Work, career, profession is important to everyone.
We all need to pursue something larger than ourselves to feel connected to a wider purpose, to feel connected to other people and (most importantly) to foster connection to ourselves in our work.
While this connection is important, it can also be very illusive; it’s difficult to see how completing a task, or a sitting in a repetitive meeting, is really moving the bar forward for your organization (or your career).
Fundamentally, your work is important (why would someone be paying you to do it if it wasn’t?).
Here are some strategies to connect more deeply to the many ways your work makes a difference.
It’s important to remember that how you are recognized for the work you do is different from the value of the work you do; they are not always equal or compatible.
Both are key parts of meaning, but in better understanding how your work makes a difference, you are able to connect to the value and meaning of it (absent of others thoughts, opinions and actions).
This is a vital first step, because if you can’t connect to the difference your work makes for yourself, no amount of positive feedback, or recognition, will make you feel good about yourself in your work.
Not getting the recognition from others you deserve at work?
Giving a voice to the value of your work, using concrete examples, empowers your ability to foster the respect your work deserves from others
There is a misconception that likability is what fuels careers; while being liked isn’t a bad thing, it is not the same as being respected.
Think about it for a moment.
Make a list of all the people you like at work; now make a list of all the people you respect; who would you trust to support your career and work?
I’ll bet it was someone you respected, and not just someone you liked.
So, how do you become well respected at work?
Here are 3 strategies that help you to stay liked AND be well respected.
You can like someone, without trusting them.
You can respect someone without liking them.
But you cannot respect someone without trusting them, even if is only in a specific context (i.e., not liking the payroll person at work, but trusting they will get you paid accurately and on time, respecting their work).
Likability plays less of a role in respect then most of us realize, so when you have to make a choice between building likeability and respectability at work, consider erring on the side of respectability to support your career and professional potential.
You are an expert in what you do, so you see things your boss (and possibly others) at work could not from your field of view.
So, when you see a glaring flaw in leadership’s logic, it’s a tough decision whether to mention it or not; is this a career limiting move (CLM) or an opportunity to support your organization?
Here are five considerations to help you decide when to speak truth to power:
Speaking truth to power is a delicate move, one only you can assess is right for you in your work and career.
When done in the right way, for the right reason, at the right time, in the right organizational context, it can support your high potential, enhancing your career.
I am a consummate do-it-yourself-er (DIYer). I like the challenge of learning new things, I love the creative process, and saving money/time is a great upside too.
While the DIY impulse is good for creativity, it has a professional downside; you lessen the capability to ask for help.
The availability of information on the internet makes it even more tempting to solve a problem immediately by looking it up; there are rich conversations we no longer have with our colleagues, friends and family on how to do things because we think we can find it all by our selves (or online).
What this does is build the “muscle” of self-sufficiency, almost to a fault, as it can feel like you should know how to figure everything out - you get “rusty” at asking for help, feeling more vulnerable about doing it, so yo do it less and less.
It also serves to diminish your patience with yourself, reducing your resilience to stick with the learning curve (everything should happen in easy-to-follow steps, just like on You Tube, or be as efficient as watching a TED Talk).
The learning curve is a really important tool in professional and personal development.
It means letting go of “knowing” and become open to “not knowing”.
This simple act is the first step in any kind of development, and it is rich.
It helps you to be more accepting of uncertainty and your own limits, and in that acceptance, more able to connect with, and trust, others to share your challenges.
The awkwardness you experience along the way means this is important, important enough to stay with discomfort in pursuit of something bigger than yourself.
Something you can only achieve by opening yourself to the wisdom and support of others
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ABOUT MY BLOG
I believe in giving back to others in many tangible ways. When I learn something new, or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website. You can always find my latest blog entries here, on Facebook or Linked In.