055: Career Decisions: Bringing it all Together

Bringing it All Together

This month, I’ve done episodes covering Motivated Skills, personality preferences using the framework of the MBTI, Core Values, and Areas of Expertise in making career decisions.

Remember, I’ve talked about the macro- and micro-level of career decisions. On the macro level, you are making a decision about the career path you will follow.

On a micro-level, you are using this information to make decisions about which jobs to take. On an even more micro-level, you are using the knowledge to guide projects, programs, committee assignments, and job duties…or to help you boss make these same decisions.

Today I want to bring all of these things together. First, a refresher.

Motivated Skills

Those skills that you are both very good at and get a great deal of pleasure from doing. The reason they are called Motivated Skills is that the more you do them, the more motivated you will be about your work.

The opposite of Motivated Skills is Burnout Skills. Burnout Skills are those skills that you are very good at, but DON’T get pleasure from doing. In fact, these skills suck the motivation right out of you. The more you have to perform Burnout Skills in your work, the more likely you are to…you guessed it…burn out.

 A few examples of Motivated Skills are Writing, Presentation Skills, Customer Service, Working with Numerical Data, Research, Mechanical Reasoning, Troubleshooting, Teaching, and Planning.

Personality Preferences

Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as the framework, it measures personality preferences on four scales and identifies one of 16 personality types based on your responses. The MBTI identifies your innate preferences…the way you prefer to handle a situation or task if given the option.

The preference pairs of the MBTI are:

Extraversion vs. Introversion, which is your orientation to the outer world…where you get your energy from.

Sensing vs. Intuition, which is your preferred way of taking in information, and the type of information you prefer to work with.

Thinking vs. Feeling, which is your preferred decision-making style.

Judging vs. Perceiving, which is how you order your world.

 

Core Values

What is most important to you in an employer, a work environment, and the specific work you’re doing.

Identifying these “non-negotiable” values helps you align your career choices with what is most important to you. And alignment increases your chance for career success, higher compensation, and satisfaction.

 Here are a few sample Values:

-Utilize physical strength and coordination

-Utilize courage and take risks

-Utilize creativity and originality

-Opportunity for advancement

-Ability to do a job as efficiently as possible

-Receive recognition for accomplishments

-Ability to exert power and influence

-Higher than average financial rewards

 

Areas of Expertise

What are You REALLY Good At? We’re talking about capitalizing on your Areas of Expertise.

If you’re just getting out of college, your Areas of Expertise are probably vague ideas…shadows of what is to come. But if you’ve been in the workforce for a few years, you should have at least 2-3 Areas of Expertise, with more to develop as you progress through your career.

I connected the Areas of Expertise to your Motivated Skills, because I see your Areas of Expertise as sub-sets of your Motivated Skills.

Let’s say, for example, one of your Motivated Skills is Writing, which is defined as “Possessing excellent writing skills. Able to create business or technical documents, correspondence, and other effective written communications.”

So you get a job in the Public Relations office of a company, where one of your main duties is to write press releases. Because of this experience, one of your Areas of Expertise becomes “Writing Press Releases.”

Let’s put all of this information together in a couple of case studies that will hopefully help you get the idea.

 

Case Study #1 – Danielle

Danielle is a 25-year-old college graduate who studied communications in college and has been working in the entertainment industry since graduating. She is looking to make a career change because she finds her current field to be too competitive and not meaningful enough for her.

Danielle’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:

-Writing

-Public Relations

-Organization

-Creative or Imaginative with Ideas

-Decision-Making

Her personality type is ENFJ; here’s the description of that personality type:

Imaginative HARMONIZERS; at their best when winning people’s cooperation with insight into their needs. They value:

  • Having a wide circle of relationships
  • Having a positive, enthusiastic view of life
  • Seeing subtleties in people and interactions
  • Understanding others’ needs and concerns
  • An active, energizing social life
  • Seeing possibilities in people
  • Follow-through on important projects
  • Working on several projects at once
  • Caring and imaginative problem solving
  • Maintaining relationships to make things work
  • Shaping organizations to better serve members
  • Caring, compassion, and tactfulness

Her Core Values are:

-Utilize creativity and imagination

-Ability to help/serve others

-Close relationships with co-workers

-Working on multiple projects simultaneously

-Flexibility in work schedule

How would you coach Danielle? Here’s what we talked about:

-She needs a career that is meaningful to her in that she is able to help others while utilizing her considerable creativity. She prefers freedom in her work hours – as long as she gets the work done, it shouldn’t matter when she does it. She also wants to wear multiple hats, so a start-up would be a good fit for her (smaller company = more jobs to be done).

