When everyone around you is looking, acting, and being a certain way, how do you keep yourself accountable, approachable, and motivated to make productive change? How much can you brush off as environmental?
I am not one that leans heavily on the notion of career development, through negative avoidance, however by study of contrast, an environment full of positive people, tend to have better outcomes, than a work environment full of distrust, contempt, burnout, and exhaustive negative energy.
Knowing your strengths, possibilities, weaknesses, and fears requires a bit of introspection, but it is time well spent. In 2001, my employer was announcing dramatic reductions in force, and the affects of which were going to be dramatic whether we kept our job, or were laid off. At the time my strengths were my stubborn resolve and passion for facing adversity openly. My weaknesses were my personal and deep seeded fear of being a failure, and so much time I invested in NOT being a failure, that I diminished my actual productivity.
What I found strength in was my ability to assess the situation and make choices that allowed me to continue to do that which brought serenity, joy and health to my family. Mine was the primary income, and I felt such incredible fear over losing that responsibility, that I plunged into worry and preservation mode.
I reminded myself that IF stability were all that important to me, I would have chosen to leave as soon as the risk was identified. The flexibility and curiosity carried me through these challenging times. For me to still maintain the value and responsibility of a person who feels threatened financially, required I examine my values, my worth, and my ideal environment.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to discover what is most important to you. After you have answered them, you have a greater sense of the options.. Where there are options, there are choices, where there are choices, there is a responsibility.. and freedom, and of course, for each choice, a consequence.
- What is it that you value most about your current career?
- What is it that you dislike the most about your current career?
- Are you keeping yourself informed and aware of the long term directions?
- Where are you delivering unique value?
- Are you well prepared to analyze and navigate the impact of business changes?
- If I could work in my PERFECT career, the work day would look like ___?
- Who do I know that has accomplished that which I aspire to do? Would they mentor me?
- What action steps can I take today, to remain in a state of continuous improvement, and positive momentum?
- Where are the 'mind' 'mine-fields' of my imagination-- that place where a moderate activity is made more extreme and dramatic than perhaps useful or logical? What can you do to recognize them, and be conscious of the choices you have that allow you to identify and avoid the mind, mine fields?
- Most promotions come as a result of competitive positioning-- doing more than is expected. What is expected of the key thought and action leaders in your company?
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