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How to Love Mondays

How to Love Mondays

It’s possible to absolutely love Mondays. It’s possible to love them so much, that when your alarm clock wakes you up before the crack of dawn every Monday morning, that you jump out of bed on fire to start your work day. Now before you think I’ve had too much coffee and have gone totally crazy, I want you to know that I’ve been in your shoes.

I’ve had the Sunday night blues. I’ve had the nervous, dreadful feeling while getting ready for work on Monday morning. I’ve felt trapped in the 9-5 daily grind, hamster-wheel life that I thought I was ‘supposed’ to live. That was before I took massive action, over and over, to find and do work that I absolutely love, and create a career that lights me up.

It takes a lot of work, but it’s possible to do work that ignites your life and makes you feel incredibly on fire. Here’s how to love Mondays:

1. Streamline your life

One reason some people feel stuck and dissatisfied with their lives and careers is that the 9-5 isn’t exactly 9-5. In fact, it’s more like 8-6. Then, after work, it’s the daily responsibilities of life before lying down, exhausted, at the end of the day. And then repeat. Day after day, for 40 years.

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One of the best ways to start making your life more enjoyable is to streamline your life. Start getting rid of the empty activities: those time-sucking activities that don’t add any value to your life. Start making your daily tasks as efficient as possible, and delegate what you can hand off to someone else. When you streamline your daily tasks, you can create more time in your day to do the things you love. By maximizing the time you have to do things that light you up, life feels much more fulfilling and less like a hamster wheel.

2. Become a self-expert

In order to love Mondays, it’s important to have a strong understanding of who you are. When you really know what lights you up, what your innate strengths are, what type of work environment your personality type thrives in, and what kind of work schedule makes you feel energized, then you can choose a career path that aligns with these traits.

On your quest to become a self-expert, it’s important to know that clarity comes from taking action. Experiment with the parts of your work days that you have control over at in your current job. Can you vary your work hours, your work location, the order in which you accomplish your tasks, or who you’re working alongside? Take action and make some little changes in your work days.

Then pay attention to how you feel. Are you more energized, or feeling more drained? The more you take action, the more you’ll understand what type of work environment helps you feel fulfilled.

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3. Do work you’re passionate about

It’s hard to love Mondays if you feel like you’re doing meaningless work. When you’re passionate about your work, however, your job becomes much more than a paycheck. When you feel on fire about the work you do, your career becomes very fulfilling and you can make a big impact. If you’re not sure what you’re passionate about, check out this free workbook to help you find your passion.

4. Choose a career that fits into your ideal life

Most people choose a career path, then try to fit their lives around their career. They cram their personal lives into the few hours they have outside of work during evenings and weekends, and this time gets whittled away as they climb the corporate ladder.

I want you to do things differently. I want you to think about your ideal life, and choose a career path that fits well into the lifestyle and schedule you desire. Do you want a flexible schedule, or a set schedule? Do you want to go to work at a big company, surrounded by a lot of interesting people every day, or do you prefer to work somewhere smaller or independently?

Do you want to work at a set location, or do you prefer to travel for work, or even be able to work from anywhere? In your ideal career, do your work duties vary significantly and you work as a jack-of-all-trades, or are you an expert at one specific topic? In your ideal life, how many hours per week are you working?

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When you choose a career that aligns with your overall dreams about your life, Mondays become a lot more awesome.

5. Use each day to become the best possible version of you

Maybe your work isn’t incredibly enjoyable. As you’re working toward an exit plan, use the time at your current job to become the best possible version of you. Do you want to develop your leadership skills? Ask to be in charge of a new initiative, plan an upcoming company party, or become a mentor to a newbie.

Do you want to get in better shape? Start a walking club at lunch with your coworkers. Use that time to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and enjoy non work-related conversations. Do you want to improve your communication skills? Practice speaking up during meetings, and work on being an active listener.

When you start focusing on being the best possible version of you during your workdays, you start creating a positive environment, which can affect others around you too. This can lead to better Mondays for not only you, but your coworkers too.

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We spent many hours of the best years of our lives at our jobs. When you follow these strategies, it can help make your Mondays, and your entire weeks, much more enjoyable.

Featured photo credit: Eli DeFaria / www.unsplash.com via hd.unsplash.com

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Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

More About Continuous Growth

Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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