Danielle decided to pursue careers in non-profit marketing – finding a non-profit she is passionate about, which is fitness, and marketing that non-profit to the appropriate audiences.

Case Study #2 – Brandon

Brandon has just graduated from college with a degree in business but doesn’t know where he wants to go. He interned with Enterprise Rent-a-Car while in college and liked the variety of work but didn’t like the front-line management part of his job or how little structure there was to his daily duties.

Brandon’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:

-Selling

-Negotiating

-Customer Service

-Work with Numerical Data

-Planning

-Detail Management

Brandon’s personality preference is ESTJ; here’s the description of that personality type:

Fact-minded practical ORGANIZERS; at their best when they can take charge and set things in logical order. They value:

  • Results; doing, acting
  • Planned, organized work and play
  • Common-sense practicality; usefulness
  • Consistency; standard procedures
  • Deciding quickly and logically
  • Having things settled and closed; orderliness
  • Rules, objective standards, fairness
  • Task-focused behavior
  • Directness, tough-mindedness
  • Systematic structure; efficiency
  • Scheduling and monitoring
  • Protecting what works

Brandon’s Core Values are:

-Open for Advancement

-Ability to Do Job as Efficiently as Possible

-Highly Structured Environment

-Work that Mentally Challenges You

-Performing Clearly Defined Tasks

How would you coach Brandon? Here’s what we talked about:

Brandon liked the sales aspect of his internship with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and had also had part-time jobs where sales was a component of his job. He likes the idea of being highly compensated for superior performance in sales.

What Brandon DOESN’T like about sales is the unpredictability of it…how flexible you have to be. Brandon LOVES structure.

So where do we go from here?

One of the top careers for ESTJs is Business Administrator, and the administrative aspects of his internship appealed to Brandon. He admitted that, once he was older and more experienced, he wouldn’t mind supervising employees…he just didn’t feel qualified to do that as an intern.

Brandon decided to pursue jobs as a sales compensation analyst, where he could use his sales experience coupled with his love of structure to research ways to attract and retain top-notch salespeople.

From there, Brandon could see himself moving into other business administration roles.

Case Study #3 – Sadie

Sadie has been out of college for eight years; she majored in psychology. When she began that degree, she planned to get a Ph.D. in psychology, but as she went through her coursework that became less interesting to her.

After graduating, Sadie got a job in human resources as a generalist – some hiring, some benefits, all kinds of personnel issues. She liked the variety of the work but didn’t love the constraints around how she could help the employees. She stayed in this job for three years.

The next job Sadie had was also in human resources, at a larger company where she specialized in recruiting employees. She liked feeling like she was really helping people but found the career fairs and other large recruiting events to be extremely draining.

Most recently, Sadie has worked as a Recruiter for a recruiting firm. This has been a step back in that she feels overwhelmed by the volume of people contacting her and the volume of contacts she has to make each day. She’s ready for a complete change.

Sadie’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:

-Writing

-Counseling

-Negotiating

-Performance Improvement

-Creativity or Imagination with Ideas

Sadie’s MBTI type is INFP; here’s the description of that personality type:

Imaginative, independent HELPERS; at their best when their inner ideals are expressed through helping people. They value:

  • Harmony in the inner life of ideas
  • Harmonious work settings; working individually
  • Seeing big-picture possibilities
  • Creativity; curiosity; exploring
  • Helping people find their potential
  • Giving ample time to reflect on decisions
  • Adaptability and openness
  • Compassion and caring; attention to feelings
  • Work that lets them express their idealism
  • Gentle, respectful interactions
  • Showing appreciation and being appreciated
  • Close, loyal friends

Sadie’s Core Values are

-Help/Serve Others

-Ability to Teach/Train

-Ability to Give Ideas/Input/Suggestions

-A Quiet Workspace

-Unstructured, Open Environment

How would you coach Sadie? Here’s what happened:

Sadie talked about considering a Master’s in Counseling so she could become a Certified Counselor, but decided she was more interested in being a coach. Because I have considerable knowledge in this area, I was able to educate Sadie on the types of coaching out there, the industry as a whole, and how she could proceed.

