Monday, May 16, 2011

If you don't design your career, someone else will


When is the last time you took an honest look at what you do and asked yourself – do I love what I do? I bet many of you can say you at least like what you do, but what would it take for you to love what you do? Well, it’s tough to find that out without doing a little self-assessment.

Today was a day inspired by Ted, not my friend Ted, rather TED – those ideas worth spreading. Nigel Marsh, the author of “Fat, Forty and Fired,” rode the exercise bike with me this morning, fitting as the topic was the elusiveness of work-life balance. His comment “I found it quite easy to balance work and life, when I didn’t have any work” says a lot...

Why is it that so many people wait for some major life event – missing that promotion, getting fired, having a child, losing a loved one - before they take the time to assess whether what they are doing is fulfilling? The reasons for this are many and varied. The one that pops to mind most easily is this – things are just so busy that there’s “no time” to take a breath. I’m here to remind you of this fact: if you don’t stop to take the breath, no one else is going to do it for you.

If you don’t stop for a moment to ask yourself: “what is it that I love (or even like) about what I’m doing?” you might find yourself doing more of what they want you to do versus what you want you to do. This is a signal that our work and life balance is out of alignment. But, if you never stop to look, you may never notice…

There are many great tools out there to help you make this assessment. One of my favorite tools is the Mojo Scorecard, introduced and designed by Marshall Goldsmith. This tool gives you a quantitative way to measure what you bring to your job and what your job brings to you – two key ingredients in success and happiness at work. For most people, doing a job for which they don’t bring much is generally not very rewarding, but at the same time doing a job for which you are incredibly skilled, but lack the interest to use those skills can be equally or even more dissatisfying.

Once you can get handle on what’s important for you, you can start to craft your role (or find a new one) so that you are doing more of what you love and less of what you don’t.Use this tool, or any tool you like, to start taking control of your work – otherwise someone else will.

Have you found the job that allows you to have your ideal balanced day or maximize your Mojo? Share it with us!

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