Tag: dream job

#48 Five Workplace Lessons to Elevate Your Career

May 21st, 2021 by

Whether novice, veteran or somewhere in between, listed here are 5 critical workplace lessons for optimal career health and professional success.

No. 1 Employers Don’t Guarantee Happiness

One of the most impactful workplace lessons for you to know is that employers don’t ‘make’ people happy. Employer roles do not include cultivating nor sustaining your happiness.. 

The role of your employer is to provide work instructions so you can fulfill part of their business objectives. You produce output and they compensate. It’s a mutually beneficial agreement to create a working partnership.

At no point in time, at least not that I’ve ever heard, do employers promise happiness. To further this point, they are not responsible for your development, your growth or your professional status. Once you sign on the dotted line, you agree to fulfill your employee role; they agree to pay based on their own standards and criteria.

Hence, it is a grave mistake for anyone to assume or expect an employer keep them happy. As I’ve exclaimed before, “it’s not your job’s job to make you happy.” You will only set yourself to be disappointed!

No. 2 Rely on Yourself, Not Your Employer

Referring to Lesson No. 1, your employer’s role is to compensate you for your output, subject to their definition of compensation.

They unfortunately have no obligation to inform you of upcoming RIFs, transformations or new business objectives. Therefore, it is great habit for you to rely on YOU in case work goes south. If, for whatever reason, you find yourself out of a job, a reliance on yourself will provide a healthy, practical activity that is completely within your control.

Therefore, be more proactive in your career journey. I recommend Blog #33 about your Employability Vault. This article spells out a strategy and steps to help you get started with proactive preparations as a fallback plan.

I have seen too many devastated faces at work. You never know what is going on behind the scenes. The Employability Vault is your go-to mental workout, whether work is going great or not going at all.

Lesson No. 3 Behaviors Project Self-Worth

This perhaps may be one of the best workplace lessons for your self-confidence. The lesson is that other people, in general, say and act in manners that reflect the way they feel about themselves.

This is important for two reasons. First, when others point fingers, talk smack, or berate colleagues, they are exposing their insecurities. An individual who is disappointed or unhappy deep down will project this negativity onto others through their interactions. Similarly, a person who is highly confident and appreciative of who they are will treat others accordingly.  

Secondly, this applies to you, too! How you feel about yourself is an indication of the most important relationship you will ever have – the relationship with YOU.

Therefore, what others think about you is really not about you. It is more about their own personal experiences, successes, failures… and what they believe about themselves. What others think of you is directly related to their own sense of self-worth. Hurt people hurt other people. 

The lesson here is to not take disagreements or nasty comments about you so seriously. At the same time, if you find yourself judging someone, redirect that judgment inward to assess your own insecurity.

Lesson No. 4 There is No ‘Right’ Career Path

“What is my right career path?” is a question that plagues many professionals at all experience levels. And the reason it plagues is because this question is a self-limiting, negative question to ask.

“What is the right path” implies there is one right and several wrong answers. We live in a culture that teaches us decisions are generally ‘right or wrong,’ ‘good or bad.’ Therefore, this awful question produces unreasonable pressure for you to choose the right one.

What if there were no such thing as a ‘wrong’ career path? Picture this – you sell the house, move the family out of state, start over at a new company only to find out you hate it. Most people might claim, “that was the wrong career move.” But I beg to differ!

Can you be open to the idea that there is much value in all experiences? What I mean is, you lived through a process that did not produce the outcome you had hoped for. During this time, you experienced things, people and places you had never before known. You tried a new job, new employer, and new culture. Is it helpful and self-serving for you to know that it wasn’t a good fit?

Yes, absolutely, without a doubt it was a learning experience. Just because the job or employer wasn’t a good fit doesn’t mean it was wasted energy. It is just as important to know what you don’t like as it is to know what you do!

Lesson No. 5 Dream Jobs are Created, Not Found

This may be the most enlightening of the workplace lessons mentioned here. I never knew that a dream job was something I needed to create. It was never ‘out there’ to be found, as if part of some scavenger hunt. No wonder I could never find it!?

So, stop searching for your dream job. Stop meticulously analyzing job descriptions out of vigilant fear that they may not fit your ‘dream job’ criteria. And stop beating yourself up because you want more out of your professional life.

Instead, realize that if you want external greatness, you must generate internal greatness first.

I am going to include a phenomenal quote by musical genius Quincy Jones:

“Love, trust and respect.

Your music can never be more or less than you are as a human being. That’s the bottom line.

So you work on being a good human being first, even before a good musician.”

The lesson learned here is that if you want great, be great. Your job can only ever be as great as you are.

Which of the 5 lessons are holding you back? Let me know in the Contact Page!

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#43 What is My Right Career Path?

March 12th, 2021 by

To switch jobs, industries, or go back to school … what’s the right career path? It’s no wonder you are plagued by this question. It promotes a cyclic path of thought errors because it’s the wrong question to be asking!

The Wrong Question

First, do not ask yourself, “What is my right career path?” Why not, you ask? Because it is not relevant. It is like asking, “What is the right child I’d like to have?” Many answers exist, yet you can always find resistance in those answers. And you might attempt to apply logic, data and evidence. Or you might resort to a decision matrix to help convince yourself you are making the ‘right’ choice. See Post #40 if you suffer from career indecision.

Secondly, this question is a closed-minded question. It presupposes there exists one right and many wrongs. I challenge you to rid this idea and get it out of your head. If a job is less than desirable, or if it did not turn out as expected, you didn’t lose. Learning is knowledge, even when it does not align with your desired outcomes. If you walked away from a job with newfound knowledge, it was worth it.