She had some homework to do! When she came back, she was excited about becoming a life coach. We drilled down a bit further, and Sadie decided she wanted to coach recruiters to become better at what they do – she saw a lot of problems with this industry and was confident she could help improve it.

She found a coaching program she liked, signed up, and went through the certification process while keeping her job as a recruiter. We worked on her thoughts about her job so it was more enjoyable, and we also strategized about how to leverage her contacts for when she opened her coaching practice.

I hope these three case studies have given you some ideas about all this self-information comes together in the career decision-making process. Of course, if you’d like to work with an expert in this process, reach out to me.

Remember, I am offering a FREE 5-day course on “Finding Your Professional Purpose,” which includes Motivated Skills and Values activities. To optin: http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

 

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054: What are You REALLY Good At? (Areas of Expertise)

Areas of Expertise

So far this month, I’ve talked about how to incorporate knowledge of your Motivated Skills, personality preferences, and Core Values into your career decision. Today’s topic is “What are You REALLY Good At?” We’re talking about capitalizing on your Areas of Expertise.

If you’re just getting out of college, your Areas of Expertise are probably vague ideas…shadows of what is to come. But if you’ve been in the workforce for a few years, you should have at least 2-3 Areas of Expertise, with more to develop as you progress through your career.

Connecting Areas of Expertise with Motivated Skills

I want to connect these Areas of Expertise with your Motivated Skills because they are closely related. Let’s say one of your Motivated Skills is Writing, which is defined as “Possessing excellent writing skills. Able to create business or technical documents, correspondence, and other effective written communications.”

So you get a job in the Public Relations office of a company, where one of your main duties is to write press releases. Because of this experience, one of your Areas of Expertise becomes “Writing Press Releases.”

Here’s another example: One of your Motivated Skills is Planning, which is defined as “The ability to plan and develop a program or project through organized and systematic preparation and arrangement of tasks and schedules.”

In your job as an Office Manager, you have the opportunity to coordinate other people’s schedules, come up with more efficient systems and processes, plan the work of others in the office, and even manage a major project. Your Areas of Expertise become “Coordinating Schedules,” “Project Management,” and “Supervising Employees.”

One more: One of your Motivated Skills is Teaching, which is defined as “The ability to explain complex ideas or principles in an understandable manner; able to provide knowledge or insight to individuals or groups.”

However, becoming a school teacher was not of interest to you…so you looked for alternative ways you could teach others. In your job, you were able to volunteer as the safety officer for your department, giving monthly safety talks and demonstrations to the employees.

Your Area of Expertise becomes “Safety Training.”

See how this works? The Motivated Skill is broader, and the Area of Expertise is a particular subset of that Skill you’ve developed.

How do you Become an Expert?

What makes something an Area of Expertise for you? It’s when you have a better-than-average grasp of that thing…at least initially. You’ll find that as you progress through your career, your Expertise will become more pronounced…to the point where others are calling you “the Expert in _____”

Once again, if you haven’t grabbed my 5-day course on “Finding Your Professional Purpose,” I highly encourage it, as day 2 of the course gives you a Motivated Skills Activity. The URL:   http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

A Challenge

Here’s my challenge for you: Identify your Motivated Skills, then do one of two things depending on where you are in your career:

If you are entry-level, identify a potential Area of Expertise you would LIKE to develop for each of your Motivated Skills. Bonus points if you’re willing to schedule time for the first step in acquiring that Area of Expertise.

Here’s an example: One of your Motivated Skills is “Creative or Imaginative with Ideas,” which is defined as “Using imagination to create new ideas, projects, or programs; able to conceive existing elements in new ways.”

