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Three Tools To Find And Fuel Your Purpose At Work

“I just want to quit work and be a bartender!” Sarah blurted at a workshop I was leading. We were talking about career aspirations. When we were done chuckling at her unexpected words, I asked her what she loved about being a bartender. “You mean other than the drinks and tips?” she shot back, recovering nicely.

She paused for a few moments before saying, “I love lending a helpful ear to others.” As we explored further, Sarah discovered she was energized by creating a safe space where others could open up, be heard and feel better. As we dug deeper, she realized that it would be really energizing for her to be an evangelist for creating a culture of psychological safety in her workplace. She started to explore how she could broaden her role in human resources. Until that time, Sarah hadn’t connected the dots of how she can have the “bartender experience” at work.

Like Sarah, many of us dream of quitting our day jobs in search of fulfillment. “What am I even doing here?” many of us ponder, depleted of energy at the end of a very long day. We postpone finding meaningful work until we are just a little bit more financially secure. Maybe we think work is for a paycheck, and we look for fulfillment elsewhere.

This leaves many of us disengaged and costs organizations billions of dollars. Latest Gallup data on U.S. workplaces suggests that nearly 70% of us are not fully engaged at work and 16% are actively disengaged. Perhaps more importantly, our disengagement impacts the people we care about, as many of us drag our depleted selves home.

Beyond personal fulfillment, though, our workplaces need our full engagement, resilience and creativity to solve the toughest challenges of our time. The breakthrough for Sarah (and for each of us looking for fulfillment) came when she dug inside to know herself better. Here are three tools to help you dig deeper, too.

The first tool is your energy map. It helps you take stock of the tasks that energize you and those that deplete you. I use it with my executive coaching clients to help them determine where they should spend their time for optimal effectiveness and to stave off burnout (see below).

 

You can create this map or (download here) and fill this out for yourself. Look at activities based on whether they energize or deplete you and their impact on advancing your goals. The quadrant on the top right is where we should spend much of our time. Consider dumping any activities in the bottom left. I have found that mindfulness helps me to notice my energy throughout the day so try simple mindfulness practices here.

The second tool is your personal purpose statement. There are three steps to do this. First, list stakeholders important to you and ask them the unique value you create for them. This helps you learn how you best serve others. Second, discover the activities where you feel most energized. Third, find the overlap between how you serve others and what you find most energizing.

Your purpose is simply the way in which you serve the world that truly inspires you. For example, my purpose statement is: I connect deeply with others to help them become transformational leaders who make the world better for all. This course has more detailed templates that may be useful to you. Look for opportunities to bring this purpose to life at work and in life.

The third tool is your dream-job definition. Here are three questions to ask yourself:

  • What kind of work activities energize me (see the tool above)?
  • What contribution do I make for others that inspires me?
  • What strengths do I enjoy exercising?

Once you are clear on these answers, find a friend and brainstorm what sets of experiences you’d like to add to your work portfolio. Don’t focus exclusively on the next role in your career path, but rather the experiences or projects (or even volunteer activities) at work that are energizing where you can contribute with skill sets you enjoy exercising.

When you volunteer for a project or take on a stretch assignment that gives you a sense of fulfillment, that positive energy will spill over into your day job. Others will notice your positive contributions. You can even choose to share this insight with your boss, mentors and sponsors inside your organization to align your projects closer to your best contributions.

More and more enlightened organizations are focusing on their own purpose and helping people inside those organizations connect with work that is meaningful for them. Brighthouse, a Boston Consulting Group company, helps organizations excavate their purpose. CEO Ashley Grice talks about how organizations can find purpose and then use it to make an impact. “Purpose has impact emotionally and it has impact financially,” she says. “The bar has gone up a lot in terms of what employees expect from employers in making a difference in the world.”

In fact, institutional investors like Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, are pushing organizations to think long-term about their focus on purpose. As Grice says, the key in actualizing purpose is not just coming up with a great statement (e.g. BCG’s statement is “Unlocking potential to advance the world”), but actually coming up with a set of principles that act like guard rails and help employees bring purpose to life in every day decisions and behaviors. As leaders in organizations large and small, I see it as our responsibility to create workplaces where people can thrive and make their best contributions, so engage others in a purpose conversation.

