even better. Your career keyword will resonate with you. You might feel proud, excited, or confident when you hit on a good word for you. Here are some example keywords.

administrating • art • beauty • bravery • building • challenge • communicating • compassion • competing • cooperating • creating• dancing • defense • diplomacy • efficiency • empathizing• enforcement • exploring • fashion • foreign travel • harmony • hedonism • healing • honesty • images • imagination • independence •
innovation • leading • movement • music• negotiating • nurturing • perfecting • performing • persistence• philanthropy • philosophy • physical stamina • power • problem solving • protecting • relating • religion • research • sales • science • self-expression • service• social reform • spirituality • storytelling • teaching • team building • technology • transforming • writing

Plan ahead to enjoy and focus your mind as you go.

Have you decided that work is a “grind?” Do you leave your workplace already dreading returning tomorrow? If so, it is no wonder work is difficult. When you notice and talk about what you don’t like, it is so easy to continue focusing in that way. If you want different results, then you need to establish a new thought pattern about your career. You simply must find a positive perspective about your work to ensure that your career enhances your life.

Even if you already think your job is good and you enjoy your work, you can give it more juice. Try this strategy. Go to work looking for something to like during your day. Maybe it’s a certain feeling in the air or special people you involved. Maybe it’s that you have a lot of time to think while you do a repetitive task. Maybe it’s that moment when you help a customer and they genuinely appreciate it. Maybe it’s noticing how someone else seems happy or is a pleasure to be around. Maybe it’s the precision with which things are getting done. There is always something positive to notice, find it. Then talk about it, and notice it again tomorrow.

Plan in advance to enjoy your work in the immediate future (as in today), short-term (as in this year), and long-term (ten years from now). What does it feel like to know satisfaction about a job well done, a position you are proud of, and a well-developed career? Feel it all now. Let your body feel the visualization as if it were the real thing. Use your imagination to your advantage to raise your vibe by intentionally feeling like you already have all that you want in your career. Do it daily and notice the differences. The positive differences you notice are your “wins.” Focus on them and make a big deal of it. Things are changing for the better!

On Negativity

People can be real jerks sometimes. I know you know that. Just because someone else is choosing to feel miserable or to be negative doesn’t mean you have to let that invade your energy level. You don’t have to focus on that. You can maintain your vibrational position so that they don’t bring you down to their’s. Here’s the trick: Use their negativity as a reminder.

  • Use it as reminder of how you don’t want to be and why. Hint: One has to be feeling pretty bad to be so negative.
  • Remember that they are free to create just like you are.
  • Use it to remind you of the opposite emotion or vibration and how you do want to feel. This is a technique called “Pivoting” that Esther Hicks coined years ago.
  • Use it to be thankful of the wisdom you have about how the universe works. Hint: Think Law of Attraction.
  • Use it to set intentions for how you want to feel going forward.
  • Use it to remember the importance of controlling your focus.

For example, if someone treats you badly or is negative or gruff, instead letting them dominate the airwaves, use them as a cue in your own mind to think, “Boy, do I appreciate that I’m not miserable or upset or angry like that person.” And then maybe think something like, “That reminds me that I always want to be kind, that I want to be happy, gentle, and kind,” and “It makes me appreciate the goodness I notice in most people.” This reaction is better then getting hung up focusing on their negativity which would certainly bring your vibe down and cause you to notice more negativity in the future.

To the extent that you can clear that type of negativity out of your zone, all the better but it’s not necessary. Even in ongoing relationships, it just takes one person shining brightly to dominate with positive vibes and uplift others by doing so. A big part of it is to realize that you don’t have control of them and what they are choosing to focus on. And, it takes unconditional love. They don’t have to be different in order for you to love them. Understand, they are doing the best they can in the moment, just like you are. Don’t even waste your energy trying to change them. Love them where they are. Keep a light focus if you don’t like what you see, or look the other way. Know they can rise to meet you on a higher level of vibration whenever they want to. They may want to sooner rather then later when they see how much fun you are having up there!

Pay attention to what you’re focusing on. This one thing can do wonders to increase your satisfaction in life almost immediately.

First understand that what you focus on affects how you feel.

If what you’re thinking about makes you feel bad, it affects your energy level in a bad way. It lowers your vibe. If you’re thinking about something that makes you feel bad, you will quickly start to feel stressed or tired or just generally have a bad attitude.

On the other hand, if what you’re thinking about makes you feel good, it affects your energy level in a good way. It raises your vibe! It doesn’t matter if what you’re thinking about it is true or not. What matters is if it helps you feel good.

So, for example, use this to enhance your career. If thinking about the weekend makes you feel good, then spend a few seconds periodically daydreaming about your free time. But if thinking about the weekend makes you feel bad because you want it to be the weekend now, or it makes you yearn for the weekend, then avoid thoughts about the weekend. Choose to focus on something that makes you feel good instead.