What aspect of creativity do you a) want to become an expert in, and 2) can do in your current job?

Let’s say you decide you want to develop your graphic design skills. You studied a little bit in college and found it fun; there’s no one else in the office with that Area of Expertise, and there’s a need for it.

You volunteer to take on some graphics projects for the office, then a few more, and then a few more…next thing you know, you’re the office expert in graphic art.

If you are a more experienced worker, identify an Area of Expertise you HAVE developed for each of your Motivated Skills. Bonus points for you if you can identify a way to take that Area of Expertise deeper in your current job.

You can also develop your Areas of Expertise outside of work through volunteering with civic or professional organizations, or charities with a cause you are passionate about. Areas of Expertise often emerge as side hustles in the more entrepreneurial among us. It sure did for me – and then it became my business.

The URL for the 5-day “Finding Your Professional Purpose” course again is  http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

 

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Do You Actually LIKE What You’re Doing?

Do You Actually LIKE What You’re Doing?

In this week’s podcast, I talk about Motivated Skills vs. Burnout Skills. Let’s dig into this concept a bit deeper.

Motivated Skills are those skills that you are both very good at and get a great deal of pleasure from doing. The reason they are called Motivated Skills is because the more you do them, the more motivated you will be about your work.

The opposite of Motivated Skills is Burnout Skills. Burnout Skills are those skills that you are very good at, but DON’T get any pleasure from doing. In fact, these skills suck the motivation right out of you. The more you have to perform Burnout Skills in your work, the more likely you are to…you guessed it…burn out.

Here’s why this is important: Many people have difficulty separating the specific job they’re in from the career path they’ve chosen. In other words, they are unhappy with work but they don’t know why.

If you find yourself in that boat, here’s what I recommend: do the Motivated Skills activity found in my free 5-day course and determine what your top 5-6 Motivated Skills are. Then compare that with the 5-6 skills on the list you are most frequently using in your current job.

I’m guessing there’s not a lot of overlap.

Here’s the link to the course:  http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

This will help you drill down to what you really do best and enjoy the most. This will also help you identify whether you’re in the wrong career field, or just the wrong job.

What Can I Do About This?

So what to do about it? Here are my top 5 suggestions:

Pick one and go after it.

 Choose one of the Motivated Skills you aren’t currently using and come up with a strategy to utilize it at work. Talk to your boss, rearrange your schedule…whatever you need to do to make it happen.

Find a way outside of work.

I’ve often coached people who have to use certain skills outside their work, because their job just doesn’t allow it. I’ve met accountants who were concert pianists, physicians who were artists and photographers, and an engineer whose hobby was quantum physics (?).

Whether it’s a hobby or a side hustle, utilizing that skill outside of work will actually bring more satisfaction to your work.

Minimize the Burnout Skills.

Maybe there’s a way you can limit your use of skills that are burning you out – those things you are good at but don’t enjoy doing. Do what you can to make this happen.

Seek equilibrium.

On days when you use a Burnout Skill extensively at work, consciously plan your evening or weekend to restore equilibrium.

For example, one of your Burnout Skills might be “Detail Management.” If you’ve spent the entire work day managing details, that’s not the day to go home and pay bills or plan a trip. You’ll probably want to be unstructured, spontaneous…perhaps engage your creativity in your free time.

Start looking elsewhere.

Of course, there’s always the option of jumping ship to a job that makes better use of your Motivated Skills. Just make sure you’re crystal clear on what they are…as well as what your Burnout Skills are. Otherwise, you risk making the same mistake again.

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Identifying Your Motivated Skills,” click here:  http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/2018/10/051-motivated-skills/

 

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051: Identifying Your Motivated Skills

Identifying Your Motivated Skills

For the last quarter of 2018, my podcast and blog theme is “Making Crucial Career Decisions.” This month, we’ll be drilling down on your skills, personality preferences, core values, and expertise. Each of these things can, and should, play a role in your career decisions.

Keep in mind that, whenever I talk about career decisions, I am speaking on a macro- and micro-level. The macro level is this: Does the career path you’re considering allow you to make optimal use of your skills and expertise? Does your personality type mesh with this career? Does this career fit within your most critical values?

