Career And Leadership Skills

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Going Deeper into Your Work

I sat in the crowded room.

So many smart people all trying to improve the company’s website.

I chuckled.

I felt lucky to be here.

Tom stood up and said, “We are looking at the problem all wrong. We’re too focused on our perspective. We need to look at it from the customer’s perspective.”

He was right. We were so worried about gaining new members we forgot to make sure our current customers were happy.

I’ve been working with a big client over the past year. It’s taking up a lot of my time.

I miss my smaller clients, but there is a lot of positive when working with a big client.

When you work with a lot of smart people you get to learn directly from them. You see how their mind works and how they see things that you don’t.

You probably get to work with some talented people as well. The more you learn from them the more it helps your career.

It’s taking his time to go a little deeper into studying the people around you that will really help you grow. Let’s look at a few ways you can improve your career by just watching the habits of the talented people around you.

1. How do they prepare?

When you work with talented and caring people you’ll notice a common theme. They all prepare well, so they can can kick butt at work.

Next time they have a big presentation watch what they do.

  1. How do they research their presentation?
  2. Who do they talk to get feedback?
  3. What rituals do they do to get in the right mindset?

The last one is very important because it helps sets the tone for the presentation. Before a big presentation they might have a routine where they make a cup of tea, wear a certain shirt, play a certain song, or read a energizing article and allow them to feel confident. It’s routine that helps them get in the zone.

You’ll start to notice a common theme when dealing with smart, talented and caring people. They understand what they want to accomplish and they make sure they are prepared to do their best. Even when they fall short they are still proud of their work because they gave it their all.

2. What do they care the most about?

Understanding what makes people tick is key to learning from them. I like ask people straight out why they care about their jobs.

I ask…

What’s the favorite part of your job?

If they talk with passion and/or go into great detail then I can see that they truly care about their work. This fascinates me because I haven’t always been this way. The older I get the more I realize that they work at this. No one loves everything about their job, but he ones that grow their career focus on the stuff that they care about.

The question usually reveals a lot about the person. I had a boss who loved Design. He loved reading user experience articles and sharing them with us. It dictated how he went about his job every single day. He lived and breathed his work.

People also show you how they care through their actions. If they go the extra mile they love the work. If they are a good coach they love helping others. If they ask you if they can help then they care about you.

You can learn so much by watching people and how they converse with others. I started complimenting people more because I had a coworker who did it so well. He would compliment your work and explain why he appreciated your effort. It made me feel good about myself and want to help him even more. That’s they type of person I wanted to be at work.

3. What makes them special?

Some people just have certain gifts that they rely on, but what makes most people special is how willing they are to go deep into their work.

They push through when most people give up. It’s this tenacity/focus that helps them succeed.

Next time a coworker hits a stumbling block see how they react. Do they go a little deeper and try a little harder?

I had a boss that took notes at every meeting. He didn’t want to miss a thing. I’m still working on this habit, but his habit sticks with me. I always have a notepad or my phone, so I can jot down notes so I will remember to follow up or remember to take action after the meeting is over.

Your Turn

What is one thing you see someone else do that you can incorporate into your skill set?

Look around at the people that you work with try talking to the people that you see bring special talents to the table. Find out why they enjoy their work. Ask them if they have any routines.

You have an opportunity to go deeper into your work, improving your career, just by getting advice from the people you work with.

If you don’t have anyone that you admire then go outside of your company. LinkedIn is perfect for this. Connect with someone and see if they will answer a few questions.

Remember people are busy so don’t take it personal if they don’t respond back right away if at all. It’s important that you don’t give up. If you want to take your skills to a new level then you are going to learn from other talented people. Keep reaching out to other people until someone responds back.

Books and podcasts are always a great resource, but if you can learn a skill from someone you admire at work then that’s one of the best ways to build a relationship and grow your skills

10 Warning Signs You’re in The Wrong Job

Warning sign

Warning sign

I started off just like most of the people that surround my environment. Good family and friends, always had what I strictly needed, and life seemed perfect, up until some point. There were the college and the university, and finally the long-awaited job. I always loved working with people, so I went on with this path.

After I finished university, it was not long till I managed to land a good job as a personnel assistant in a smaller corporate organization. As the months went by, I continuously felt a certain push. It wasn’t a physical one. It was just like something was burning inside me, and my subconscious was constantly trying to fight me.

To be honest, even though I could say that I love what I do, the place in which I worked and the job duties that were put into my responsible hands were too boring. For me, boredom leads to procrastination, anxiety, and depression.
So I took a moment by myself and closely examined my deepest feelings. I still have that paper, and I’m going to let you see it:

  • I feel anxious because I feel like I’m wasting my energy and youth doing a futile job
  • I feel angry because my boss doesn’t understand my point of view that might just revolutionize the company
  • I feel extremely bored with the duties they give me
  • I feel stupid because I am still working here

And after the last sentence, I remember how it suddenly stroked me. I said no more, I’m going to quit. Of course, the next morning I was back to my “comfy” job that was putting food on my table.