Here is another example. On an old episode of Dancing with the Stars, Olympian Evan Lysacek was being coached by his dancing pro Anna Trebunskaya. Evan was a top notch technician but was not good at showing emotion in his dancing. Anna asked him, “What makes you happy?” Evan mumbled something about cars then said as his face lit up, “my baby nephew!”

He then proceeded to show his coach cute little videos of his nephew on his phone. He was smiling and laughing the whole time. Anna capitalized on that reaction and brought it to his attention. Long story short, he danced like a whole new man in that week’s competition. Even more importantly, he now knows a trick (shall we say, a Jedi mind trick?) for something to focus on when he notices he is not feeling as good as he could.

You can do the same to enhance your life. Gather some “go to” thoughts you can use to switch your thinking when you notice you’re dragging. Keep a list of thoughts you can try to change your focus when necessary. Maybe it’s a favorite memory, a song you love, or silently reciting a list of who loves you. There is always something you can focus on for a few seconds to raise yourself to a more positive vibe. Find it and focus there to notice a new perspective on life nearly immediately.

Before the Job Hunt

Often people get it backwards. They arrive at a time in their lives when they need a new job then the first thing they do is look for job openings. It may seem logical but it is not the most beneficial way to go about it. Many of those jobs are not a good match for one reason or another. If they are not a match then they are just distractions.

Instead, flip the process around and begin with yourself. Engage in some pre-job hunt career research. Career research is a process of getting in-depth knowledge of yourself and an idea of where your skills and interests best fit into the career landscape. The purpose of career research is to develop a career strategy and job hunt plan. So the process looks like this instead:

  1. Begin with self-awareness
  2. Study occupations
  3. Then industry trends
  4. Then company culture and job openings.

There are strong advantages to working a job hunt from this angle. First is that you will get a better understanding of your personal brand along the way. You will be able to strategically network with others knowing what you want them to remember about you. You also gain a deep understanding what makes your heart sing and will be able to zoom in on opportunities that are more likely to work optimally for you. Lastly, you will come from a position of passion in job interviews and will be more convincing and so more likely to win the offer.

A good place to start is with this career aptitude test based on the Holland Codes. It’s good, it’s quick, and it’s free. The results are useful and interesting. The same website also has some excellent career research resources. I love the way the information on each job title is presented. It’s easy to read, short and sweet, and particularly relevant. Of course, O*Net is a very good resource for career research as well.

On Interviewing, Part 4

Of course when you go into an interview for a position, you will have done your research. You looked into what’s going on with the company. You checked out their website. You prepared for potential questions. You have questions of your own. You reviewed your power stories.

Now realize that the people who are hiring, they have a problem. And they need to find someone who can solve that problem. So be sure you are aware of why they are hiring right now. Make that a part of your research. Begin to think in terms of how you can be a solution to that problem. That’s what they want to hear, and that’s what will make you stand out. They’re looking for a solution, and you can be that solution. Position yourself to show that you’re aware of what they intend to accomplish by hiring someone. Check in with them too. When you go into your interview, say, “I imagine that blah blah blah is a problem, and I think that I could contribute by blah.” Doing so will help you demonstrate how you want to be a solution to their problem. They’ll like that.

Much what goes on in an interview is the interviewer seeking to understand your personal brand. It is often an awkward situation because each question is basically, “What makes you the best choice for us?” And, that is such a mind trick of a question. You can get into this idea of, “Oh my gosh, is it okay to say that I’m special…that I’m the best one?” You know what, it’s okay. You have a personal brand, and they want to know about that to determine if you are going to fit into the company culture. Be okay with saying, “This is who I am. This is what I do especially well. This is how I contribute.” Take pride in that.

Prepare yourself by losing that awkwardness about how they’re going to ask you what makes you unique. What makes you better than the other applicants. Understand, that is your invitation to tell them about your personal brand. What you embody. Go ahead and be yourself and stand for something. Know in advance, who you are and what you are looking for and say it with calmness and pride. Question them too. It’s the only way to find out if the match is a good fit for you both.

On Interviewing: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Focusing Games

SHOW NOTES:

How often do you sit to focus for a few seconds on how you like to feel? It’s a powerful skill to be fully present in the moment focusing on what you like. It has so much creative potential! In this podcast, Stevie shares some games that can help you build momentum for more of what you like. What you focus on is important. Controlling your headspace is important. Feeling good is important! Make it a daily habit to focus on how you want to feel. Use little games like the ones shared in this podcast and find yourself in the flow more often, feeling pretty good more often, and just generally enjoying life more.

SHOW NOTES:

Isn’t so much about decision making really concern for what others will think? In this episode, Stevie talks about the freedom that comes with understanding that no one has a better perspective on the choices you are making than you. So going around and taking a poll of what everyone thinks of the possibilities, though maybe fun, is often only a distraction from you and your own authority for yourself and your ability to make the best choices for you.