On the micro-level, you are looking at particular job opportunities within that career. Keep in mind that, while a career may fit with your personality and values, etc., a particular job may not. The more you know about yourself, the more aware you will be of what is most important to you…I call them your non-negotiables.

Defining Motivated Skills

Today’s topic is “Identifying Your Motivated Skills.” Let’s start with a definition.

Motivated Skills are those skills that you are both very good at and get a great deal of pleasure from doing. The reason they are called Motivated Skills is because the more you do them, the more motivated you will be about your work.

The opposite of Motivated Skills is Burnout Skills. Burnout Skills are the skills you are very good at, but DON’T get any pleasure from doing. In fact, these skills suck the motivation right out of you. The more you have to perform Burnout Skills in your work, the more likely you are to…you guessed it…burn out.

Take the Assessment

If you’re interested in taking a Motivated Skills assessment, I recommend you opt-in to my 5-day course, “Finding Your Professional Purpose.” Day 2 includes Motivated Skills and Values activities.

To optin: http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

Here’s how the Motivated Skills activity works: First, you sort each skill by your skill level with it. A “5” means you have a superior skill level; a “1” means you have little or no skill.

Next, you sort those same skills by your Motivation Level. A “5” is Superior enjoyment in using that skill; a “1” means you are completely unmotivated to use that skill.

The idea is to come up with a core list of just 5-6 Motivated Skills. Any more than that, and you are unlikely to find a career or job that includes them all…and you may sacrifice the most important ones for those that aren’t quite as essential to you. Any fewer than that, and you may be lacking in self-awareness…you just haven’t lived enough, or been present enough, to know what you like and don’t like.

Why This Matters

Let’s talk about why knowing what your Motivated Skills are is so important. Obviously, you want this information to inform your career decisions on the macro- and micro-level; knowing your Motivated Skills will also help you answer some of the tough interview questions you’ll likely get asked.

Even within a job, knowing your Motivated Skills will help you make intelligent decisions about projects, committees, and assignments you volunteer for.

Of course, sometimes you don’t get to pick these things. However, by letting your boss know what your Motivated Skills are, he will be far more likely to put you on projects, committees, and assignments that align with those skills. After all, you doing a great job makes him look great…so it’s a win-win.

The Alternative

What’s the alternative to identifying, and capitalizing on, your Motivated Skills? Here are five downfalls:

-You don’t find fulfillment in your work…that soul-satisfying need to do what you were put on this earth to do.

-You don’t excel in your work…thereby limiting your potential to move up (which you don’t really want to do anyway…at least not in that career).

-You jump from job to job, not realizing what’s really wrong.

-Your dissatisfaction at work bleeds over into the other 2/3 of your life…it impacts your personal relationships and your sleep suffers.

-People who need what you were put on this earth to do miss receiving that from you. If this sounds esoteric, I promise you…this is what it’s all about.

What are these Skills?

I hope I’m made a compelling case for identifying and capitalizing on your Motivated Skills. So what are these skills anyway?

There are general categories of Motivated Skills, under which you’ll find several sub-categories.

Under the general heading of Communication Skills, you have skills in all forms of communication including verbal, written, presentation, sales, and negotiation. This group of skills involves the transfer of information in an accurate, persuasive way.

For Marketing, Public Relations, and Customer Service Skills, there is a wide range of skills that include being at ease in social settings, the ability to identify customer needs and preferences, and the ability to translate objective feedback into self-improvement and self-identify deficiencies to improve performance.

The general heading of Quantitative Analysis Skills includes computer skills and the ability to compile and analyze numerical data.

Under the general heading of Analytical Research Skills are scientific curiosity, research, and the ability to understand and use engineering or industrial principles, tools, and equipment to improve processes, services, or products.

Technical Reasoning Skills include mechanical and spatial reasoning, working outdoors in a technical capacity such as construction, environmental, or landscape projects, managing operations, or gathering technical or environmental data. Technical Reasoning Skills also include technical problem-solving or troubleshooting.

