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10 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Job

10 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Job

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    Take a moment for a reality check.  Ask yourself these questions – how many positive answers do you get?

    1. Is what I do really worthwhile? In other words: Does my work make a difference to people?  Does it help people?  Am I adding something of value to the world?  Doing something worthwhile makes us feel worthwhile and can compensate for other shortcomings in the position.

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    2. Do I enjoy my job? Do you you get a buzz from what you do?

    3. Am I learning? If you are still developing and learning in the job then it is an investment of your time.  If you have stopped learning and are repeating experiences then it may be time for a change.

    4. Does this job lead to somewhere I want to go? Is this experience useful in preparing you for something else you might want to do?

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    5. Am I well paid? On an objective assessment are you fairly compensated for what you contribute?

    6. Do I get on with my boss? A difficult boss can make your time at work miserable.  If you answer this question “no”, then see the article ‘What to do if you do not get on with your boss.’

    7. Do I get on with my colleagues? A good social environment and friendly workmates can make up for many other problems at work.

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    8. Am I empowered to be creative and do things my way? This is more important for some people than others.  Does it matter for you?

    9. Is my work/life balance acceptable? Most people would like more time with their families but work is demanding so they accept some kind of balance.  Are you getting at least the minimum free time you need to live your life?

    10. Is my job title prestigious? This really matters to some people but is irrelevant to others.  Do you feel proud when you tell people where you work and what you do?

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    The more yes answers the better. How many did you get? Now rank the questions in importance for you.  For some people doing something really worthwhile is most important while others place greater value on working with friends in a sociable atmosphere.  Compare the yes answers and the no answers. Do the positive answers outweigh the negatives in number and importance?  For example it might be fine to work in a low paid job if it is important to you that you gain the right experience.

    If you have few positive answers and they are not in your top priorities then you should do some soul-searching about what you really want out of life and whether it is time to look for a better job.

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    Paul Sloane

    Professional Keynote Speaker, Author, Innovation Expert

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    Last Updated on June 18, 2019

    15 Ways to Cultivate Continuous Learning for a Sharper Brain

    15 Ways to Cultivate Continuous Learning for a Sharper Brain

    Assuming the public school system didn’t crush your soul, learning is a great activity. It expands your viewpoint. It gives you new knowledge you can use to improve your life. It is important for your personal growth. Even if you discount the worldly benefits, the act of learning can be a source of enjoyment.

    “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

    But in a busy world, it can often be hard to fit in time to learn anything that isn’t essential. The only things learned are those that need to be. Everything beyond that is considered frivolous. Even those who do appreciate the practice of lifelong learning, can find it difficult to make the effort.

    Here are some tips for installing the habit of contiuous learning:

    1. Always have a book

    It doesn’t matter if it takes you a year or a week to read a book. Always strive to have a book that you are reading through, and take it with you so you can read it when you have time.

    Just by shaving off a few minutes in-between activities in my day I can read about a book per week. That’s at least fifty each year.

    2. Keep a “To-Learn” List

    We all have to-do lists. These are the tasks we need to accomplish. Try to also have a “to-learn” list. On it you can write ideas for new areas of study.

    Maybe you would like to take up a new language, learn a skill or read the collective works of Shakespeare. Whatever motivates you, write it down.

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    3. Get More Intellectual Friends

    Start spending more time with people who think. Not just people who are smart, but people who actually invest much of their time in learning new skills. Their habits will rub off on you.

    Even better, they will probably share some of their knowledge with you.

    4. Guided Thinking

    Albert Einstein once said,

    “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.”

    Simply studying the wisdom of others isn’t enough, you have to think through ideas yourself. Spend time journaling, meditating or contemplating over ideas you have learned.

    5. Put it Into Practice

    Skill based learning is useless if it isn’t applied. Reading a book on C++ isn’t the same thing as writing a program. Studying painting isn’t the same as picking up a brush.

    If your knowledge can be applied, put it into practice.

    In this information age, we’re all exposed to a lot of information, it’s important to re-learn how to learn so as to put the knowledge into practice.

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    6. Teach Others

    You learn what you teach. If you have an outlet of communicating ideas to others, you are more likely to solidify that learning.

    Start a blog, mentor someone or even discuss ideas with a friend.

    7. Clean Your Input

    Some forms of learning are easy to digest, but often lack substance.

    I make a point of regularly cleaning out my feed reader for blogs I subscribe to. Great blogs can be a powerful source of new ideas. But every few months, I realize I’m collecting posts from blogs that I am simply skimming.

    Every few months, purify your input to save time and focus on what counts.

    8. Learn in Groups

    Lifelong learning doesn’t mean condemning yourself to a stack of dusty textbooks. Join organizations that teach skills.

    Workshops and group learning events can make educating yourself a fun, social experience.

    9. Unlearn Assumptions

    You can’t add water to a full cup. I always try to maintain a distance away from any idea. Too many convictions simply mean too few paths for new ideas.

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    Actively seek out information that contradicts your worldview.

    Our minds can’t be trusted, but this is what we can do about it to be wiser.

    10. Find Jobs that Encourage Learning

    Pick a career that encourages continual learning. If you are in a job that doesn’t have much intellectual freedom, consider switching to one that does.

    Don’t spend forty hours of your week in a job that doesn’t challenge you.

    11. Start a Project

    Set out to do something you don’t know how. Forced learning in this way can be fun and challenging.

    If you don’t know anything about computers, try building one. If you consider yourself a horrible artist, try a painting.

    12. Follow Your Intuition

    Lifelong learning is like wandering through the wilderness. You can’t be sure what to expect and there isn’t always an end goal in mind.

    Letting your intuition guide you can make self-education more enjoyable. Most of our lives have been broken down to completely logical decisions, that making choices on a whim has been stamped out.

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    13. The Morning Fifteen

    Productive people always wake up early. Use the first fifteen minutes of your morning as a period for education.

    If you find yourself too groggy, you might want to wait a short time. Just don’t put it off later in the day where urgent activities will push it out of the way.

    14. Reap the Rewards

    Learn information you can use. Understanding the basics of programming allows me to handle projects that other people would require outside help. Meeting a situation that makes use of your educational efforts can be a source of pride.

    15 .Make Learning a Priority

    Few external forces are going to persuade you to learn. The desire has to come from within. Once you decide you want to make lifelong learning a habit, it is up to you to make it a priority in your life.

    In fact, you can train your brain to crave lifelong learning! Here’s how to become a lifelong learner:

    How to Train Your Brain to Crave Lifelong Learning (And Why It’s Good)

    More Resources About Continuous Learning

    Featured photo credit: Paul Schafer via unsplash.com

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