3 Questions to Ask Yourself if You’re Questioning Your Career Path

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You’re not completely sold that you’re on the right career path, but the idea of making a change is daunting. There are so many unknowns, and we all know the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Plus, if you do decide to change course, you may have to take a step back to develop necessary skills.

The time and energy required to transition into the right career path may be valid concerns, but they shouldn’t stop you from pursuing a path you love. Several years ago, I went from working in finance to being on a human resources team—unconventional to say the least. The decision wasn’t easy. I knew that I would be unsatisfied if I stayed in finance, but I wasn’t 100% sure HR would be the right fit. After hours of conversations with friends, family, and people in my network and months of introspection, I finally worked up enough courage to make the leap. I haven’t looked back.

Before you make a switch of your own, ask yourself the following three questions.

1. Are You Developing a Competitive Advantage?

In The Start-up of You, authors Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha teach that we’re all entrepreneurs of our own careers. They argue that to become competitive in today’s global market, it’s critical to understand your assets (what you’re good at), your aspirations (what you want to do), and the market realities (what people will pay you for).

As you look at your work history, think of these three areas as puzzle pieces. Having only one or two isn’t enough. You need all three to develop a true competitive advantage.

You’ve likely heard the axiom, “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” This may be true for some, but blindly following passion can lead to an unsustainable career. I’ve found Hoffman and Casnocha’s framework more practical. Know your assets and aspirations in light of the market realities—then pursue a path that maximizes all three.

2. How Often Do You Think About Work Outside of Work?

The importance of this question is best illustrated through a story. Henry Eyring, a former business professor at Stanford University, tells how he ended up choosing his path. His father, who was a renowned scientist and professor, hoped his son would follow in his footsteps. In Eyring’s words: “My father was [teaching physics] at a blackboard we kept in the basement…Suddenly he stopped. ‘Hal,’ he said, ‘we were working the same kind of problem a week ago. You don’t seem to understand it any better now than you did then. Haven’t you been working on it?’”

Eyring admitted he had not. His father then said: “When you walk down the street, when you’re in the shower, when you don’t have to be thinking about anything else, isn’t this what you think about?”

“When I told him no,” Eyring concludes, “my father paused…then said, ‘Hal, I think you’d better get out of physics. You ought to find something that you love so much that when you don’t have to think about anything, that’s what you think about.’”

I found this true in my life. When I was in finance, I rarely thought about work outside the office. Rather, I thought about people-related challenges my team faced and how I could improve the company culture. To be successful you don’t need to obsess about your job 24/7, but if you’re only thinking about your job during the hours of 9 to 5, it may be a sign you’re on the wrong path.

3. What Does Your Career Path Look Like 10 Years Down the Road?

Think of those in your company or industry who are more senior than you. Do you eventually want to be doing the type of work they’re doing?

This long-term view on your career is critical because many jobs change as you advance in your field. For example, junior investment bankers spend most of their time building financial models and client presentations, while senior bankers focus largely on sourcing deals and maintaining relationships. Even if you don’t love your current job, it may be a necessary step to develop skills that’ll help you get where you ultimately want to be.

If you don’t know what your current path looks like, schedule an informational interview with someone more experienced. These informal meetings are a great way to find out what you can expect in the future. Consider asking people what they like most about their job, the types of projects they work on, and what advice they’d give to someone in your shoes. I had a lot of informational interviews when I was in finance, and they’re what ultimately influenced me to take my career in another direction.

Determining whether to change industries is no small task, but asking yourself the three questions I’ve shared will help you make an informed decision. Are you developing a competitive advantage by maximizing your assets, your aspirations, and the market realities? How often do you think about work outside of the office? What does your career path look like in the future?

Your answers to these questions will help you understand whether you should double your efforts in your current job or start figuring out your next move.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-questions-to-ask-yourself-if-youre-questioning-your-career-path

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

 

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Changing the Way You Think Can Change Your Life

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Swimmer Michael Phelps is a living legend. He’s the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time with a total of 28 medals, and also holds the record for Olympic gold medals. But you probably already knew that.

In his book, No Limits: The Will to Succeed, Phelps tells a story about when he was training as a little kid. His coach, Bob Bowman, would push Phelps until he was completely exhausted, and then give him a new series of exercises to do. When little Michael looked at his coach with wide eyes exclaiming “I can’t!” Bowman gave him some of the most important advice of his life:

“There’s a big difference between I can’t and I won’t.”