Creativity and Innovation Skills is the ability to use color and shapes to create visually pleasing images and to create new ideas and forms with existing objects. It also includes the ability to use imagination to create new ideas, projects, or programs.

Under the general heading of Teaching, Training, Instructing, or Counseling Skills: These are pretty self-explanatory. You are conveying information to an individual or audience in a teaching/training/instructing capacity, or you are counseling people to improve some aspect of their lives.

The final grouping is Project Management, Leadership, and Motivation Skills. These include managing and directing the work of others, motivating people to perform at their peak level, planning programs or projects, organizing people, data, or objects, and making decisions. It also includes the ability to manage detail-oriented tasks.

Again, I highly recommend opting in for my free 5-day course so you can take my Motivated Skills sort activity. That URL again is http://exclusivecareercoaching.com/professional-purpose-five-day-course/

 

 

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Is Your Work Fueling You? Case Studies of Career Shifts

As we wrap up September, I wanted to offer you some perspective on people who’ve made pretty significant shifts in their career trajectory.

People who knew, on some level, that they weren’t doing what they were passionate about. They had more to give. More to contribute. Their souls weren’t soaring.

I’ve changed names and eliminated identifying specifics, but here are their stories:

Career Shift: Kelly

Kelly came to me a few months ago, wanting to get out of the high-pressure world of model management.

First, we identified her personality and interests. It quickly became evident that she needed to do work that made the world a better place.

She needed a work environment that was collegial, not competitive.

We also talked about her passion: health and fitness. We talked about the intersection of her passion and her marketing/management skills.

Kelly’s new focus is health and fitness companies. She has targeted several employers to have conversations with about the value she would bring to their organization.

She’s so excited about the possibilities in her future, and highly motivated to do the work necessary to land in exactly the right next position for her.

Career Shift: Jeff

Jeff also came to me a few months ago, deeply dissatisfied with his current position in solar lighting sales, and his work environment.

Jeff’s passion is the environment. He has identified several companies with values and a work environment that meshes with his.

Jeff is also very collaborative, and is paying particular attention to corporate cultures as he interviews. Will he have the opportunity to collaborate internally and externally?

Jeff is also a natural entrepreneur and is building a business that sells products made by African women out of recycled materials. This is his true passion and I’m confident he’ll move away from “W-2” employment in the not-too-distant future.

Career Shift: David

My final example actually comes from several years ago. I was brought into a non-profit organization because the assistant director was underperforming, and the executive director wanted to do everything she could to salvage her assistant director’s job.

We did a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) retreat with her staff, and what came out of that retreat about David was one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had in an MBTI retreat.

When asked the question, “For me, work is a reflection of..” David answered “Who I am not.”

WOW. For me, work is a reflection of who I am not.

To the astonishment of every staff member, David was an extravert who was underperforming, in part, because his office was at the end of a long hallway tucked in behind all the action. Very little human contact.

He was also great at planning the many recreational activities offered by the organization, but not great at troubleshooting the inevitable last-minute crises that happen. He just wasn’t good at flying by the seat of his pants.

David left that non-profit shortly afterwards, and found a position that allowed him to fully engage his extraversion as the face of his new employer, and capitalized on his organizational skills.

Three examples that hopefully give you food for thought. Are you fueling your passion with your work, or is your passion starving in your work?

Are you fanning the flames of excitement and enthusiasm, or is your work like a glass jar placed on top of that flame?

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

 

 

 

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It’s All In Your Head

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 It’s all in your head.

Period.

No matter what results you’re getting in your life—good or not so good—you can trace those results back to your thoughts.

Not getting the results you want in your job search?

In your career?

In your life?

It’s all in your head.

And that’s the good news.

Because you can change your thoughts.

You can’t change your circumstances, at least not right away.

But you can change your thoughts about those circumstances.

I heard a story recently; I don’t know if it’s true, but I love it and want to share it with you.

Two brothers were raised in a horribly abusive home. Constant physical and mental abuse of the most extreme kind.

One brother went on to become a serial killer.

The other brother went on to win a Nobel prize.

When asked, independent of one another, what had brought each of them to this place in their lives, they gave the exact same response.

