Do you feel as if you are missing out on opportunities to advance your career? Do you feel that what you are doing is not be fully recognised? Are you pleased with the feedback you receive on a day-to-day basis and at that, all-important, annual review?
It is very easy slump into comfortable work habits that prove difficult to break. These comfortable and easy routines can very quickly lead you down the wrong career path. Unbeknown to you, bad habits at work can make you a negative target and lead to the alienation of the very people you so badly want to influence. Quite simply, if you fall into mindless work routines and bad working habits you are at risk of drawing the wrong sort of attention to yourself and being labelled as “difficult to manage, uncooperative or stubborn-minded´.
Mike started working with me when he was in his mid-forties. He was working ridiculously long hours and felt that he was living for his yearly bonus. He told me that he was being overlooked at work for projects that he would like the opportunity to do. Although he was doing a good job overall there was still room for improvement in certain areas.
An issue he felt that wanted to address was that he spent far too much time at work doing tasks that he believed were beneath him. In fact, he resented things so much at times that he was prone to feelings of jealousy towards other colleagues or friends whom he felt had a more interesting time at work than him. Mike also felt that it was these mundane tasks that were causing him to question both his self-esteem and self-worth more than he wanted to be doing. He felt deep down that he needed to get his act together and make some changes to the way he was doing things at work.
People will criticise you at work whether you like it or not. However, it is often the silent voice, what is not said, that can be a tricky thing to handle until you become aware of the subtle signs. Negative `press´ or feelings about you, can fester around you even if you are working your socks off. You may be turning up to work on time, keeping your head down all day and completing everything you have to do and still be a target for negative press and criticism.
Initially, you may just feel that something is not quite right inside, like Mike did. You perhaps notice that people at work are avoiding you, not sharing things with you or you may start feeling as if you are missing out. Instead of adding to these feelings by questioning or feeling bad about yourself and building the story in your head, simply become more aware of what is happening around you at work.
How are you spending your day? How much time are you doing jobs or tasks that you enjoy? Are you competing or collaborating with your work colleagues?
Listed below are 5 tips to help you to focus on the tasks that will MOTIVATE you rather than DRAIN you.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself, stop whinging and most of all, stop talking to people about negative things. Very often, you are the very person who is feeding this negative press about you. As work becomes overwhelming people often stop doing the very things that are good for their career. They may withdraw from people, stop giving people time and cut people off mid-sentence. Is it time to change the story in your head from a ´poor me´ story into a ´lucky me´ story? Do you need to actively seek out people to talk to in the office, do more of the things you promise and focus on how you can share your work burdens? You may have stopped showing your positive character to your colleagues and bosses.
Enemies become enemies because we allow them to be. Instead of feeling that everyone is having a better time than yourself ask yourself a simple question. As soon as you go down the, ‘I feel jealous route’, ask yourself, ‘Is it really true that my colleagues are having a better time at work than me?’ I think you will discover reasons to question your original assumption
Be bold and ask someone to take on the task for you. And if you dare, go one stage further and ask someone to help you to systemise the task. If you still won´t let go of the task, ask yourself, ‘Why am I holding onto it? ‘What am I afraid of if I let go of this menial task?’
One great way to get yourself into the winning circle at work is to manage up. Don´t be afraid to tell your boss or your superiors how they can help you. `What would really help me is if you could do XYZ for me’ or ‘What I actually need from you in order to complete this task successfully is XYZ.
Start making lists of what you are doing well at work. You are the manager of your own career now and therefore you need to keep notes and a track of what you are doing well. Drop highlights of your achievements into conversation or take time to email your team about the goals you have all achieved together. Be somebody who has the energy and vitality to take the time to boost the team´s spirit. As you start to open up and share good energy with other people, it won´t be long before it boomerangs back to you
Remember your next work place is only a click away and they are desperate to have someone like you on board. You don´t need to feel as if you have to hide parts of yourself to be successful. You can have a positive impact on the work world just by being you.
If you need any advice or help about how you can start to shine in the workplace, do get in touch. If you are not working in the right place, don´t be afraid to change. You can make a special impact on the work world and benefit as a result. It is all about you taking that first step and being willing to SHINE.
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