Bowman explained: “Can’t—that’s a tough word. Let’s preserve our power and quit throwing around can’t when we really mean won’t.”

There’s a lot of wisdom in this advice. If Phelps had continued to think in terms of “I can’t” instead of “I won’t,” he would’ve had a completely different mindset. And if he still got to publish a book, a more accurate title would’ve been something like Some Limits: The Will to Be Okay. Not a very compelling title.

Still, most of us live our lives like it’s this book we’ve been reading.

The Science of Mindsets

In research, a “mindset” is defined as: “a mental frame or lens that selectively organizes and encodes information, thereby orienting an individual toward a unique way of understanding an experience and guiding one toward corresponding actions and responses.”

In other words, your mindsets are the lenses through which you perceive the world. These are colored by your beliefs and attitudes and help determine your response in any given situation.

And these mindsets have some fascinating implications. For example, research has shown that:

Your Mindsets Determine Your Outcomes

As we go through life, we pick up beliefs that help us navigate the world. And as the research above suggests, these beliefs have very real consequences for our psychology, physiology, behavior, and performance.

One mindset can flood your system with stress hormones and make you anxious. Another can boost your testosterone levels and make you feel confident. And this is why I suggest the following:

It’s up to you to choose what to believe, so why not pick the most empowering beliefs you can possibly find?

How to Change Your Lenses and Realize Your Full Potential

Here are the most powerful ways I’ve come across for changing your lenses:

Put Your Thoughts in Perspective

Realize that you are not your thoughts. You are the one who’s observing your thoughts. Whenever a limiting belief shows up, listen to it, but don’t necessarily believe it. A thought is not an accurate representation of reality, it’s just a thought. So treat it accordingly.

Use Empowering Language

Instead of saying “I can’t” say “I won’t.” Instead of “I have to” say “I’m going to.” Instead of “I don’t know” say “I’ll figure it out.” Pay attention to the language you use and get rid of any phrases that imply helplessness.

Change Your Feelings

Copy the body language of the person you want to become. Strike a powerful postureand smile. Doing this for just a couple of minutes will make you feel less stressed and more in charge.

Surround Yourself With the Right People

The people around us have a huge influence on how we feel, what goals we pursue. You become the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose your social circles wisely.

Take Control of Your Behavior

Run daily habits that help you realize your full potential. Build your fundamentals,master your craft, fill your mind with ideas from great books, journal about what you learn, and focus on the process rather than your results.

To realize your full potential, you need to remove the barriers you’ve put up for yourself—and that’s when you’re really living.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/changing-the-way-you-think-can-change-your-life

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

7 Leadership Styles the Best Bosses Use (Just Not All at Once)

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Regardless of where you are—a new manager, a long-time boss, or an entry-level person who’s managing an intern, you can develop new skills to do a better job (and feel more confident). For example, have you noticed that a few of the projects you have to manage take three times as much energy and time as others to complete, even though they aren’t any harder or more complex? You sweat your way through the hard parts, but it feels like you’re missing something and you wonder what you could be doing differently.

The answer could be your leadership style. In competitive management positions, especially senior ones, sweat isn’t always the answer. You need to be able to adapt your approach to fit the position, organization, and situation in ways that feel relatively natural and comfortable to you. Having one go-to strategy for every situation won’t work in the long-run, which might be why multiple studies show that less than 40% of leaders are successful in their jobs.

To avoid that trap and show everyone—from your employees to yourself—that you’re a capable boss, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with the following seven different leadership styles.

1. The Guru

Are you an expert in your field? Do people know to come to you for answers? Are you considered a thought leader at work, or even better, within the industry? If so, this style probably comes naturally to you.

When it Works

Use it when you have the most data or experience relevant to the task at hand. If the knowledge gap between you and your team is too wide or if time is too short, leading like a guru may be your best choice.

When it Doesn’t

However, this is one of the management styles smart leaders use sparingly. Because if you use it too often, you’ll come off like a know-it-all who isn’t interested in what your team thinks.

2. The Questioner

Questioners are the opposite of gurus. Instead of relying on their expertise, they rely on their ability to question the status quo and challenge ideas to foster creativity and better thinking.