Now, let’s turn back to the individual level. The poet Mary Oliver asks, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” The work is ours. The time is now. We all need to be fully engaged in our purpose so we can solve the issues that matter to us.

Ready for the next challenge? Tune in on August 5 for Day 6.

Miss a challenge? Click here for Day 4: Put purpose in perspective.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am the CEO of Transformational Leadership Inc. and the author of “Wired for Authenticity.” I have lived/worked in seven countries across four continents. My clients are purpose-driven C-level leaders in Fortune 500 companies who are passionate about creating transformational impact within and around them. My grandmother used to say that I would be philosopher when I grew up. I would spend hours staring outside the window. Admittedly, this was in Pakistan in the 1970s and there was nothing good on TV. Somewhere along the way to a brilliant career as a philosopher I got lost and went to business school instead. After an MBA from Wharton, I spent 20 years in leadership positions in P&G and Novartis including Region President and global Chief Marketing Officer. I have lived/worked in seven countries across four continents.

Source: Three Tools To Find And Fuel Your Purpose At Work

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5 Career Paths That Are Perfect For Introverts

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“Everyone shines. Given the right type of lighting.”- Susan Cain

You walk into a networking event, or a team meeting and head straight to the back row. From here, you can observe everything uninterrupted. And when called upon, you cringe inside before you smile and speak.

If this sounds close to home, you are likely introverted.

Introverts makeup 16-50% of the population and find energy from being alone. You consider yourself more of a wallflower than a social butterfly.

And hey, that is okay!

You have a set of skills that are quite unique and can be used well in certain industries. You are likely independent, creative, a good listener and have a strong ability to stay focused. On top of that, introverts brains are wired differently and have a lower threshold for dopamine, this means, it takes less stimulation to feel a sense of reward, joy and euphoria.

But in the working world where collaboration and open office environments are on the rise, you likely struggle to find a role that fits for you. Here are five career paths to consider when on the hunt for an introvert-friendly job.

1. Lab Technician

With strong attention to detail and open-mindedness, introverts make great detectives. If you prefer the behind the scenes action, a forensic science technician is a good career to investigate…no pun intended.

You collect and analyze evidence in a laboratory setting and on occasion may travel based on the crime. This job does require a bachelors in a science related field but will be well worth it if you enjoy the daily tasks.

If going back to school isn’t in the stars for you, a lab technician is a great fit. You will stay behind the scenes in work to diagnose patients and the majority of your day will be spent in a lab environment running tests on samples.

2. Creative Artist

Do you have an eye for photography, an ear for music or knack at crafting? You can capitalize on these creative skill sets and build out your own business. The options here are quite broad, as you can work either independently as a freelancer, start your own company or contract your services out to larger organizations.

If you have a creative skill set, begin to search online for jobs that match what you can offer. As a photographer, you can cover anything from stock photos to real estate photography and corporate events. If you enjoy building installations look for events such as store openings, weddings or special events that require a creative eye.

3. Writer

Introverts usually enjoy solitude and time with their thoughts, and a writer will channel these thoughts into a creative storyline. Consider creative writing, ghostwriting or copywriting career paths, all of which lend well to your independent mind and require a great deal of detail and focus.

If you come from a very technical background in a niche field, technical writing may be a great opportunity to break into the writing world. A technical writer will conduct research on a specific area and then produce documentation in the form of manuals or supporting documents for products or services.

You can begin by joining freelance platforms such as UpWork or Copify to offer your writing services for a broad range of clients and from here build out a business of your own.

4. Accountant

Through the use of strong math and organizational skills, an accountant will spend the majority of the day working with numbers, not people.  You can work for a corporation or open your own accounting firm where you decide who to work with.

In order to become an accountant, you will need a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field. If you aim to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)  you will need to pass the certification process. This is a strong career choice if you are looking for the long haul since jobs in accounting are projected to grow 10% by 2026, which is more than any other job available.

5. Animal Care Giver or Veterinarian

You might not enjoy spending time with large groups of people, but you may enjoy spending time with animals. An animal care manager or vet will spend the majority of their time working with animals in zoos, shelters, clinics or animal sanctuaries. Here they will diagnose, train and examine animals.

