Mon, 28 June 2021
After graduating from college with honors and a dual Bachelors degree in economics and psychology, I was excited to join the corporate world. I had dreams of one day becoming the CMO of a large organization. At my first job out of college I was promised that I would be working on amazing projects and traveling the country meeting with executives and entrepreneurs. Instead, I was stuck doing data entry, cold calling, and PowerPoint presentations. One day the CEO of the company asked me to go buy him a cup of coffee, that was the last job I ever had. Since then I have been passionate about the future of work and designing great employee experiences.
This happened to me, but I’m not special. There are millions of people who feel this same way about their managers and their organizations every single day. We have built our organizations on outdated processes, procedures, and ways of thinking about work for the past 100+ years. It’s no wonder that so many people around the world don’t like their jobs.
Why we need to take control and shape our work (and how we can do that)
On average we will spend one-third of our lives at work, our lives and our work are integrated, and we cannot separate the two. So when we are miserable at work, chances are you’re feeling miserable about life in general.
Over the past 10+ years, I have discovered three strategies that allowed me to shape my work.
Be a perpetual learner
We cannot rely on educational institutions or organizations to teach us all we need to know. You have to learn how to learn and you have to constantly find ways to grow, develop, and expand your skills. And you need to be aware of how your skills and abilities can be applied, not just in your current role, but in other unique ways.
You have to fake it ‘til you make it
What you believe and what you tell yourself matters. Because it will guide your behaviors, your actions, and how you feel about yourself. Most of us at some point in our lives will have imposter syndrome--where we feel inadequate, or we feel we don’t have the experience necessary, or we don’t feel qualified to make a decision. Whether you are dealing with imaginary voices in your head or real voices of people telling you you’re no good--you have to stay optimistic and you have to build yourself up.
Don’t follow your passion
This may be controversial, but the saying “follow your passion” is wrong. We shouldn’t follow our passion, we should bring our passion with us. Your passion is not something outside of you that you have to go and chase and it’s not one static thing that you have to achieve or you will never be happy. As you grow and as you experience different things, your passions will change. And most of us have a hard time even figuring out what our passion actually is before we have to choose what career we want to pursue.
With these three strategies we can take more control over our work lives, and as result, we will build a life for ourselves that we truly want to live.
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