When it Works

Using this works when the entire team is smart and confident in their abilities, and what is needed is a leader who can coax greatness out of them. To learn this style, start thinking in opposites. For example, if the team decides a new product launch has to include an ad campaign of some sort, ask “How could we make this even more effective without an ad campaign?” Then listen to what gets stirred up.

When it Doesn’t

Don’t use this unless your team is comfortable with debate and critique. For example, if an employee is still struggling to get up to speed or is shy and insecure when it comes to sharing his ideas, you’ll want to pick a more supportive approach.

3. The Orchestrator

In more and more workplaces, the day-to-day default style that works the best is this one. Orchestrators make sure everyone is seen, engaged, and heard while they build great relationships with the group.

When it Works

Orchestrators have dual vision; they can focus on their objective and on the people who can help achieve it at the same time. Build these muscles by first observing and assessing your team’s innate talents, then assign tasks accordingly. As a result, you’ll see increased employee engagement.

When it Doesn’t

While this is a good default style, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t work 100% of the time, including if an employee wants to grow and try new things or feels like you originally misread him or her.

4. The Standard Setter

Standard setters pay attention to quality and motivate others to think about what being the best means. They set hard-to-achieve goals for themselves and others and then they achieve them using a mix of discipline, accountability, and hard work.

When it Works

Great standard setters model the behavior they want to see in others. Start by going public with your own goals so everyone knows your level of committment. Nothing builds trust and confidence like practicing what you preach, so do that. As you gain cred for your work, people will start following your lead.

When it Doesn’t

When you define the team’s goals you need to be aware of either over-reaching (setting the bar too high) or under-reaching (setting the bar too low). If goals aren’t remotely feasible you’re setting people up to fail, and if they’re a breeze, no one will be inspired to work to their full potential.

5. The Developer

Developers relish mentoring employees. The real benefit of this approach is that you’re not just helping individual employees, you’re increasing the quality and capacity of the entire organization (and that’s a great thing!).

When it Works

The best developers have learned that, when it comes to training someone, it’s usually better to describe—rather than prescribe—how to work. They’ll coach someone in what needs to be done, and only as a last resort tell him or her specifically how to do it.

When it Doesn’t

Of course, not everyone is ready to be coached and developed. To assess whether or not someone is responding to your leadership, look at his overall productivity. If you keep trying this, but his work isn’t improving, it’s time to test another tactic.

6. The Idealist

Some see being an idealist as a bad thing. But when it comes to leadership, there are times when there is no substitute for a person who can imagine the future positively. They dare to dream when dreaming is difficult.

When it Works

Skilled idealists engage others in working toward creating a better tomorrow. They don’t let their ideas get snubbed because they haven’t worked out the details. If your organization’s struggling with how to improve or grow, it’s time to flex these muscles. Begin by asking yourself “If a competitor came along that could put us out of business, what would he or she be doing?” Once you find the answer, do that.

When it Doesn’t

If changes need to be made and harsh realities need to be considered, speak in terms of realistic solutions. Your employees may think you’re out of touch if your rhetoric is too pie-in-the-sky.

7. The Rock

When you aren’t sure which style to use, defer to this. Rocks are like, well, rocks. They don’t move a lot and they don’t change much, but they are patient and solid.

When it Works

Rocks provide a strong foundation for the people who work for them by using solid management practices and by being consistent. They may not have big personalities, but you can always depend on them be present and provide direction from the top.

When it Doesn’t

The danger here is that rocks can get too comfortable and lose the ability to adopt other styles. They’ll be passed over for roles that require vision and innovation.

There’s an eighth category I purposely excluded from this list: the charismatic leader, who swoops in and save the day at the hour of need. That’s because being a hero isn’t a style choice, it’s an outcome of doing what’s right.

When faced with a difficult choice, heroes do the morally right thing even though doing so may be career limiting or unpopular. Don’t try to be this person, just use integrity and empathy regardless of which style you pick from the list above. These moments will present themselves, the question is will you be able to adapt and address them when they do?

https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-leadership-styles-the-best-bosses-use-just-not-all-at-once

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

The 15-Minute Habit That’ll Impress Your Boss (and Boost Your Confidence)

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This may sound unbelievable, but it’s true: My client asked for—and received!—twopromotions and three raises in the span of 18 months. Clearly, she’s a superstar.

