Hello SOTGC community,
Women at work have a lot of work to do – we know that, and there are numbers to prove that. The latest studies show that across the globe, women continue to face obstacles at work in terms of opportunities, treatment and outcomes.
But guess what – the work of a working woman may be hard, but you get it done. You continue to move forward, you look for ways to overcome obstacles, and you even help others along the way.
There are days, of course, when the going gets more exhausting than exhilarating. Sometimes you get over this after a few days – say, after you’ve spent a relaxing weekend. Sometimes it may take a bit longer and some help from other people.
The point is: If you’ve been feeling “blah” about work lately, you can still aim to rekindle your passion for it once again. Actually, let’s rephrase that: You need to – you must. And it’s not just because you deserve a meaningful and fulfilling career as a woman. But also (and most importantly) because your team, your organization and your community need you to be one.
The simple truth is, the world needs more fiery working women today more than ever. So if you’ve been feeling so-so with your job, here are some techniques you can try to refuel your career fire:
Step 1: Question Yourself.
In any initiative that involves planning goals, it’s important to begin by finding your starting point. I’ve always believed that self-awareness is an essential key to activate self-development.
There are a number of ways to find your starting point:
- List down your strengths, weaknesses and the things that are most important to you
- Review your values, beliefs and motivations
- Identify your habits and behaviors that are triggered by these values, beliefs and motivations
- Reflect on how these habits and behaviors affect you and impact others in your life
- Pinpoint where you deliver the greatest value
All these may sound so basic, but in reality it is a tremendously difficult task. Being honest and upfront about yourself is difficult. Getting out of your usual perspective to view yourself from a place of objectivity is difficult. There are certain tools and techniques to help you with this, such as ones you may obtain through executive coaching.
Step 2: Know Your Why.
The other term for your “why” is “purpose.” It’s the guiding principle behind your actions and decisions. It’s the source of your motivation, courage and strength to take action. When you have a clear sense of purpose, you’ll have the capacity to pursue your mission even during tough times and achieve beyond your expectations. Step 1 can be your guide.
Step 3: Allow Yourself to be Vulnerable.
Hold on a minute. Isn’t vulnerability one of the reasons why women (or people, for that matter) get taken advantage of at work? The answer is no – if you define vulnerability not as an excuse to be a doormat, but rather, an empowering way to build honesty, trust and respect at work.
Here are some ways to empower yourself and others via vulnerability:
- Establish clear communication systems that allow for constant and constructive feedback and performance evaluation
- Remember that great leaders don’t have all the answers; rather, know how to ask the right questions
- Strive to create a genuine connection with others; there’s no limit to saying thank you or sorry when the situation calls for it
Step 4: Take Action.
Here’s the thing: The steps mentioned above are truly valuable and worth taking, but they all require some amount of inward thinking and assessment. They are absolutely critical… but terribly incomplete if you simply stop at those.
In fact, you’ll need to take action even if your feelings aren’t totally into it yet. As they say, meaningful change comes from action and engagement, not thought and words.
Here are some action steps you can take:
- Create disruption. It can be a small change in your daily routine, such as a change in your route or your morning rituals. Or, it can be something huge such as applying groundbreaking innovation to replace your existing system
- Get out of your comfort zone. Try something new, mix it up, challenge yourself. Shaking up the usual sharpens your creative and critical thinking and doing skills
- Make a life-changing decision. Is the problem that caused you to lose your career fire still fixable? There will come a time when you’ll need to stop being on safe ground and finally make a choice of whether to stay or let go of your current position, job or even career
Ready to Create a Spark?
You don’t have to follow a linear process to try these four steps. After all, asking questions, thinking inwardly, opening yourself to possibilities and taking action are all overlapping and interwoven experiences. You only need to decide: Are you ready to refuel your career fire today?