Many people turn a beloved hobby into a vocation. They have a gift, a talent screaming for expression. It means doing something that they love. At last, they feel empowered.
However, this newfound empowerment is inside the person, not in the changing of careers. How can you feel empowered if you are already successful in your work but feel discontent? You must recognize and feel the value within you and your work every day!
A colleague and I were presenting a workshop on career satisfaction to a group of health-care staff members. His segment, “Feeling Empowered in Your Career”, and my following segment, “Empowerment in Words and Actions”, complimented each other splendidly.
A majority of the participants had indicated before the workshop that they were happy with their career choice. Their need was to feel more contentment during the workday. Many felt isolated or emotionally distant from co-workers. They felt successful but not content.
They all believed that their work was highly valuable. However, as one participant said, “I don’t feel connected to the people I work with or feel enough satisfaction in the value that I provide.”
There is a big difference between believing in something and deeply experiencing the same thing. An old expression suggests, “It will not help to believe in ladders unless you climb one.” Many people are highly skilled, successful, and competent in their work. They are intellectually aware of their value. However, they do not experience the internal satisfaction and contentment that they want and deserve.
How can we experience the most contentment and satisfaction in our careers? Here are several key ideas to remember.
1. First, check your motivations for being in your career. Success is the result of skills, actions, and choices. It is not a mandate to remain in one place. You can be successful in many different endeavors depending on your motivations, interests, and natural gifts.
Use an assessment such as the complimentary MAPP found at http://www.achieveezine.com/resources/ to check your motivations. Your personalized MAPP reveals whether your true motivations match your work. It also uncovers unique talents and interests.
2. Start with your desired result. Notice how the participant’s words focused on not feeling connected. After that gap has been acknowledged, it is time to shift focus. We move toward the object of our primary attention. It may seem backwards, but begin at the end. Imagine and focus on what contentment would feel like for you as though you already have it.
3. Catch a partner or co-worker doing something great each day. Verbally acknowledge the dedication and value that they contribute. Use sincere words and actions to show colleagues that they are valuable. Share your goals with others, and express sincere appreciation for their participation.
As children, we learned to communicate and relate to others by participating in a mutual action-speaking environment. We did not simply listen and respond. We built trust-worthy relationships by joining with adults and peers in cooperative activities that matched words and feelings with action. Showing appreciation for others will reflect back and enrich your experiences.
4. Seek constructive suggestions from both co-workers and clients. Dive right into the experience of value, and acknowledge constructive suggestions with gratitude. Focus on your value by challenging yourself to make improvements each day.
5. Put your value into positive-action words. Then catch yourself in the actions. Our words, actions, and focus of attention will pull us toward the contentment we seek. Journal your experiences of providing value. Review them frequently.
6. Nourish and maintain yourself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Discontentment may be a warning sign of burn out. Get regular medical checkups and follow a balanced lifestyle for maximum wellness. Daily periods of relaxation and meditation are important for renewal and wellbeing.
Leo Buscaglia wrote, “The majority of us lead quiet, unheralded lives as we pass through this world. There will most likely be no ticker-tape parades for us, no monuments created in our honor.”
Yet we can be both successful and content with our lives and careers. We create the most meaningful monuments from the love and enthusiasm we have for our work.
Create a monument everyday by doing what you love and focusing on the value you bring to others. Acknowledge also the value that others contribute to your life and career. These actions coupled with a healthy, balanced lifestyle can add contentment and improved relationships to your career beginning today.