Tag Archives for " worklife balance "

What To Do When Your Career Is Out Of Balance

It’s no secret that many business professionals today face burnout, stress, and overwhelm. There is so much to get done with limited resources, while keeping up with technology and collaborating with an increasingly virtual and global teams.

Could this pain however, be self-inflicted?

You see, most business professionals have had great successes in their career. They have worked hard, been creative and earned respect of others for past achievements and most importantly, pushed themselves to new levels of capability.

The thing is at some point, what was once hard becomes easy and you may become less excited. What ultimately happens is you find yourself in a comfort zone where you are not really challenged or growing. It’s as if you have hit the upper limit in your current role and are just drifting through life with no certain aim.

I like the way the author Gay Hendricks describes it:

“Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”

In the past, people too often consider that burnout, stress and overwhelm are simply caused by working too hard. The solution for this, don’t work so hard or take some time off and then come back and don’t work so hard. Doesn’t this solution merely look at the symptoms of the problem rather the root cause?

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.”  ~ Paulo Coelho

Would you be open to looking at it from another perspective?

What would happen if business professionals were to take a closer look at their own behaviour a little more closely? Maybe the problem is a little closer to home. In fact, a great statement I heard from a speaker once was: 

“if I’m the one with the problem, then I must be the one with the solution.”

Maybe you are reaching the upper limit on your inner thermostat today and feel a bit overwhelmed. If so, it might be the right time to pay attention to the 'message coming from the inside'. If that sounds a bit 'out there' for you, on a more practical note a period of self-reflection followed up with action might just be the thing you need right now.

Here are a few questions for you to reflect and answer in your quiet moment:

  1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you assess your own levels of stress or overwhelm?
  2. What are the effects of this stress on your job satisfaction?
  3. How aligned do you feel personally with the company's vision, direction, mission, and values?
  4. What would happen in the future if you don't make any changes in your own behaviours?

Now what is the best decision for me to make?

As you look forward for the next 12 months, what is the most critical thing for you to resolve? Rather than thinking that it’s going to be pretty much the same as last year, it is time for you to step out of your comfort zone and into your greatness.

Also, remember to download your FREE “CAREER HEALTH ASSESSMENT” by clicking here.

Let's take control That is where the magic happens!

From my heart to yours

Donovan.

AboutDonovangrantDonovan helps Business Professionals in IT and Payments to get to the core of critical issues so they achieve great results in business and life. Clients make changes to help position them as leaders so they can over-deliver and stand out in a crowd.

Your money or your life: Which would you choose?

Your money or your life: Which would you choose?

 career ladder stress

By Donovan Grant

If you want to earn the big career money, you have to get promoted. That has always been the bounty for climbing up the corporate ladder. Does it work? Yes indeed, I've done it myself and I've walked shoulder to shoulder with colleagues whose only dream was to climb the career ladder.

One former colleague Sarah, brought her career dream alive and got a fantastic promotion. More money, more responsibility and more stress! She got it all. The only thing was, she hadn't factored in the change in stress levels and now only months into the new role she feels like quitting. 

Many professionals make career moves without looking at the whole package. They look at the salary, the benefits and the work aspects however one ingredient is often overlooked. What impact will this have on my life as a whole?

No one needs to suffer when they move up or across the corporate ladder. To make it as smooth as possible they must ask themselves some serious questions:

What do I want?

Why do I want it?

What will the impact be to my life in and out of work?

Am I willing to pay the price?

Remember, climbing the ladder is okay if that’s what you want. And I commend you for finding your dream. Just like my friend Sarah found out, she did not want her outside life disrupted by her career. She spiralled out of control because she did not have a plan for getting settled during the first 100 days, she charged straight in. She’s learnt her lesson and now she is now sets the game up so she wins.

If you're in pressure situation, getting your stress levels under control is the remedy. The first step to make a list of your stressors. Then make the time to handle them, one by one.

What do you think? Have you had a stressful time with a new job? Have you experienced a career crisis? What is your top tip to handle it? What advice do you have for others? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

AboutDonovangrant 150x150 One Career Mistake They’ll Never Make Again

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger and speaker who brings his wisdom of over 25 years as an IT professional into coaching clients through leadership, business and lifestyle success strategies that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to make a difference in someone else’s life. 

