Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fall In Love With Your Career All Over Again!

Have you been catching yourself yawning as you once again answer the question “so what do you do for a living?” Have your eyes been wandering over to other careers and companies because they look to be a little more exciting than what you have now?  If  you’ve answered yes to these questions it may be time to spice up your career and fall back in love with what you do. 

When you think about it, our careers and relationships with our employment companies are very similar to any other relationships in our lives.  There’s the phase when we’re attracted to the type of work, the phase we’re introduced to a particular company, the phase where we’re swept away and make a commitment, the phase where new projects and responsibilities are exhilarating and fun, the phase where we feel satisfied and comfortable, and ultimately we get to the phase where comfort can turn into boredom, irritation, and a need for change.  Often times that’s where it ends.  We see the apparent need for change and we move on to start the cycle all over again.

Well hold on just a minute, before you throw away a possible diamond in the rough, let’s take a step back and see if there’s a way to salvage what you have and recapture your love for your career. 

Now I know you might be thinking “sure, easy for Lisa to say, she’s a consultant and works with many companies”.  However, before I began consulting, I worked for a single company for more than 20 years (yes, I started when I was only 11 years old!).  So, having worked for so long with the same company, I picked up a few ESSENTIAL tips that helped me keep my career fresh, interesting and constantly in a period of growth. So whether you’re well into your long career or just starting down a new path, feel free to learn from my years of trial and error. 

Tip 1 Reflect back on why you wanted to work for this company in the first place. There must have been a reason that compelled you to work there.  In a perfect world, you will have a clear understanding of the company’s mission and goals and you will believe that they are in alignment with your purpose (email me for a copy of my past newsletter about finding your purpose). Often times this is where it gets foggy.  If you don’t know the purpose for the company, it might be a good time to talk to your management team to ask for a little clarity. Research has shown that when people work together for the betterment of a cause or purpose they feel connected to, the results can be incredible. Why do you think Oprah’s teams can do so many amazing things? If you believe in the company you work for, it’s a good sign that it’s not too late to rekindle the fire for your career.

Tip 2 Don’t be afraid to show how great you are. Over the years, I’ve noticed that some people will often “hold back” on their performance or on voicing their satisfaction with their job because they don’t want to stand out from the crowd.  They’d rather lay low and avoid making any waves because it seems easier than getting unwanted attention from their coworkers who believe they should “know their place”.  I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything that would kill my passion for my career quicker than trying to make sure I never made a difference or avoided letting myself really show what I know.  

Tip 3 Realize that you will be promoted in part for your accomplishments, but primarily for your potential. Often times we look at a promotion as a reward for a job well done, and in part it may be. However, the main reason an employer will promote you is because they are betting that based on your past performance, you will deliver even greater future results. So I encourage you to look at each day as another chance to show that you are a professional who continues to grow, learn, and change with the company.  Better yet, show them that you are a visionary leader who can and will exceed their expectations. Soak up all the training tools, coaching, and opportunities for growth that you possibly can. Not only will it make you look more promotable, but it will keep things more interesting and exciting for you. One of my favorite speakers, James Ray, states “all living things are in a cycle of growth or death, things can never stay exactly the same”.  Which cycle do you prefer?

Tip 4 Try something new. Believe me, there’s no way I could have stayed with the same company for 20 years if my role had stayed the same.  I was originally hired as a singer and by learning all I could, continuously looking for training opportunities, growing outside my comfort zone, and showing what I know, I opened a world of opportunity for myself.  I became an experienced speaker, corporate-wide trainer, company spokesperson, Director of multiple departments, and head of the creative production process. When you try new things you keep yourself engaged in your career and you increase your value to the company.

Tip 5 If all else fails, try to talk it out.  Believe it or not, sometimes you just need to let your employer know how you feel. Give them a chance to get creative,  and don’t be afraid to offer a few ideas of your own.  Who knows, you just may find yourself working...InBliss!

Copyright © 2008 InBliss Coaching and Consulting LLC  All Rights Reserved Internationally.   No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Setting An Intention For A Fresh New Year

We’ve all done it...New Year’s Eve arrives and we faithfully make our resolutions for the new year-so sure that we’ll try harder or do better than last year. So why then, four weeks into the new year, have we already forgotten our resolutions?

Some might say it’s because we don’t have the necessary will-power to accomplish what we set out to do. Some say it’s because we’re too busy or too overwhelmed to take  action on our resolution. My guess is it could be any of those things, but it’s more likely that you’ve simply started down a path without your compass and you’ve begun to lose your way.

Instead of rattling off a list of things you “should” do for whatever reason, sit down and think about what it is you really, really want to accomplish and set a solid intention for accomplishing your goal.  I also suggest that you focus on only one intention at a time.  I once heard a saying; “you can only ride one horse at a time and do it really well”.  The same thing is true for making change and improvements in your life.  

No matter what it is that you’d like accomplish (ex. lose weight, get a promotion, paint your living room, improve your management skills, etc.) setting an intention can and will set you on a course for success. 

With that in mind, a few tips for understanding the value and setting an intention.

Tip 1 Get clear.  In setting an intention you are making it clear to yourself and to others exactly what you want or plan to do.  Define what your definition of reaching your goal would be.  For example, you know you have reached your goal of improving your management skills when you consistently feel more satisfied with your ability to deal with difficult situations and motivate your staff.  You may even get that promotion you’ve been after!

Tip 2 Realize that an intention comes in many sizes and every large goal is filled with intentions big and small. With follow through, each intention will ultimately lead to success.  For example, if your resolution is to improve your management skills, your first intention may be to speak with your company to find out what skills and traits you may want to focus on.  Next, you might want to set intentions for researching and attending suitable training programs, finding a mentor, and researching reading materials. 

Tip 3 Don’t let confusion overwhelm your intention. You may have lots of passion about your resolution, but passion without a plan is wasted energy and will eventually fizzle out. Setting an intention to take a step towards your goal everyday will keep you on the right path and help to clear away confusion. 

Tip 4 Use your resources. Ask for what you want and need from others.  When you clearly state your intention and your request of others (as opposed to expecting them to read your mind) you have the opportunity to gain a partner and a cheering section.  For example, if you admire someone’s management style, ask them for tips and possibly support (chances are they’ll be flattered and very willing to share advice).

Tip 5 Be accountable.  Choose your resolutions carefully by deciding what really matters to you.  You might ask someone you trust to help “hold” your intention for you.  However, nothing can take the place of honoring your intentions to yourself.  You’ll be amazed at how your self-esteem and sense of accomplishment will increase when you accomplish your goals.  Sounds like Bliss to me.

Copyright © 2007 InBliss Coaching and Consulting LLC  All Rights Reserved Internationally.   No portion may be reprinted or used without prior written permission.

Meeting Clinton Kelly!

Meeting Clinton Kelly!
Meeting Clinton Kelly - I love him!

Clinton shares a few tips

Karen's "Before" Picture

Karen's "after" picture