I’ve had a challenging week at work (and it won’t be my last). There is a lot that went really well, and there are some important things that didn’t, many of which were out of my control. At times it made me feel like just going back to bed. Can you relate?
Of course, that’s when you dig deep, remembering why you do what you do and how it makes a meaningful difference in the world (you know, beyond the paycheck...). Resilience is so important at work; it is the backbone of a successful career. Yet sometimes there is little energy left to stay positive, or objective. It’s tempting to just wallow, but as good as that feels in the moment, wallowing can become a habit that doesn’t support your great potential at work.
So, what should you do when you know you need to find it in yourself to keep going with a good attitude? Here are 5 key emotional intelligence strategies you can use to dig deep and bring more resilience to your work and career.
Challenges at work are there for a reason – they grow you, making you stronger and better at what you do. They are also exasperating and exhausting. So, when you’ve hit a wall at work, remember this is just a chapter in your story – it’s not the whole book. Give yourself the grace you need to re-group and replenish yourself and, when you're ready, get back out there.
You’ve survived 100% of your worst days, you’ve got this one too.
The other day I experienced a beautiful moment of serenity at work, and it felt both reassuring and energizing. I just love those moments. Then I realized it had been a while since I’d spontaneously had that feeling at work, and it made me very curious: Why don’t I have access to feelings of serenity at work more often? I love what I do for a living.
As it turns out, even when you love your job, this is normal. There will always be aspects of any role that don’t contribute to your serenity, but that doesn’t always mean your work is negatively impacting your well-being. There are the parts of all jobs that require focus, concentration and have an element of risk associated with them that increases your stress level. Like learning something new through making a mistake or having to do something you don’t enjoy (but need to do well, like having a difficult conversation with your boss to keep your work/life boundaries sacred).
It’s very much an 80/20 rule when it comes to work enjoyment; if 80% of the job challenges you (in a good way) and makes you feel achievement and/or contentment, you are doing well. The other 20%? That is the “normal” amount of stress and bother you can expect in any job (even your dream job).
Right now, you may feel your job is more than 20% stress and bother, and you may be right. Looking into what is working in your role today, and what is not, is very important because both you and your job are evolving, which means something that gave you contentment in the past might just be a giant pain in your butt today (and part of the 20%).
The 80% is what can lift you out of a spiral of stress and discontentment when you do have a great fit with your work and organization. And if you know you are not in the right job, or working for the right employer, it’s the part you need to plan for in any future career moves you want to make.
Whether your job is 80/20, or more like 40/60 right now, there are some things you can do to enjoy more of what’s there to love, helping you to have more of those moments of serenity at work (or get through today while you look for what’s next).
Serenity is always there as a baseline for you, but only when you can acknowledge the effort you put into your work matters to you. It’s up to each of us to clear a path to feel more of those serene moments in our work, not all the time, but more consistently.
I’ve written a few resignation letters in my time; some with unbridled joy and some with complete uncertainty I was making the right move. It’s a big decision.
“The Great Resignation” is a real thing. Right now, in North America, there is a high degree of unemployment AND a labour shortage – something you don’t normally see happen at the same point in time. Thanks to the pandemic professionals have been given the time and occasion to re-evaluate how well their current work is working for them. Many jobs and employers have come up short of expectations.
It’s natural (and healthy) to periodically look at where you are in your career so you can course correct. Early in your career you likely didn’t have a plan (other than to get a job, in your field if possible). From there you may have followed a path of happy coincidence, moving to jobs that worked well for you, climbing the corporate ladder, and feeling good about your career progression. Unusual and disruptive events in life do make us beautiful humans reflect; is this why I got into this work? Is this enough for me? Am I living up to my potential? Am I doing the kind of work I find meaningful? These are all strong questions to consider in your career.
For some, the pandemic was a harsh mirror that reflected a life that was spending too much time working and not enough time on the things that really mattered. If you’re one of the many professionals who’s asking yourself if this is all there is in your life and career, here are some critical things to do before you write that resignation letter.
When I’ve resigned (even when it was with unbridled joy) it wasn’t always my best move. Objectivity plays a huge part in the success of any career move you make, qualifying what you want and realistically seeing what’s out there (and how well that will work for you). While dream careers exist (being able to have meaningful work in your profession for an employer who respects you and invests in your potential or being able to get that kind of work elsewhere whenever you need to), perfect jobs do not.
When you’re considering any kind of job change, it’s important to understand what is non-negotiable for you and what you are willing to compromise to enjoy more of your work and life. Flexibility within clear boundaries you are willing to hold is key to having your dream career.
Looking for a Blog? Search here:
ABOUT MY BLOG
I believe in empowering others in many tangible ways. When I learn new career strategies or see something that might help others, I share it using my blog and website.