Reposition Your New Career

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Art Decker of New York self storage

“When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” This occurred to me during a recent move, but I was skeptical. I was moving from Chicago, where all my friends and family lived, where all my work contacts were located, to San Francisco. San Francisco is a beautiful city, but I did not know anyone and my cost of living was about to skyrocket.

All my thoughts were consumed with discouraging statistics: Groceries in San Francisco are 14 percent more than in Chicago, health care was going to cost me 8 percent more, and my housing was slated to increase roughly 108 percent. Not only was I going to have to adjust to a new city and find new friends, but I was confronting the reality of a significant downsize. I was not thrilled and even the lemonade in San Francisco seemed expensive!

Though I wasn’t in the mood for making lemonade out of my lemons, it seemed more refreshing than sipping lemon juice at a pity party.  Here’s what I did to embrace my new adventure.
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Time Management is a Waste of Time

There are important things and then there are really important things.

Know the difference.

Stop getting caught up in trying to schedule every thirty minutes of your day. You know what needs to get done. The other stuff can wait.

Amazing results will not happen because you have an amazingly organized schedule. Amazing results are what happens when you focus on doing the really important stuff.
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Why Take the Risk of Being Successful in Unhappiness?

lets-be-friends-forever-whnEvery now and again, I like to bring you short interviews to give you a new perspective on work happiness. During my study of work happiness I have found that there are many paths to the same goal. Some people believe that loving what you do is a must, while other people believe that relationships are vital to enjoying the work that we do. Interviews are a great way to get out of your own perspective and see what other people are doing to develop their strengths and live their passions.

If you have never visited I Can Has CheezBurger you are missing out. It is simply one of the funniest websites around. People add comments to pictures of cats doing something weird. I borrowed one from the site. It’s in the upper left hand corner of this post. It’s a wonderful break from a tedious task. Ben Huh is the brilliant mind behind this website. I was lucky to have met him at SXSW this past month and he agreed to do an interview.
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How to Use Your Skills and Passion to Create Success

sara-lopez-WHNEditor’s note: This is a guest post from Sara Lopez

You never quite realize how much your job affects your happiness until you have had a truly terrible job, or a truly phenomenal job. Just think about it, you spend 2/3 of your awake time at a place, surrounded by certain people, working for a specific cause­– this is called your career.

My name is Sara Lopez and I am the Brand Ambassador and Social Media Strategist for 8th Continent Soymilk. I quite possibly have the best job in the world, however it was not always this way.

At one point I worked for a consulting firm in San Francisco that was so unappreciative I would trudge home considering where I went wrong on my career path and how I would ever fix it. I dreaded going in to work in the morning because I knew my skills were not utilized, nor did my employer notice them.
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An Itch You Can’t Scratch

(Click here to view video at Work Happy Now)

We all have itches we can’t scratch. The question is…How do you deal with it? This video post discusses how to deal with your itch and figure out a way to indirectly scratch it, so you feel satisfied and ready to scratch that itch when the time is right.
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Thomas Edison on Work and Money

“One might think that the money value of an invention constitutes its reward to the man who loves his work. But… I continue to find my greatest pleasure, and so my reward, in the work that precedes what the world calls success.”
– Thomas A. Edison
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How Do You Define Success?

Success is difficult to define because it changes on a regular basis. One day I’m happy with the growth of this website then the next I’m scrambling because I saw another blogger’s visitor stats and they were way higher than mine.

I shouldn’t be comparing myself to anyone, let alone someone who is already an expert in my field. We’ve all heard that advice, but it doesn’t work. We can’t stop comparing ourselves to people who are more successful. The important thing is that we find a way to measure success that encourages great work, but doesn’t discourage us.
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Never Stop Expanding Your Network

You may do your job well, even so well that no one can complain, but you never get ahead. This career trap can cause many problems. The cause of the problem may be that you are one dimensional. You are so good at what you do and you’ve become so comfortable that you’ve stopped sharing thoughts, ideas, and helpful hints.

I’ve seen friends fall into this trap. When they need to expand their network they ignore the signs.

  • Co-workers stop coming to them for help.
  • They don’t reach out to people below and above them.
  • They don’t take advantage of programs that might help them expand their skills.

Your Corporate Network

Many of you may be imagining some old man on the verge of retirement that has trouble adapting to the latest computer programs at work. This happens at every age. I’m relatively young, 32, but a few months ago I felt like I had become complacent at my job and I wasn’t keeping my co-worker network strong.

I decided to start calling people within the organization to just say hi. I always make it short and sweet and keep the conversation on them. They love it. They have been more willing to help me out with a problem instead of pushing me on to someone else.

Customer Network

This same problem happens with your customer base. When we get too comfortable and we stop reaching out to old contacts, we hinder the circular flow of love from our networks that helps us succeed.

You have to communicate to all levels within the organization to stay on the pulse of your company or your business, but you don’t have to push from just one angle. If you sell refrigerators and all you do is talk about how good they are, all day every day, people will tune you out.

Talk to people about what they enjoy most – themselves. Let them remember you for your graciousness and they will return the favor.

What do you do to expand your network?

Related Career Tips and Advice:

* Buzzoodle Marketing wrote about being one dimensional, which spurred this article.

Image courtesy of luc legay

Use Failure as Your Slingshot

Abraham Lincoln

The greatest business people, actors, politicians, athletes, and scientists all persevere through failure in their careers before they reach a high level of success. When they do reach that point, there comes a great calm. They realize that their disappointments were some of the best moments of their careers because they used them to improve on their next move.

Life is a beautiful struggle, and the great people of our history used each failure as a slingshot to create a better life. One of the greatest of them was Abraham Lincoln. His failures were numerous and would have crushed a weaker willed person.

  • Failed in business in 1831

  • Defeated for the legislature in 1832

  • Failed in business again in 1834

  • Ann Rutledge, the love of his life died in 1835

  • Nervous breakdown in 1836

  • Defeated in an election in 1838

  • Defeated for Congress in 1843, 1846, and a third time in 1848

  • Defeated for Senate in 1855

  • Defeated for Vice President in 1856

  • Defeated for Senate in 1858

  • 1860 he was finally elected President!

Every living thing struggles to live. Famous actors struggle with the paparazzi, I struggle with my career, everyone struggles with their relationships, rich people struggle with illness, and everyone struggles with the possibility of death. Every struggle creates new places for joy. The truly great people understand that failure isn’t the measure of a person, but it is what they do with that failure that decides how successful they become.

It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failures. Precept, study, advice, and example could never have taught them so well as failure has done.
– Samuel Smiles

It’s using that struggle to help improve your life that makes the difference between success and accepting defeat. Use your difficulties to make yourself stronger. Use you failure as a slingshot toward happiness and you’ll succeed.

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* Photo courtesy of pingnews