Let’s suppose you ask yourself different questions, questions that open your mind. For example:

  • I have an interest in A, B, C and D. What if I commit to pursuing a job in each area, one at a time?
  • If I get a job trying such-and-such, what is the absolute worst that might happen?
  • I’m interested in job Z, but if I never try it out, how would I ever know that I like it?
  • When I think about my future self in 2, 3, or 5 years, will I regret not trying __?
  • Isn’t it great to know what I don’t enjoy as much as it is to know what I do enjoy?
  • I can’t go wrong as long as I’m learning something new; trying job ABC will teach me __.

Failing Ahead of Time

There is a difference between someone performing a job ‘just because they can’ vs fulfilling their calling in life. In my experience, few people come to realize and engage in their calling. Do not be misled by the people who have been performing their jobs for years on end.

In fact, I would argue that careers are fluid, agile, always adapting and changing based on individual and business needs. One day your preferred title might be risk analyst, the next it could be marketing manager.

And I would caution you to be aware of the mindset trap that there is one ‘right’ career path. Several kinds of jobs could fall under the umbrella of being ‘right.’ And all of these ‘right’ jobs would create different ‘paths’ for you. Therefore, there is no such thing as the ‘right career path’. That is a self-limiting belief that might have you banging your head against a wall.

Keep your mind open, not closed. You must try different things to know what you like. It’s okay to do so, especially given today’s dynamic work environments. Every position will offer you new insights and knowledge – and that is something you will take wherever you go.

It’s just as important to know what you don’t like as it is to know what you do like.

If you never try, you are failing ahead of time. Failing ahead of time is easier and more comfortable than putting yourself out there, risking a new adventure. Open yourself up to the idea that careers are not ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, rather, they all provide ample opportunities for growth, development and learning.

It is not the career itself that matters as much as the person you become while performing it. 

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#36 Searching for Your Dream Job?

December 4th, 2020 by

Of course you are searching for your dream job! That’s what we do in our culture. You grew up in a world that rewards you with a dream job in exchange for that rigorous college degree. Almost as if you are entitled.

Off to the Races

To your dismay, that dream job has been elusive during your 5-, 10-, or 20-year career. Where the heck is it, you wonder, and how do I find it? You’ve realized that job hopping only lasts so long. Unfortunately, you’ve also realized that you cannot assess a job until you live it.

You are meticulous about picking apart job descriptions. And you are an expert at eliminating jobs that don’t sound perfect. You ask great questions in your interviews. Informational interviews are standard practice. Of course, you always insist on meeting your new prospective boss before accepting a new job. 

You’re doing all the right things. Yet, here you are, begrudgingly searching for your dream job. The perfect one that offers reasonable challenges, superb benefits, and a stellar team with true leadership. Whatever your definition, you’re not finding it. And it is a maddening race you cannot win.

Professional Scavenger Hunt

The myriad counselors, advisors, teachers, and professors have tried their best to guide you. It is not their fault that, after all this time, you are still searching for your dream job. Nor is it your fault. You can only act based on the information at hand.

The missing piece is that you attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, be great.

If you are unsettled, if you are wishy-washy, if you are uncertain, that is the kind of job (and career) you will attract. Accepting a job with hope, wishful thinking, or high expectations is a surefire way to set yourself up for disappointment. For example, if you resentfully go to work, your work and your output will be resentful. If you force yourself to go to work, your work and your output will be forced.

However, the flip side is also true. If you are proud, confident, or happy before you accept your new job, then the job will follow accordingly. The point is that dream jobs are not something to be found, as if they are part of a professional scavenger hunt. Dream jobs don’t hang around awaiting the perfect person to whisk them away akin to a fairy tale ending.

Dream jobs are created. They are created by people who are great within themselves. Great cannot be found out there in the external world; it is something you foster within your being. The secret to a dream job is to nurture this great relationship with yourself first. Alas, paving the way for you to create your dream job.

Dream jobs are created by you, they are not out there to be found.

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!

#8 “Where is my Dream Job?”

November 29th, 2019 by

Maybe you’re contently performing your very first professional job. Perhaps you’ve been around the block having worked for many employers under many job titles. Or, you’re somewhere in between. But there’s one thing you’re sure of: someday you will land your dream job.

Fluffy Messaging

Boundless marketing messages feed into the idea that your dream job is awaiting your much anticipated arrival. Colleges love to brag about high job placements for their graduates into happily-ever-after occupations. Social media bombards with promises to help you find your dream job. Recruiters, career coaches and career strategists like to boast about placing people into their dream jobs.

If you noticed, I am referring to your dream job as an ‘idea’ (see Post #17). As mentioned above, this idea is rampant in our society, as if your dream job truly exists (you just have to find it). After all, it sounds completely reasonable, and even expected, that many working professionals feel entitled to that one dream job.

The Reality

What’s the problem with all this fluffy messaging? The problem is that maybe there is no dream job out there. In fact, I would state most professionals I’ve encountered have never found their dream jobs. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly some people who do. I’m afraid they are few and far between.

So, if you are on the hunt, if your mission is to find that dream job, you may be searching for a while. The ideal job may not be out there. I’m not wanting to crush your soul or make you feel regret, despite my sounding like a pessimist. Rather, I’m offering a valuable truth that I wish someone would have shared with me. It is a legitimate possibility you’re looking for something that does not exist. 

Which naturally leads you to the next question: “Now what?” You suspect the next best thing may be to find a job that’s close enough to perfect. It is a reasonable and logical guess, but it is not the best long-term solution.

I invite you to follow me on LinkedIn and subscribe to my Youtube channel for additional coaching insights!