However, it takes more than being awesome at your job to pull this off and she partly attributed her success to a habit she developed: tracking her own performance on a weekly basis. She used this document as tangible evidence when speaking to her boss about promotions and raises.

And the good news is that keeping track is something we can all do! Knowing exactly what you’ve achieved can strengthen your negotiation conversations, bolster your answers to interview questions, and help you better understand where you thrive, so you’re able to continue seeking out those opportunities.

Above all, this running list can boost your confidence, which’ll make you better at your job—seriously! A study conducted by psychology researchers Zachary Estes and Sydney Felker found that if you believe you performed well in the past, you’ll do better in the future, too. And something as simple as reminding yourself of what you’ve achieved previously can help you do better on a difficult task.

Here’s How to Do It

To begin keeping track, you need to get in the habit of spending 10 to 15 minutes every Friday taking stock of your week. You won’t always have a week where you’re logging accomplishments that’ll specifically help you get promoted, but you’ll likely have at least one thing that you can be proud of.

When taking notes, use the sections below to guide you in what to write—using this framework not only helps you to remember the full picture of what you’ve done, but it also gets you prepped to re-tell the stories easily.

To illustrate this, let’s walk through an example. You’re a marketing manager for a chain of stores and you’ve just been alerted that sales for one store are struggling.

Here’s what your log could look like:

Situation: What’s Going On

“The Broadway store’s struggling with low sales.”

Task: What Needed to Be Done in Order to Improve the Situation?

“The team and I needed to come up with a promotion that would both drive foot traffic into the store and be quick to execute.”

Action: What You Actually Did

Make sure you’re taking note of both things that you personally did and activities you helped facilitate.

“I met with them and assigned everyone a job. One person researched past promotions to figure out what performed the best. I visited the store and interviewed sales people to find out what people were asking for. After, I brought everyone together to brainstorm solutions.”

Result: What Is the Outcome of Your Actions?

Try to make these as quantifiable as possible. While you likely won’t have the results that you’re looking for by the end of the week you can update this in future weeks.

“At the end of the 90-minute meeting, we’d developed a concept for a styling event to get customers ready for holiday parties. Boss gave it the green light and it’ll happen next week.”

Feedback: What Was the Response?

It’s so easy to forget feedback from others—especially when it’s positive!

“Store’s head of sales is excited about it and was impressed by how quickly I’d been able to create something that would make an immediate difference.”

Satisfaction: What’s Next?

Use this part to remind yourself what you enjoy and what you’re good at (so you can continue to chase opportunities that bring you the most satisfaction).

“This was one of the most fun things I’ve done recently. Having a challenge with a short deadline that took research, creativity, and team brainstorming was exciting. I’d love to continue working on these just-in-time solutions and create things that make an immediate impact.”

While this definitely will take you time to think through each week, it’s a habit that can lead to a big boost in your confidence and your salary. And both of those are hard to say no to.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-15minute-habit-thatll-impress-your-boss-and-boost-your-confidence

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

How to Realistically Change Careers When Your Current Job Totally Drains You

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Throughout our careers, we may find ourselves in a role that takes more from us than it gives in terms of money, happiness, or energy–sometimes, it’s all three.

At first, waning job satisfaction might not be noticeable, clouded by day-to-day demands and expectations. But at some point, though, you become aware that you’re surviving–not thriving–at work.

Maybe you no longer believe in the mission or identify with your co-workers. Your enthusiasm dwindles.

Regardless of what causes the realization, you know one thing for certain: A change is necessary. Maybe it’s time for a new position. It’s more likely, however, that you’re ready for an entirely new career.

But finding a new job, let alone a dream job, can be tricky. For example, making time to interview is tough when you’re balancing a heavy workload or traveling all the time. Not to mention, changing careers can be hard when you’re facing burnoutbrought on by your current position.

It’s a paradox many career changers face: How do you tackle a major transition when your time is nil and your energy levels are already low?

This dilemma’s often accompanied by the temptation to opt for a quick solution: find a position in the same field at a different company. While these options are attractive in the moment, you’ve got to resist the urge to skip over the important work called self-evaluation. Unless you stop and take an honest look at what’s causing your unhappiness, you’re likely to repeat history wherever you go.

However, by taking small steps and tending to your emotional well-being throughout the process, you can make a successful transition.

