3 Things You Can Do To Boost Your Career Success

Are you where you want to be in your career? Is it giving you the satisfaction and enjoyment you want? Have you achieved the level of career success you feel is right for you?

If not, what is going on and what can you do about it?

It’s good to reflect on what’s working in your career, and what’s getting in the way. You don’t have to wait for happiness to appear once you’re successful, you can expect it in all your jobs. And to be honest it’s really a prerequisite for meaningful career success anyway.

The research suggests that to be successful you need to be happy with what you are doing. So the first thing to check is your happiness level. Is your job making you happy and, if not, what is missing or not working?

Next …

Do A Career Success Audit

Answer honestly to truly understand what’s going on:

  • Am I visible enough? Do the senior team know who I am? Am I talking about my achievements regularly, or do I let others take the credit. Do I seek or avoid opportunities to be ‘seen’?
  • Am I proactive? Do I seek out chances to learn new skills? Have I pushed my manager for opportunities to do something new?
  • Do I have a strong personal brand? What would others in the organisation say about me? How do I make others feel when they work with me?
  • Am I someone who delivers? Do I get things done and meet my objectives? Do I procrastinate?
  • What is my leadership style? How does this fit with the culture of the organisation?
  • Am I a strategy, big picture kind of person or do I prefer operational, hands on type of work?
  • How motivated am I towards the next logical step in my career? Do I want to do it, or do I feel I should do it?

Now you should have a clearer picture of what’s going on. And where you could increase your enjoyment at work, position yourself for a promotion or be clearer about how to perform better at interview.

3 Things To Boost Your Career Success

Work out your communication style

Everyone has different ways of communicating. We all have preferences about how we like to give and receive information. Reflect on your preferences – what annoys you about how someone presents information to you? Do you like short, focused, bite-size info, or prefer lots of detail? Would you like planned times for discussions, or prefer spontaneous, creative get togethers? Do you like to include feelings and emotions or prefer facts and evidence? Are you able to communicate most effectively in writing or verbally?

Once you understand your own style then you can start to notice other people’s. For example, if your boss starts to glaze over and becomes impatient when you talk about feelings driving a decision then maybe s/he prefers fact based information to support your feelings/intuition.

Tailoring your style to adapt to others around you can make you more effective at achieving your objective. And can make sure your voice is heard. You can still retain your own style and preferences. But becoming skilled at matching other people’s communication needs will be so useful in your career.

Develop A Problem Solving Attitude

Consider your attitude to problems. Do you see them as a challenge or do you get deflated by them? Being solution focused and resilient is definitely a skill that will serve you well in all your jobs. If you already tick this box, then see if you can cultivate it in other team members. If you think this is an area you could develop further then some mindset work is required….

Develop Your Own PR Plan

It’s not just celebrities that need a PR plan, we can all benefit from being strategic about our profile at work. Think about what you want to achieve – being seen as an expert, getting promotion, being more visible, or being more comfortable with the spotlight.

Then identify what could be in your own plan. Ideas could include:

  • look for speaking opportunities – internally and externally (conferences, networking events, pitches, etc.)
  • volunteer to make a presentation to Senior Management on your area of work or progress of a project
  • author reports that will be read within the business
  • contribute to the Company website – write a blog or share some news or be the ‘face’ of your team/department
  • attend networking events and start connecting with people who could be useful in your career
  • get used to talking about your achievements and start dropping them into conversations with other people
  • make more effort to go and talk to colleagues/peers rather than always emailing

Being proactive in getting more satisfaction in your career, will not only boost your success and happiness, it will also give you a sense of autonomy and ownership over your career. This should be the best year for your career.

If you need help with the Career Success Audit or working out what to do next, do get in touch for a FREE no obligation clarity call with me.

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What’s the Secret Formula for Career Happiness?

It’s not surprising there’s a growing buzz around career happiness – in your lifetime you will work over 90,000 hours! Who wants to spend that amount of time being miserable? It’s not that we haven’t been concerned about being happy at work before, it’s just never been on the mainstream agenda. Now, employers are waking up to the fact that contented employees are linked to productivity and performance. More importantly though, we are seeing the connection for ourselves between our career and our mental health.

There are huge benefits to being happy at work but do you believe it’s within your control? Many people wait passively for happiness to arrive, or not. They let fate decide whether they have a good boss, colleagues that they like or work that they enjoy. The good news is that you can be proactive about creating your own career happiness.

Firstly you need to be intentional. You need to be focused on creating the right conditions to achieve career happiness and be prepared to make changes if you can’t get it in your current job or company. You must be 100% in control of seeking it.

What’s the secret formula for career happiness?

There is a formula to guide you, created through years of work with career changers – understanding why people are unhappy at work and what they seek in order to change that:

CAREER HAPPINESS = (Freedom + challenge + balance – stress) x meaning

Let’s break it down:

  • Freedom:

How much choice do you have, and do you want, in how you do your job? Autonomy over the nature of the work you do or your style of working is so important. And not having the routine of a 9-5 or working in an office setup can also play it’s part. Look for a supportive manager who trusts you and gives you freedom of choice.

  • Challenge:

Too little challenge leads to boredom, and your job can become mundane and dull. Too much challenge leads to stress. But the right amount of challenge, combined with a sense of competence allows you to perform at your best. Imagine how it would feel to have that sense of ‘flow’ everyday! Look for opportunities to step out of your comfort zone.

  • Balance:

There are never enough hours in a day but if you’re spending too many of them working then you can feel out of kilter. Having time to think or reflect boosts your wellbeing. Make time outside work to be with people you love, engage in creative pursuits or do some exercise.

  • Stress:

Some stress helps us to perform well, but pressure, overwhelm and overload delivers negative stress. High stress levels on an ongoing basis leads to anxiety and burnout, and this can wipe out career happiness in one fell swoop.

  • Meaning:

We all want to feel what we do is meaningful. Meaning can be opportunities to learn and grow or seeing a tangible result to what we do. It can be working for an organisation having a positive impact in the world, or working in a role that directly makes a difference. This is a key component of the formula and, without meaning happiness can be hard to find.

What about money?

Money of course is important – we have to live but money in itself does not bring happiness. If you’ve had a job where you’ve chased money over meaning then you’ll know this is tough to sustain for a long period.

We need to move away from a model that suggests money = success = happiness because we never reach the happiness bit – we’re always striving to be more successful before we can focus on happiness. We have to achieve happiness in the present – in the here and now.

How can you increase your career happiness?

  • Do a review – use the formula to be specific about what’s missing and work out how to increase each area or minimise the stress component. Make a plan – remember you are taking control of your happiness at work.
  • Talk to your boss about what you need to change at work, or be prepared to move jobs if there’s no prospect of achieving career happiness in your current role.
  • Build in regular checks to keep an eye on the formula and adjust things if you need to.
  • Develop a positive mindset – the way you see the world influences your happiness levels. Look for ways you can be curious, learn from or help other people.
  • Spread the love – emotions are contagious, particularly negative ones, so surround yourself with positive people and focus on the good things you can share.

This article first appeared in Psychologies magazine.

If you need help boosting your career happiness, and getting more from your work then get in touch for a discovery call, or download my free e-book on Career Happiness.