“With the way I was raised, how could I have become anything else?” they each said.

Clearly, these two brothers had completely different thoughts about their upbringing.

The circumstances of their early lives were the same.

But their thoughts about those circumstances were vastly different.

If you’re not getting the results you want in your job search or career, let’s set up a time to talk.

We’ll do a “model” around the results you’re getting…and create a new thought you can begin practicing. A thought that will get you the results you’ve been wanting.

We’ll use Zoom for our call so I can share my screen with you. We’ll create your thought model together, and I’ll email it to you afterwards.

No cost. No obligation.

Sound too good to be true? That’s a thought in your head, and it’s completely optional.

Try this thought on instead: “Lesa is incredibly kind to want to help me in this way, and I’m going to take her up on her generous offer.”

I bet the second thought feels much better. So go for it.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

 

 

 

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Unhappy at Work? Change Your Thoughts

Photo of work environment with the caption

For many of you, the first thought this morning after slapping the alarm clock snooze button was:

“EXPLETIVE, I have to go to work.”

Yep, great way to start your day.

Here’s what I want to offer:

IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD.

Your thoughts produce EVERY result in your life. Yes, EVERY result. No exceptions.

So, to change your experience in the world, some thought hygiene needs to happen.

With credit to my fantastic, amazing, wonderful life coach, Brooke Castillo, let’s use her thought model to engage in some thought hygiene.

Brooke’s model goes like this:

CIRCUMSTANCE – Neutral, could be proven in a court of law, outside your immediate control

THOUGHT – Your thought about that circumstance

FEELING – The feeling that arises when you think that thought

ACTION – The action, reaction, or inaction you take because of the feeling

RESULT – What happens as a result of the action you take

Here’s “Sally.”

CIRCUMSTANCE – “I share a cubicle with Lucy, who is loud, inconsiderate, and messy. She makes my work life miserable.”

Here’s the deal: Most of us walk around thinking our circumstances control our lives. In this situation, how could Sally NOT hate her job, with Lucy hovering all day, every day?

The answer: By thinking different thoughts.

The CIRCUMSTANCE for Sally is that she shares a cubicle with Lucy. Period. No negative emotions, no opinions.

The great news about your circumstance: it’s the ONLY part of the equation you can’t change, at least not immediately.

Sally’s THOUGHT about her circumstance is: “Lucy is loud, inconsiderate, and messy. She makes my work life miserable.”

When Sally thinks that THOUGHT, which she does from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to bed, her FEELING is this:

Miserable. Hate my job.

When Sally’s busy feeling miserable about working with Lucy, the ACTION she takes is:

Avoid Lucy, be passive-aggressive, talk about Lucy with other co-workers, call in sick to avoid being around Lucy.

Lose – Lose – Lose.

The RESULT Sally’s getting from her thought: Sally is not serving her employer in the best possible way, and she’s not serving HERSELF either. Her career is suffering and her mental and physical health are affected.

What could change Sally’s experience? Moving into another position at her employer, or leaving her company altogether?

Those are options, but in my experience, Sally’s problem will re-materialize elsewhere.

Because the problem is SALLY. Not her co-workers or any other external.

Let’s see if, by thinking a different thought, Sally can have a different experience in the world.

Here’s the deal with a thought turnaround: You HAVE to be able to believe it. Often this requires incremental thoughts that move you in the right direction.

Sally is not likely to believe that Lucy is the best co-worker she’s ever experienced. BUT, maybe Sally can believe this thought:

“Lucy is my co-worker.”

Subtle, but crucial, because Sally has removed the negativity from her thoughts about Lucy.

That’s HUGE.

Maybe, once Sally has practiced that thought, she could believe something like this:

“Lucy is really good at customer service.”

Now Sally is associating a positive thought with Lucy.

Here’s how Sally’s experience will change completely with her thought shift:

THOUGHT: “Lucy is my co-worker.”

FEELING: Neutral.

ACTION: Go about my work, interact with Lucy as needed, give employer my best effort.

RESULT: Get promoted/Get raise!

WOW. Huge difference in results.

