#85 How to Create Autonomy at Work

how to create autonomy at work

Let’s face it, you would love to learn how to create autonomy at work while also being a “good” employee! You can start now… learn what it takes to become more independent in the workplace!

I. Three Pillars to Live By

Below are 3 career purpose pillars I introduce in my webinar replay Career Purpose: When Work Isn’t Working for You. These pillars can guide you toward autonomy both personally and professionally!

Pillar 1: Service – the idea is to serve other people, organizations, and other things bigger than yourself. For example, you can serve your boss by doing good work. Or, you can be the mature adult when someone is being difficult. You can serve the community by volunteering.

Pillar 2: Development – take advantage of opportunities to grow yourself, improving both the hard and soft skills. The hard skills are usually the easier ones to improve, which include trainings, courses, certifications, etc. The soft skills are usually more difficult, which include communications, emotional intelligence, managing heated situations, etc. 

Pillar 3: Legacy – improve everything and everyone you touch. Leave meetings and jobs in a better position than how they were found. Lift others up around you. Express gratitude and get used to saying thank you. Leave the world better than you found it. People won’t always remember what you did, but they will remember how you made them feel. 

II. The Link

You might think, “Ok, Gina, sure, those 3 pillars sound fine. But how does that help me create autonomy?”

All 3 pillars, when applied through your own volition, have the following in common:

  • you decrease your external expectations of recognition or reward
  • you increase your capacity to focus on internal pursuits and efforts
  • you practice doing things for the sake of doing them, rather than doing them for reward

Application of the 3 pillars both at work and at home can, over time, help you build self-recognition, self-confidence, self-respect, etc.

You see, applying the 3 pillars will help reprogram you to slowly focus on your own internal motivations and pursuits, thus, decreasing the focus on external motivations and reward.

A liberating feeling of independence exists when you are NOT in desperate need of an external reward from your employer!

III. Resourcefulness is Key

Why is it a good thing to focus more on internal motivations/efforts rather than the external ones?

So you can command control… stable control over your internal state, regardless of external outcomes. It is a form of resilience!

A person who is in control of their internal state, by focusing on internal decisions and efforts, will accumulate heightened confidence, worth and value.

Therefore, the association between the 3 pillars above and how to create autonomy at work is this: elevated self-worth is a critical element to becoming an autonomous employee.

When you know that your value, contributions, and problem-solving capabilities are top-notch, autonomy sets in. You decrease your level of neediness, external validation, and employer dependence. In addition, you will gain an ability to enforce boundaries at work against unreasonable requests.

A fierce belief in knowing that you are resourceful enough to figure anything out leads to autonomy without sacrificing quality.

If you enjoy this content, I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and ask me about free strategy sessions for your career!