For more information about getting shaping and growing your career on your terms please click here.

 

One Career Mistake They’ll Never Make Again

One Career Mistake They’ll Never Make Again

career mistake

By Donovan Grant

Back then, most people couldn’t manage their own career, so they would trust their line manager and human resources to guide them. That’s the way it always worked. They had annual performance reviews and development plans, but employees had no idea how much (little) progress they were making until they receive their annual pay rise or bonus letter. Just enough to keep them comfortable in their job.

Over a coffee, colleagues would complain about the large amount of effort they have to give for the small amount that they get in return.

“Why do we put up with this year after year?” one would ask.  

“Well, it’s a nice company and I’m too [fill in the blank] to change jobs now,” was often the reply.

It’s a new day now.

I see managing your career as the #1 duty of every employee to themselves. You might not have all the HR know-how or a manger’s title, however you do know yourself better than anyone else. With the experiences you’ve had in your career to date, you know what your needs and wants are in your career.

Are you the owner of your career management? If not, what stops you? Your age, your qualifications, your confidence? In a career path, the things we worry about changes over time. We’ll all get stuck sometimes. We can get bored of doing what is comfortable. And as a result your inner strength and drive ebbs away and end up going with the flow.

Although it may seem a bit late or difficult to take ownership and manage your career it is possible. Learning how to shape your career and ultimately your life on your terms is a precious skill for every employee.  

ACTION STEP:

What is the one thing you can do this week to take back ownership of your career?

What do you think? How can you adapt your career management style to suit your goals? What other practices do you already use to ensure your career success? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

AboutDonovangrant 150x150 Should you take a leap of faith in your career?

Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger and speaker who brings his wisdom of over 25 years as an IT professional into coaching clients through leadership, business and lifestyle success strategies that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to make a difference in someone else’s life.

For more information about getting shaping and growing your career on your terms please click here.

 

 

Should you take a leap of faith in your career?

Should you take a leap of faith in your career?

career change path

Many people come to the career crossroads where they ask themselves “is there more to life than this?” They get stuck in their career or life and they have a real challenge knowing what to do next. They feel ready to just walk out the door yet they don’t feel strong enough to take the step.

A great question to ask is why they got stuck in the first place.

You will often overhear people say “my colleagues are fine and the work is good BUT the company is not the place it used to be.” Or you may hear people saying “my boss doesn’t understand me and I don’t have any career prospects!”

There are a ton of reasons why and the interesting thing is the majority of them are external reasons. “It’s because of my boss.”

“It’s because of my company.”

“We don’t get career development training anymore.”

“Things have changed from what they used to be here!”

You very seldom hear employees saying it’s because of me.

“I have grown tired of commuting long hours.”

“I don’t feel stretched enough in my current role.”

“I need to do something about this before I become unemployable.”

Why do we seldom hear people sharing the internal reasons why they are where they are? Is it easier to put them blame on someone or something else rather than to look in the mirror?

This is not an easy question to face up to for many of us. One thing for sure is that just like the weather, we do go through four seasons in our careers too. If you have spring and summer you better believe that you will have autumn and winter to. It is a natural occurrence.

What season is your career in right now? Are you in the learning and growing of spring and summer? Are your reaping the satisfaction and fulfilment of autumn? Or are you going through the stresses and frustrations of the winter season of your career.

If you are in winter right now, I know how you feel. And please be assured that you are not alone. Many people are experiencing this especially in mid-career or mid-life.

You are the strongest link

There is a way forward. The challenge is, do you want to do about it? Whether you believe or not, your career management begins and ends with you. It’ not your manager, the HR team or People Development team, it’s all down to you. I know this may sound a bit harsh, but it is true. You have the power to move forward or stay where you are in your career and life.

Ponder on these three questions for a moment…

Am I clear what my personal career and life goals for the next 12 months?

Is what I’m doing in line with my goals and values?

Do I actively take full responsibility for managing my career goals?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it is time for you to take control. When things change in our careers, it’s because we change too. We have to reflect and listen to the story that we are telling ourselves. Are we making ourselves the victim or are we making ourselves the savour. We need to tell the story of what we really want to hear and not the story of who or what is holding us back.

