“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.”
– Mark Twain
Getting crushed by the daily grind?
You are not alone. A recent Gallup poll showed that 70% of Americans hate their jobs. The scale of dissatisfaction is similar, and sometimes even greater, in every corner of the world.
“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”
– Bruce Lee
Dislike, disinterest, and hatred, like limits, spread into all aspects of our lives. But what sort of way is this to spend our precious existence?
It is no surprise that the top regrets of the dying involve such things as doing what we really want to do (rather than what society expects of us), finding our true passions, taking risks, and touching and inspiring other people’s lives.
One way to break out of the rut of an unrealized life is to learn from those who have realized their dream jobs and actualized their heartfelt goals. How did they succeed? By remembering and reminding themselves of these ever important tips.
1. You are responsible for your life
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.”
– Jim Rohn
Not your boss, not your co-workers, not your parents, not your friends, not your partner. No one else thinks your thoughts. No one else has your emotions. No one else has your ideas. No one else has your dreams. No one else has lived your life.Advertising
If circumstances aren’t ideal, then you are going to have to be the one to make the first change.
Action: Take stock of your situation.
Get a pen and paper and ask yourself the following questions; How do you feel about all aspects of your life? Don’t try to sugar coat anything; face the reality of the pain and write it down.
How do you feel about your working life? Your family life? Your social life?
This exercise will help you get clear on where the problems are, and what you don’t want to continue into the future.
2. You can make a change
“Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.”
– Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister
If you are waiting for the right time, you may be waiting a long time! Making big changes can be intimidating, so why not start by making the best of the circumstances that you find yourself in? Start wiggling, and you will find that you have far more wiggle room where you are than you realize.
Action: Make a small change.
This could be anything from going to a different place for lunch, to joining that gym you were thinking about. Even the smallest change can remind you of your power to change conditions, as well as make life more enjoyable.
3. Face your fears
“Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while, ‘Is this the condition that I feared?’”
– Seneca, Roman Statesman
Often we live on auto-pilot, unconsciously motivated by our latent background of primal fears like starvation, homelessness and abandonment. Fears that, in truth, are highly unlikely in our age of the world.
We are no longer living in small survivalist groups in the desert, but alongside millions of other people in the midst of industrial levels of production and social safety nets.
Action: Remember, what is the worst thing that could happen?
What are you afraid of? What is the nightmare scenario that you want to avoid? If you took a risk to follow your dreams and failed, what would happen?
Take the time to think about these worst possible outcomes and write them all down. Later, review them and work out what you would do in those hypothetical situations. You will be surprised how the energy of worry turns into the energy of resolution to overcome.
To first conquer fear, we must first define it.
4. Avoid distress, seek eustress
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
– Neale Donald Walsch
Lifestyle designer, angel investor and New York Times bestselling author Timothy Ferriss – of The 4-Hour Work Week fame – advises us to recognize the difference between distress and eustress.
Distress, is the kind of stress which brings us down, disempowers us, and makes us ill. Being abused, unappreciated, overworked; all that kind of stuff. Eustress, on the other hand, is to distress what euphoria is to dysphoria.
Eustress is constructive stress; the kind of stress an athlete encounters during training, a businessperson experiences during continuing education or a musician during performing. It is the stimulus necessary for vibrant growth.
Action: Discover where you are not getting enough eustress.Advertising
In what areas of your life are you not challenged? Or not growing through lack of action or experience?
5. Reconnect with your passion
“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
What would you do, if you could get paid to do anything? Our passions are often muted, buried beneath of a lifetime of being told “what we must do” and of telling ourselves “what we must do”.
Those who have their dream job are invariably coming from a different place. What do I like to do? What skills do I want to use? What am I good at?
Action: Write down your dreams.
If you were guaranteed not to fail, what would you do with your life? Don’t worry about practicality, just write down the fantasy. Time, money and circumstances are no object.
6. Set goals
“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”
– Tony Robbins
One of the primary causes of drifting aimlessly is lack of just that; aim!
While refusal to set goals can offer a psychological crutch against failure, it equally provides a barrier against success. Want to visit Timbuktu? Get a ticket to Timbuktu. Want to achieve something? Set it as a goal!
Actions: Create a set of goals.Advertising
Look at your written list of dreams. Convert them into a “Be”, “Do” and “Have” manifesto. What would I like to have? Who would I like to be? What would I like to do?
They key here is that “having” is not the first point. Instead, “being” and “doing” come first. When we are being who we really are, and doing what we really want to do, the having comes naturally.
7. Time waits for no one
“If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.”
– Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee’s death at the young age of 32 underlines this point, as does his life of exceptional achievement. Thankfully for the world, Bruce Lee didn’t waist his potential, and we are all enriched because of this. The opportunities you have today may not always be available – so begin!
Don’t put it off ’till tomorrow. Take at least one concrete step towards one of your goals today.
8. Avoid Adult Onset ADD
“It’s time to have fun and let the rest follow.”
– Tim Ferriss
What is ADD? Adventure Deficit Disorder. Like hating your job, a disease that affects far too many adults today. But thankfully, it is curable! The prescription is simply to do more interesting and exciting things. After all, what motivates us to find our dream jobs but the things that they allow us to do?
Action: Have more fun!
The best way to avoid the backwards mentality of “I’ll grit my teeth and bear my job until I can afford to do cool things” is to actually start doing the cool things now. In this way, we can break out of the limpet survival mentality and reconnect with the passions that really drive us.Advertising
Pick anyone who has realized their dream jobs and ask if their path of success measures up to these eight points. Tony Robbins? Bruce Lee? Tim Ferriss? Oprah Winfrey? Steve Jobs? Even Confucius? If it works for them, it will surely work for you. Good luck!
