Here is your weekly dose of clarity in the confusing world of career and professional growth.
1 RECENT ARTICLE
I’ve coached countless high-achieving clients who quickly rose through the ranks and hit a plateau. They had achieved their goals and were rewarded with pay and prestige.
But what I also heard from them was feeling stagnant, unchallenged, and a bit of existential turmoil.
Here’s the bottom line:
While your values and superpowers are important for happiness and growth respectively, getting clear on your curiosities empowers you to avoid disengagement and build longevity into your career.
2 INSIGHTS FROM MY OBSERVATIONS
I. Jealousy of others’ success is natural, but how you handle it makes all the difference.
There’s no need to try to squash envy permanently. Often it’ll come back with even greater force.
Acknowledge these normal feelings. Then gently shift your attention to what is going well for you. Ask yourself, how you can make this area even better?
You’ll probably notice that the answer is never focus on the success of others. Your attention is valuable, reinforcing, but limited — use it on what helps you grow.
II. Create concrete criteria for your career map. Then the question gets easier, “Am I fulfilling this criteria?”
Values and strengths exercises tend to get negatively stereotyped as “woo-woo” topics. But I often see people using them incorrectly. They do the exercise, look at their results, sit back in their armchairs — and do nothing with their insights.
What I do together with my clients is translate, repurpose, codify their outputs as criteria for their career map (“If… then…” statements are the way to go!).
For example, one of my clients discovered a strength of empowering others. He loves to counsel and help others.
His criteria for this strength?
“If I am able to dedicate 1 hour a week to help other people with their entrepreneurial or technical efforts I will feel like I’m fulfilling my strength of empowering.”
By turning these criteria into a “measure for success”, my clients can arrive at more clarity and take more action.
3 RESOURCES WORTH VISITING
I. Are You Solving the Right Problems? (HBR)
Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg dives deep into business problems, but his strategies can apply to individual problems as well.
Reframing the problem is key. Seven practices you can use to reframe: establish legitimacy, bring outsiders into the discussion (expecting inputs, not solutions), get people’s definitions in writing, ask what’s missing, consider multiple categories, analyze position exceptions, question the objective.
Digital detoxes have become trendy. Yet most past studies into social media have only been correlational, not causational.
This study is one of the first intervention studies on social media. Along with a few others, it shows that abstinence had no significant influence on well-being markers.
These studies hint that perhaps it matters more how subjects are using social media (passively scroll vs actively connecting with others) than the amount used. Unfortunately, this hypothesis is harder to test and it’ll likely be a while until we see studies done in this direction.
III. Knowing the answer before you ask the question (Seth Godin)
The nugget of insight in this piece: Know the answers to the questions you ask in any presentation.
This applies to both comedy shows and job interviews. Leave nothing to chance.
How do you know the answers? Test your material. Get a friend, colleague, or mentor to help. Or get a coach (doesn’t have to be me).
As always, thanks for reading.
Have a good weekend,
Career Coach and Writer