If the thought of student loan debt to become a veterinarian is overwhelming, research states that offer student loan forgiveness for veterinarians, as locations with vet shortages are likely to offer this plan.

Understand your skill sets and seek jobs that cater to what you do best. Once you step into a career that fits your mold you will be surprised to find how quickly you excel.

The next time you cuddle up on the couch when you avoid going out to a loud and rowdy party, check out the TED talk by Susan Cain The Power of Introverts for some introverted inspiration.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I’m a career coach who helps job seekers via online programs and one-on-one coaching in finding their purpose, landing more job offers and launching their dream business

Source: 5 Career Paths That Are Perfect For Introverts

Why It’s A Good Career Move To Apply For A Job Even If You Lack All The Qualifications

It’s a thought that has probably occurred to most job seekers (in other words, most humans) at one time or another.  Hmm, I’d like to apply for that job, but I don’t really have all the qualifications they’re looking for. What should I do?

It’s a natural quandary. People wonder: Should I take a shot at the job? I’d kind of like to, it sounds interesting. But will I just be wasting my time and everyone else’s? Or, worse still, will they laugh at me and think I’m foolish, if they feel I’m so underqualified…

An insightful new survey from Robert Half addresses this question. The results are in, and it’s always nice to have hard data instead of just relying on intuition.

The results also seem clear. Net-net, even if you don’t have every qualification for a job, if you’re interested in it and you’re in the general ballpark in terms of qualifications, it makes good sense to pursue it. Sure, you’re not going to apply for a job as a surgeon just because you like watching The Good Doctor on TV. But if you’re a reasonable fit for a job, even if you lack some of the qualifications, there’s little downside to trying for it. Let’s consider key data points from this new survey.

  • 42% of resumes companies receive are from candidates who don’t meet job requirements;
  • 62% of employees were offered a position even though they were underqualified for it;
  • 84% of HR managers are open to hiring an employee whose skills could be developed through training.

This point about training is key. Even if many companies no longer have elaborate formal development programs in place, individual managers are often willing to “train up” as part of the normal onboarding process.

Willingness to learn

So how can job candidates improve their odds if they’re strongly interested in a position but lack some of its requirements?

I asked this question of Robert Half Senior Executive Director Paul McDonald. “Highlight any non-technical or soft skills that are mentioned in the job description – such as leadership, collaboration, flexibility and business acumen – in your application materials, if possible,” McDonald said. “This doesn’t mean embellishing your resume or listing anything that isn’t true, but being thoughtful about how your experience is tailored to the position and can help you stand out in today’s competitive market.

“A willingness to learn and a positive attitude can go a long way,” he added. “Try to keep this in mind during the application process. Employers are looking for prospective candidates who are interested in growing and learning on the job – even if they may not have the technical skills that check all the boxes.”

Feels like good counsel to me. I can relate these findings to my own management experience. I hired many people over the years, and while I don’t think I ever spent time delineating a careful one-to-one correspondence between perceived skills and written qualifications, I know I always paid close attention to personal intangibles like upbeat nature and optimism.

Yes, as Mr. McDonald succinctly put it, willingness to learn and positive attitude go a long way.

My online Udemy courses help develop new managers, and help new and experienced managers  meet the challenges of difficult employees.  

Source: Why It’s A Good Career Move To Apply For A Job Even If You Lack All The Qualifications

10 Great Jobs You Can Do From Anywhere – Evie Carrick

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We all have that friend (or guilty Instagram follow) who seems to be constantly traveling. They post photos working poolside in Bali one day and hiking in Laos the next. Chances are they’ve joined the growing army of digital nomads, or people who work remotely from coffee shops and workspaces around the globe in order to fund a nomadic, travel-heavy lifestyle. This all may sound too good to be true, but I know the lifestyle is real because I’ve lived it. For 10 months freelance writing funded my travels and allowed me to live in places as varied as a homestay in Cambodia and a camper van in Japan. A spot with reliable wifi and good coffee was gold, and when I found it, you can bet I wasn’t the only one glued to my laptop and wearing out my welcome………

Read more: https://free.vice.com/en_us/article/wj93v5/remote-jobs-travel

 

 

 

 

 

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