Simple steps for success in your career

Here’s an exercise for you to reflect on over the coming week:

If I am in winter season of my career, what am I learning about myself?

If I am in winter season of my career, in what way am I growing despite all the frustrations?

If I am in winter season of my career, what simple actions can I take every day to move myself into spring in my career?

Should you take a leap of faith in your career?  Yes, if you have to and it doesn’t have to mean leaving your current company. It is possible to start changing your career outlook from where you are right now!

Do an assessment of your career regularly and do not rely on the company do it for you. If doesn’t matter if you are at executive level, middle management or regular employees. You are your own CEO so remember to act like one!

Let’s take action and focus your energy into being the best that you can be!

What do you think? What are your thoughts on the different seasons in the life of am employee? What are your tips to learn from winter season? Please leave your comments below.

Help Us Share the News! Please let your Twitter followers know about this article; you might just help to save someone’s career.

AboutDonovangrantDonovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger and speaker who brings his wisdom of over 25 years as an IT professional into coaching clients through leadership, business and lifestyle success strategies that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to make a difference in someone else’s life.

For more information about getting engaged and energised as an employee, and to take our free self-assessment about how well you are engaging, click here.

 

 

Seven Simple Questions that Every Employee Must Answer to Feel Engaged

 

Seven Simple Questions that Every Employee Must Answer to feel Engaged

 

 

engaged employees

By Donovan Grant

Do you rely on your manager to manage your career development?

Are you wondering how to get more fulfilment and engagement in your career?

Making progress and feeling totally engaged as an employee over the long term can feel like a daunting challenge. However, we have found that a few simple behaviours can make a huge difference to improve engagement.

It is frustrating to have to read minds

For instance, many employees are frustrated because they feel like they have to read their manager’s mind. They are unsure how well they are doing and what they can do to get better. The annual performance review is sometimes their only chance to find out, and that experience is so stressful and ceremonial that the setting is not ideal for making improvements.

Lack of ownership contributes to the problem

This situation is not completely the fault of management. In many cases, employees have neglected to take ownership of their career management so they end up trapped in the “us and them syndrome”. Instead of taking initiative and advancing their career, they struggle to get a sense of where they fit in the organisation they work for.

The solutions are simpler than you might think

There are many simple strategies to regain your engagement and get energised as an employee. They cost very little to implement, can be put into place immediately, and have huge impact on your career as well as your life as a whole.

For instance, one opportunity that many employees have – even at junior levels – is to manage their manager more frequently. Arrange informal catch-ups and get feedback about how you are doing against your goals. That way, you enhance your relationship and also you get greater insight into what is expected of you and how you can get better.

7 questions

The seven questions

There are seven simple questions every forward thinking employee must answer and communicate to their managers. Just like with doing exercise at the gym, consistency counts. Small, regular and informal conversations about performance go a long way – especially when they include learning opportunities about different things happening in the company. The questions include:

1.  What do I want to achieve over the next 12 months?

2.  What am I doing well?

3.  What, if anything, can I be doing better?

4.  In what way, if any, does my manager recommend for me to develop?

5.  (If appropriate): What will happen if I improve (e.g., more responsibility, more time with leadership, more desirable assignments)?

6.  (If appropriate): What will happen if you don’t improve?

7.  Who and where do I need to seek help from?

While all of these questions are important, the last question is especially important. It shows that deep down the employee cares, and is not merely giving up responsibility or blaming the company for their situation.

Your engagement in your job starts from within and it’s time to take control.

Let’s be the change you want to be!

What do you think? What are your thoughts on being an engaged and energized employee? Please leave your comments below.

Help Us Spread the Word! Please let your Twitter followers know about this article; you might just help to save someone’s career.

AboutDonovangrantDonovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger and speaker who brings his wisdom of over 25 years as an IT professional into coaching clients through leadership, business and lifestyle success strategies that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to make a difference in someone else’s life.

For more information about getting engaged and energised as an employee, and to take our free self-assessment about how well you are engaging, click here.

 

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