Shore Up Your Emotional Reserves

If your job’s drained you to the point of burnout, lifting yourself out of your career rut and back into a positive place is the first task at hand.

Like other emotional stressors, burnout responds to reframing. Shifting into a growth mindset helps you see possibilities where there once were only dead ends.

When the going gets tough, and you doubt your ability to manage a career change amidst a daunting workload, try taking the perspective of a good mentor. What advice would you give to another overworked person in your shoes? How would you advise a burnt-out friend?

The best answers often come from within and it’s likely you already know where to start: Give yourself permission to take your time. Big decisions, such as leaving a job or deciding to strike out on your own can and should be thoughtful and deliberate. Assure yourself that you can and will take action, and that once you do, things will get better.

Ask Yourself the Important Questions

It’s all too easy to blow through life on auto-pilot, never spending time honestly exploring what you really want in a career. But people don’t succeed by migrating to a particular industry or job. They thrive by exploring their strengths, motivations, likes, and dislikes.

To ensure that you forge ahead based on a thoughtful appraisal (rather than blindly following what you think others say you “should” be doing) employ an honest self-evaluation. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • What would I rather be investing my time and energy in?
  • What is my personal mission?
  • What are my top three values?
  • What pivotal experiences have made me who am I today?
  • What obstacles stand in the way of me making a career change?
  • What strengths can I draw on during my transition?

These big, open-ended questions are specifically designed to provoke creative thinking and help you get in touch with the roots of your personal preferences and natural drives. You won’t arrive at the answers overnight, but the more you think about them, the more you’ll gain the clarity you need to get unstuck and move forward with your transition.

Stop Second-Guessing Yourself

Often, when you’re forced to make a decision that pushes you beyond your comfort zone, fear rears its head. You may worry about the future or become preoccupied with whether you’re making the right decision. At times, you’ll probably face self-doubt and wonder whether things at work are really as bad as you’re making them out to be.

This is an example of a thought trap known as the sunk-cost bias. In short, this is simply our innate loss aversion popping up. We mistakenly rationalize that because so much has been invested in our current path, to change course now would be a waste. But the truth is, the cost of doing nothing–of staying in a job that depletes you–is much higher. Studies show that sticking it out despite your unhappiness leads to emotional exhaustion, illness, and burnout.

Instead of dwelling on what you’ll lose, imagine a career that makes you feel challenged, happy, and fulfilled. If that vision looks, feels, and sounds better, shift your efforts away from focusing on sunk costs and look toward your new trajectory.

Act, Don’t Intellectualize

While the process of clarifying your values and your strengths is important, these discoveries are useless without follow through. Action is the antidote to self-doubt.

Rather than overthinking what you should do to pursue your passion, look for low-risk, micro-learning opportunities that you can accomplish in the few spare hours that you do have. You can start as small as joining a Twitter chat hosted by an organization you’re interested in or committing to sending one email a week to a someone whose career path you admire. Maybe, if you can find the time, you volunteer on the weekends to test drive a new role.

This experimental approach helps you take incremental steps toward a career change in little time without a ton of effort. In the process, you may make connections with inroads to your dream job, short-cutting the traditional (read: long and draining) interview process. You’ll also gain a better sense of answers to questions like: Do I enjoy this work? Do I want to pursue this path further? What other opportunities am I curious about?

I won’t kid you and say that discovering your career happiness formula–the trifecta of finding what you’re good at, what you find meaningful, and what gets you paid–happens overnight. Or that it’s simple and easy, especially when you’re already under a lot of stress.

As long as you’re vigilant about maintaining healthy boundaries and are ruthless with self-care, you can make it through this transition time. In fact, you may find that as your strengths come into alignment with your work, you’ll gain energy and momentum along the way. That’s the difference between a job that drains you and one that lights you up.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-to-realistically-change-careers-when-your-current-job-totally-drains-you

ARE YOU IN NEED OF TOP TALENT NOW? Don’t have the time to spend nor available bandwidth to look for your company’s perfect match? Does this leave you with projects undone, unable to launch new initiatives or deliver desired output, let alone to grow your profits? Is your hiring process stalled and limping along with unfilled requisitions? Discover the ease and satisfaction of partnering with experts whose ONLY mission is to accomplish laser-focused search and to acquire top-tier skill on your behalf, each and every day! Contact us at 415-234-0707 ext. 5 or email at connect@superiansources.com Find out what a customized service SAVES you in TIME, MONEY and RESOURCES!

