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5 Reasons Why You Should Be Grateful

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Grateful

Be Grateful.

“The root of joy is gratefulness” – David Steindl-Rast

Gratitude is a seed that multiplies once planted. It grows and leads to transformation. I am amazed by the power of gratitude not only within the soul but beyond as well. In my coaching practice, I preach and encourage my clients to imbibe the art of gratitude on a consistent basis.

Personally, every month, I practice the art of gratitude by placing phone calls, or sending email, text or voice messages to mentors, coaches, and key members of my network to acknowledge, appreciate, and honor them.

This conscious effort acknowledges the past, without compromising the present. This small act influences the future by keeping the lines of communication open for future possibilities and opportunities.

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Here are 5 reasons why you should be grateful:

  1. Gratitude softens hearts
  2. Gratitude uplifts the soul and spirit
  3. Gratitude transforms the giver and receiver
  4. Gratitude is free
  5. Gratitude is a gift that keeps on giving (it literally takes on a life of its own)

To amplify the importance of gratitude, I will share a personal story of my 1st annual performance review. This performance review after so many years remains indelible on my mind for a few reasons but most especially for the lesson of gratitude.

Annual Review

When I started out in my career, like many, I was a ‘raw’, hard working, and driven individual. I was of the opinion that the mantra of “working hard” and letting the rest fall into place was sufficient.

So I just worked hard.
Whatever I was asked to do, I did.

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When the annual performance review rolled around, I was confident that I had done what was sufficient for a promotion. I submitted my review and anticipated the best news possible. So, imagine my utmost shock when I was informed I didn’t deserve a promotion and had to settle for a meager 3% merit increase.

Is this a joke, I wondered, a 3% increase? It’s been a while and can’t recall to whom I directed the bulk of anger but I was livid. Upset enough that my lips trembled and I had to fight the natural impulse to make a scene. However, I wanted to leave the room without acknowledging the feedback or saying thank you. But, I knew better and mumbled a half-hearted “Thank You” and left.

The day after…

Overnight, I gained some perspective and reminded myself of life’s gifts including my good fortune of a promising job in a great organization. I dragged myself back into my manager’s office and I reiterated what I thought I heard about my career, acknowledged my manager’s feedback and uttered a more thoughtful thank you. I think I said something along these lines “…thank you for your feedback and the bonus you administered on behalf of the company yesterday.

I didn’t stop there…

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I went to my manager’s boss and said, something similar and along the same lines. I think I said, “Thank you for the feedback and the bonus that was administered (assigned, would probably be more accurate) yesterday.

A Life of Its Own

So, back to the story, it was the shell-shocked look on their faces that gave it away. I knew I had just performed an act that is extremely rare. That was my first lesson on Brand Differentiation. Remember that:

“If you do something different, you will get noticed.”

By stepping out and acting different, I separated myself from others and my actions took on a life of their own. My action opened doors and gave me unlimited access to my manager’s boss which eventually transitioned into a monthly mentoring lunch and much more. A habit I have maintained till date on my journey. Within that new year, I gained new allies, sponsors, and mentors that led to open doors and more opportunities in the office.

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I want to encourage you to develop a “Gratitude Strategy” as well.

  • Develop an attitude of gratitude
  • Say “Thank You” often
  • Take the time to craft a simple note to those who have helped you at work, school, business, and life

These are little things, but experts agree that in life and relationships, the little things matter. I want to challenge you to try gratitude. It might feel odd at first but give it a try. Trust me, the effect and results are out of this world.

More by this author

Dr. Flo

Executive Director, Hybrid Leadership Institute

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Last Updated on February 20, 2019

How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

How to Get Promoted When You Feel Stuck in Your Current Position

Are you 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
  • Staying in a role too long out of fear
  • Taking a position without a full understanding of the role

There are many, many other reasons why you may be feeling this way but let’s focus instead on getting unstuck.

As in – getting promoted.

So how to get promoted?

I’m of the opinion that the best way to get promoted is by showing how you add value to your organization.

Did you make money, save money, improve a process, or some other amazing thing? How else might you demonstrated added value?

Let’s dive right in 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.

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“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 reality 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:[1]

“Think back to a time when you really enjoyed your current role. I bet there was a time when this job was a stretch for you, and you stepped up to the challenge and performed like a rock star. 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?

In 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 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, making 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!

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Is there anyone else on your team 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:

  1. 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.
  2. In becoming a mentor to a supervisee or colleague, you empower then to increase their job skills.
  3. You are already beginning to demonstrate that added value to your employer by encouraging your team or peers to learn your job.

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. Be ready to 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 well explained by Ashley Stahl in her Forbes article. Shahl talks about mindset, and says:[2]

“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. 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.

Share with your supervisor that you want to be challenged and you want to move up. You are seeking more responsibility in order to continue moving the company forward. Focus on how you can do that with the skills you have and will develop with some additional projects and coaching.

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:

An article on Levo.com suggests that more than 60 percent of employers look at soft skills when making a hiring decision.[3]

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You can bone up on these skills and increase your chances of promotion by taking courses or seminars.

And you don’t necessarily need to request funding from your supervisor, either. 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 the position you are seeking.

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 her meetings. Offer to take that individual out for coffee and ask what her secret is! Take copious notes and then immerse yourself in the learning.

The key here is not to copy your new mentor (think Jennifer Jason Leigh in “Single White Female.” Just kidding). Rather, you want to observe, learn and then adapt according to your strengths. And don’t forget to thank that person for their time.

4. Develop Your Strategy

Do you even know specifically WHY you want to be promoted anyway? Do you see a future at this company? Do you have a one year, five year, or ten year plan? How often do you consider your “why” and insure that it aligns with your “what?”

Sit down and do an old-fashioned Pro and Con list. Two columns:

Pro’s on one side, Con’s on the other.

Write down every positive aspect of your current job and then every negative one. Which list is longer? Are there any themes present?

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Look at your lists and choose the most exciting Pro’s and the most frustrating Con’s. Do those two Pro’s make the Con’s 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

Mel Carson writes about this on Goalcast that many other authors and speakers have written about finding your professional purpose.[4]

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Why is it that 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 like beyond the paycheck?
  • What does real success feel like for you?
  • 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 Vital Work Friends over coffee.

See, what you might find is that being stuck is your choice. And 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. And like Mastercard says, that’s Priceless.

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Razvan Chisu via unsplash.com

Reference

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