The breakthrough was when I figured out that I had to work double to get myself out of the position that I’ve solely put myself in. I figured out that the best way to get off this “job trap” is to start looking for another company to work for. Then, I could continue on by starting a company, and the path will lead me.

So for several months I stayed at home after work, looked out for open vacancies, learned new skills, and tested new things. Once I got a job offer from a well-known company, I quit my job and that’s it. Simple. That’s the end of my sorrow.

Now I’m living a happily ever after story, even though I’m not rich or overly successful. I’m living the dream because I do what I enjoy, and no one will ever make me do something that I don’t like doing.

Not that you should follow my lead or become as me, but you can learn from my mistakes. During today’s article, we’ll talk about 10 warning signs that prove that you’re in the wrong job. If you happen to figure out that you’re clearly in a wrong job situation, there’s no need to despair.

John Newman is a very fulfilled HR Generalist at Careers Booster, and also a friend of mine. I asked him for a simple advice that I could give to all the people that hate their jobs and start to become aware and panic. Here’s his message:

Lots of people are in your situation. What you can do now is slowly make your way out towards something better. Life’s not about material things – if you spend it not doing what you enjoy, you’ll definitely have regrets later on when you’re no longer able to do what you could do…now.

Now according to both John’s and my personal experience, here are the 10 warning signs that might suggest that you’re in the wrong job:

1. You’re Feeling Bored

As in my case, feeling bored is a true sign that you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do. The feeling of boredom comes whenever we’re not interested in the topics presented to us. The duties might be boring, so our efficiency will never shine.

2. Nothing’s Natural to You

If all of your tasks are putting you into a weird stance and position, you might just have a problem. Whenever you’re good at something, and you enjoy doing that thing, you’ll be able to perform naturally. Your creative mind makes it very easy for you to come up with solutions.

Moreover, your strengths should always advantage you in your job. If on the contrary, you’re feeling that nothing seems natural with your job, you’re in the wrong place!

3. You Don’t Fit In

After you spend several weeks or months at a workplace, you should already figure out whether you fit with the company’s culture and members. In case your colleagues are not really your type, you’ll probably never forge strong connections with them. This is a major issue, so I’d consider a change.

4. No Desire to Do More

If nothing motivates you to do more than required, you’re most likely to have a problem. You see, a productive and engaged employee is always looking for opportunities to do better. Your lack of interest in over delivering value might be a clear sign that you’re not supposed to work where you work now.

5. You’re There for The Money

If money’s the only thing that motivates you, then you haven’t picked your job pretty well. As John has suggested, life’s not about materialistic stuff. You can reach happiness by pursuing all sorts of different things, all while you’re doing something enjoyable during your work hours.

6. You Receive Bad Feedback on a Consistent Basis

Bad feedback isn’t necessarily bad. But if you’re receiving it on a constant basis, it means that you’re doing something wrong. Perceive bad feedback not as small remarks that are constantly being thrown at you by your mean boss, but the see the important clues that let you know whether you’re doing things right or wrong.

In case you’re doing it wrong all the time, why’d you keep staying there?

7. You’re Feeling Embarrassed that You Work There

In case you’re feeling any sort of embarrassment because of your job, you’re definitely in the wrong spot my friend. Solve the problem or quit immediately. Living with embarrassment is the worst, especially when the feeling sparks whenever you have to speak out your job position.

8. You’re Not Growing as a Professional

Life’s all about learning new thing and growing our physical and mental abilities. Nevertheless, many jobs are actually limiting the people that perform them. If you feel that your opportunities are slim and your growing rhythm has slowed down, start assessing your situation.

Found out that it’s clearly slowing your professional growth? Well, it’s not the right job!

9. You Just Can’t Be You

If you can’t be you, why even bother? Spend 8 hours pretending that you’re someone else? That sounds insane. Yet, many people do it, and they do it because they’re afraid of change. No one’s going to get you out of these types of situations other than yourself.

10. You’re Only Living on the Weekends

In case you’re waiting for Friday like kids wait for Santa each year, this is a very strong sign that you’re unfulfilled with your job. There are many individuals that only enjoy two and a half days of their lives per week because whenever they have to work, life’s not that pink for them. Apathy, boredom, and sadness…these are all feelings that are screaming for a change!
Conclusion

Being in the wrong job is a serious problem. Work represents half of our lives, so I’d suggest paying a lot of attention when choosing it. If you’re recognizing a few or more of these 10 “symptoms” in your present life, you definitely need to change your job. It takes courage, will, commitment, and action.

Once you manage to replace your job with something more fulfilling, life will no longer be miserable, and you’ll be able to enjoy way more aspects of your life. But remember…this will only happen…once you make the change.

Eva Wislow is a career coach at Resumes Planet and HR expert from Pittsburgh. She is focusing on helping people break down their limits, find a dream job and achieve career success. Eva finds her inspiration in writing. Follow her on Twitter.

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