 

ARE YOU TODAY’S TOP TALENT LOOKING FOR A NEW ROLE? Do you want assurance that you are represented by the best and have opportunities open to you within exceptional workplaces? Have you heard that being presented by a boutique search firm is the edge you need to get in the door and have your opportunity to shine? Contact us at 415-234-0707 or email at connect@superiansources.com – http://www.SuperianSources.com

7 Different Ways You Can Find More Meaning in Your Life

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The pursuit of meaning is in our blood. Imbued in that pursuit is both joy and suffering. I suppose it’s the Yin and Yang of life; for every good thing there’s an opposite. Despite the possibility that the opposite, insignificance, will reveal itself, the search remains one of life’s deepest joys.

That joy, however, isn’t limited to your personal life. Meaning is an essential element in your professional world, too. Many of the research papers I read for my book, The Optimistic Workplace: Creating an Environment That Energizes Everyone, revealed how prevalent the need for meaningful work was among employees. Consider this finding from DeVry University: 71% of Millennials placed it as the top factor for defining career success.

Millennials aren’t the only people interested in greater meaning in work and in life. They’re merely voicing a human need that, until recently, hasn’t been a big part of the conversation in our workplaces. Whether you’re a founder, manager, or individual contributor, you can find greater meaning at work in ways that go beyond the obvious. What follows are seven tips to significantly magnify it in your personal and professional life.

1. Abandon the Pursuit of Work-Life Balance

The problem with balance is the assumption that you must give up something to achieve equilibrium. Why should you have to give up something personally or professionally to have a life with meaning?

Instead, switch your mindset to view the two worlds as integrated. How? Wharton school professor Stewart Friedman says you should look to develop the skills to be real (legacy, values, ideal self), be whole (service, supportive networks), and be innovative (focus on results, challenge the status quo). These skills help you uncover significance in your life.

2. Define Your Personal Values

It’s been said, “If you don’t know what you stand for, you’ll fall for anything.” What you stand for are the values you hold to be true and the beliefs that guide you through life’s challenges.

In her new book, Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life, Harvard Medical School psychologist Susan David calls this “walking your why: identifying and acting on the values that are truly your own, not those imposed on you by others, not what you think you should care about, but what you genuinely care about.”

3. Uncover Your Significant Strengths

Strengths aren’t just what you’re good at, but what lights you up. The marriage of what you’re good at with what lights you up leads the way to peak performance. The more you can use your strengths in your work, the greater meaning you’ll derive from it.

4. Make Friends at Work

You don’t have to have friends at work, but those that do are more likely to feel a sense of belonging. In forthcoming research from Great Places to Work, people who care about others create a collegial environment, and that helps drive higher revenue growth. One of the benefits to you is the development of meaningful relationships.

5. Understand Your Emotions

Psychologist Susan David explained to me that we experience emotions as reality. David advocates to “feel the emotion” rather than push it away. Some tips she recommends to help you understand your emotions include:

  • Pay attention to patterned responses. Recognize what triggers the emotion.
  • Sit with emotions. Below the emotion are things that we value; emotions are data, not directions.
  • Hold the emotion for what it is: “I notice that I’m feeling undermined. I notice that I’m having the thought that I’m a fraud.” “I notice…” is a prefix statement and gives a little distance between the emotion and what it means.

By understanding your emotions, you help yourself be more genuine with others, magnifying the chance for greater meaning in your relationships.

6. Be a Quitter

It’s hard for meaning to reveal itself to you when you’re overwhelmed. Over-commitment is a way to distract yourself from doing your best work. Evaluate what’s keeping you from greatness, and quit doing the things or associating with the people that limit your potential.

7. Choose Courage Over Comfort

Returning to Susan David’s book, we find this wise, encouraging insight: “Choose courage over comfort by vitally engaging with new opportunities to learn and grow, rather than passively resigning yourself to your circumstances.” Meaning is dynamic. You grow more aware of it when you break patterns of behavior or try new things.

Meaning doesn’t need to apply only to your personal pursuits. It can also be nurtured in your professional life. It helps you live a whole life that satisfies and energizes. At work, that energy can be channeled to accomplish significant outcomes.

https://www.themuse.com/advice/7-different-ways-you-can-find-more-meaning-in-your-life

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