Featured photo credit: www.flickr.com via flickr.com
Last Updated on October 13, 2020
How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position
Have you been stuck in the same position for too long and don’t really know how to get promoted and advance your career?
Feeling stuck could be caused by a variety of things:
- Taking a job for the money
- Staying with an employer that no longer aligns with your values
- Realizing that you landed yourself in the wrong career
- Not feeling valued or feeling underutilized
- Taking a position without a full understanding of the role
There are many other reasons why you may be feeling this way, but let’s focus instead on learning what to do now in order to get unstuck and get promoted
One of the best ways to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization. Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or do some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrate added value?
Let’s dive right in to how to get promoted when you feel stuck in your current position.
1. Be a Mentor
When I supervised students, I used to warm them — tongue in cheek, of course — about getting really good at their job.
“Be careful not to get too good at this, or you’ll never get to do anything else.”
This was my way of pestering them to take on additional challenges or think outside the box, but there is definitely some truth in doing something so well that your manager doesn’t trust anyone else to do it.
This can get you stuck.
Jo Miller of Be Leaderly shares this insight on when your boss thinks you’re too valuable in your current job:
“Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role…You became known for doing your job so well that you built up some strong ‘personal brand’ equity, and people know you as the go-to-person for this particular job. That’s what we call ‘a good problem to have’: you did a really good job of building a positive perception about your suitability for the role, but you may have done ‘too’ good of a job!”
With this in mind, how do you prove to your employer that you can add value by being promoted?
From Miller’s insight, she talks about building your personal brand and becoming known for doing a particular job well. So how can you link that work with a position or project that will earn you a promotion?
Consider leveraging your strengths and skills.
Let’s say that the project you do so well is hiring and training new entry-level employees. You have to post the job listing, read and review resumes, schedule interviews, make hiring decisions, and create the training schedules. These tasks require skills such as employee relations, onboarding, human resources software, performance management, teamwork, collaboration, customer service, and project management. That’s a serious amount of skills!
Are there any team members who can perform these skills? Try delegating and training some of your staff or colleagues to learn your job. There are a number of reasons why this is a good idea:
- Cross-training helps in any situation in the event that there’s an extended illness and the main performer of a certain task is out for a while.
- As a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower them to increase their job skills.
- You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job and creating team players.
Now that you’ve trained others to do that work for which you have been so valued, you can see about re-requesting that promotion. Explain how you have saved the company money, encouraged employees to increase their skills, or reinvented that project of yours.
2. Work on Your Mindset
Another reason you may feel stuck in a position is explained through this quote:
“If you feel stuck at a job you used to love, it’s normally you—not the job—who needs to change. The position you got hired for is probably the exact same one you have now. But if you start to dread the work routine, you’re going to focus on the negatives.”
In this situation, you should pursue a conversation with your supervisor and share your thoughts and feelings to help you learn how to get promoted. You can probably get some advice on how to rediscover the aspects of that job you enjoyed, and negotiate either some additional duties or a chance to move up.
Don’t express frustration. Express a desire for more.
Present your case and show your boss or supervisor that you want to be challenged, and you want to move up. You want more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and the positive mindset you’ve cultivated.
3. Improve Your Soft Skills
When was the last time you put focus and effort into upping your game with those soft skills? I’m talking about those seemingly intangible things that make you the experienced professional in your specific job skills.
According to research, improving soft skills can boost productivity and retention 12 percent and deliver a 250 percent return on investment based on higher productivity and retention. Those are only some of the benefits for both you and your employer when you want to learn how to get promoted.
You can hone these skills and increase your chances of promotion into a leadership role by taking courses or seminars.
Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor. There are dozens of online courses being presented by entrepreneurs and authors about these very subjects. Udemy and Creative Live both feature online courses at very reasonable prices. And some come with completion certificates for your portfolio!
Another way to improve your soft skills is by connecting with an employee at your organization who has a position similar to the one you want.
Express your desire to move up in the organization, and ask to shadow that person or see if you can sit in on some of their meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what their secret is! Take copious notes, and then immerse yourself in the learning.
The key here is not to copy your new mentor. Rather, you want to observe, learn, and then adapt according to your strengths.
4. Develop Your Strategy
Do you even know specifically why you want to learn how to get promoted? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one-year, five-year, or ten-year plan for your career path? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what”?
Sit down and make an old-fashioned pro and con list.
Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?
Look at your lists and choose the most exciting pros and the most frustrating cons. Do those two pros make the cons worth it? If you can’t answer that question with a “yes,” then getting promoted at your current organization may not be what you really want.
The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. —Mark Twain
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Why do you do what you do?
- What thrills you about your current job role or career?
- What does a great day look like?
- What does success look and feel like beyond the paycheck?
- How do you want to feel about your impact on the world when you retire?
These questions would be great to reflect on in a journal or with your supervisor in your next one-on-one meeting. Or, bring it up with one of your work friends over coffee.
After considering all of these points and doing your best to learn how to get promoted, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. Then, you can set yourself on the path of moving up where you are, or moving on to something different.
Because sometimes the real promotion is finding your life’s purpose.
More Tips on How to Get Promoted
- How to Ask for a Promotion and Move up the Career Ladder
- What are the Real Reasons People Get Promoted and Others Don’t?
- 14 Signs Of People Who Advance Rapidly In Their Careers
Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com
|||^||Be Leaderly: Ask Jo: Stuck! When you’re too valuable to be promoted.|
|||^||Forbes: 3 Ways To Reconnect With Your Job When You Feel Stuck|
|||^||The Balance Careers: Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: What’s the Difference?|
|||^||University of Michigan: Soft skills training boosts productivity|
|||^||GoalCast: Finding Your Why: How to Discover Your Professional Purpose|