Here’s what DIDN’T happen: Lucy didn’t change her work habits one iota. Lucy just kept on being Lucy.

Because here’s the thing you really don’t want to hear: YOU CAN’T CHANGE ANYONE ELSE. Those of us who have tried know this to be true.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

 

 

 

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How Job Satisfaction is Affected By Your Personality

 The Link Between Personality and Job SatisfactionThere are lots of assessments out there to measure your personality.

I use the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). As a Master Practitioner, I’ve seen how beneficial it can be in helping people make career choices.

Let’s talk about how your job satisfaction can be affected by your personality preferences.

I’m not talking about what you do most often or your skill level. I’m talking about your innate preference, which remains amazingly consistent over the lifetime.

Here are the four preference pairs of the MBTI, along with questions to ask yourself about your job satisfaction.

1. EXTRAVERSION VS. INTROVERSION

Extraverts need stimulation from the outside world – colleagues, customers, random strangers.

Introverts are energized by getting away from people. They prefer to work uninterrupted, and if they want to talk they will come to you.

I was asked to work with a YMCA in the Midwest. The Assistant Director was floundering, and the Executive Director wanted to do everything possible to salvage the situation.

In the course of working with the entire team using the MBTI, it came out that the assistant director was an Extravert. Yet, his office was in the back, at the end of a dark hallway.

There were other issues with this individual, but suffice it to say his office placement wasn’t helping the situation.

MEASURE: Do you feel energized most days by your work, or completely drained – and how is it affected by your interactions with others? On those drained days, what are you doing to recharge your batteries in the evening or on the weekend?

2. SENSING VS. INTUITION

This facet has to do with how you take in information, and what type of information you prefer to deal with.

Sensers like dealing with the here-and-now – factual information they can see, taste, touch, hear, or smell.

Intuitives like dealing with the future – with ideas, possibilities, abstractions they can process by way of their sixth sense.

APPLICATION: A colleague of mine told me about the error of her ways in a previous job. As an academic adviser, she often counseled academically struggling students. Her approach, as an Intuitive, was to paint word pictures for the students. She would talk about the bridge they had to cross, and that they would do it together.

Fully half the students would stare at her, not getting the analogy. These were the Sensers, who were probably wondering why they hadn’t noticed a single bridge anywhere on campus.

MEASURE:Do you prefer concrete, factual information or abstract concepts and relationships? Does your job allow you to spend the majority of time dealing with your preference? How do you recharge your batteries when you have a work day full of your non-preferred side?

3. THINKING VS. FEELING

This facet relates to your preferred decision-making style.

Thinkers make their decisions objectively, using cool, impersonal logic – they use their head.

Feelers make their decisions subjectively, using values and circumstances – they use their heart.

APPLICATION: A fellow Rotarian (also a Feeler) and I decided to plan a Valentine’s dance for members and their spouses. We presented our plans to the Board.

One board member, a Thinker, interrupted our romantic notions to ask “What’s the bottom line?”

No matter that it was a Valentine’s dance, for him, it had to have a dollars-and-cents bottom line to it.

MEASURE: Does your work require you to make fact-based decisions or do you make decisions based on the people involved? How does this make you feel?

4. JUDGING VS. PERCEIVING

This facet has to do with how you prefer to order your life.

Judgers prefer organization, structure, control…a planned, systematic life.

Perceivers prefer openness, flexibility, spontaneity…as little structure and routine as possible.

APPLICATION: Back before I became acquainted with the MBTI, I gave my staff a big assignment. Everyone was involved. There was a deadline.

I knew one team member, a Perceiver, wasn’t working on the assignment. (After all, it wasn’t due for several weeks.) Each week in staff meeting, I went around the table asking everyone what progress they had made. I got updates from everyone but Joe, who stared blankly at me.

I thought this would somehow spur Joe to action. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

MEASURE: Do you work in an environment that requires planning, strict deadlines, and extreme organization? Or an environment that is unstructured, where job duties are loosely defined, and deadlines are more suggestions? How does this make you feel?

Thanks for hanging with me on this longer blog; I hope you’ve found it fascinating.

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here

  

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