Feeling Miserable In Your Job? 3 Ways To Find Meaning

September 13, 2017

“I don’t think I can do my job anymore,” a client told me one day. “I just can’t take it anymore.”

It wasn’t that she hated her job, couldn’t do her job or had received poor feedback from her manager. “Annie” had become despondent at what she felt was the monotony of her work. Every day for the last seven years she had gotten out of bed and gone to her job as a patient care coordinator at a Seattle medical facility.

“It’s the same thing over and over, day after day. All my days seem to blend together into one boring blur of activity,” she said. “I feel like my life doesn’t have a purpose. Like I’m sleepwalking through my days at work.”

My heart went out to her because I had also experienced similar feelings about jobs at different points in my career. Each time this happened, I gravitated back to a book I had read at a young age, Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl. Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s Why You’re Being Micromanaged

September 6, 2017

When you’re frustrated with your boss, it can be easy to place the blame on him or her, calling them a micromanager.

But often, the situation is more complicated than you might think – and it can be helpful if you turn a critical eye on yourself first. That’s the situation my client was in. Read the rest of this entry »

Bid to impress at work backfires – now what?

August 23, 2017

“I’m not sure what to do,” my client told me. “I wanted to show that I was a team player in my new role, so I’ve been taking on more and more projects.”

“Kate” set her coffee down and rubbed her blood-shot eyes, shaking her head.

“Now I feel like I’ve dug myself into a hole I can’t get out of, because there just isn’t enough time to get everything done. I’m drowning.”

Kate had started a new job a few months ago and, wanting to do well, she showed her eagerness to take on additional work and participate in lots of projects. On the positive side, this had given her the opportunity to get to know many employees and demonstrate her skills to her manager.

On the downside, in the process of trying to become well-liked, she had overextended herself. Now she was behind schedule on several projects. Her likeability factor was sliding, because she was the hold-up for a few high-visibility projects. Read the rest of this entry »

Why You Should Stop Trying To ‘Fake It Till You Make It’

August 16, 2017

They seem to be almost everywhere on the Internet these days – articles explaining how you can fake your way to success.

There are tips on ways to look smarter than you really are, how to look more important during meetings, how to sound like you know what you’re talking about (even when you don’t), and how you can show authority by striking a power pose or taking up more physical space during meetings.

But here’s the thing, faking it will never get you the career success as quickly as hard work and a career development plan. Because faking it leaves out the most critical part of the equation: Effort. Read the rest of this entry »

Stop Boasting About Always Being Busy – It’s Detrimental To Your Health

August 2, 2017

Being busy can be good. It can mean you’re being productive and getting things done. It can also be bad and signify that you’re taking on too many activities and not giving yourself enough breathing room to relax and rest.

My client ran into the Starbucks 30 minutes late for our career coaching session. Again. I looked up and raised one eyebrow at him as he sat down across from me.

“What? I was working on a really important project,” he said. “I couldn’t just leave.”

This wasn’t a one-time incident. He had rescheduled multiple appointments and arrived late several other times. Each time, his response was not an apology. Instead, he would boast about how busy he was and brag about how much time he was spending on all of his work projects. Read the rest of this entry »

You Can Improve Your Work Relationships By Stealing A Page From Customer Service

June 21, 2017

meeting-2284501_150Customer experience management isn’t a new concept, but it’s one that gained increasing popularity during the Great Recession, when companies realized how much they needed loyal customers.

To keep existing customers and gain new ones, companies began analyzing their interactions with customers. What many organizations found was surprising.

“In the early days of customer experience as a field, we realized that many companies weren’t very intentional in how they approached customer experience,” recalled Tabitha Dunn, now vice president of customer experience at Concur, a business travel and expense management software company based in Bellevue. “The main focus was on creating products and services that customers would purchase and very little time was spent on the quality of those customer interactions.” Read the rest of this entry »

Are You A People Manager? Here Are The 2 Skills Your Employees Say You Need To Improve

June 7, 2017

Young businessman looking at tired colleagues during conference meetingYou’re a people manager – and you believe you’re good at it. But do you really know what your employees think about your management skills?

According to a survey by Robert Half Management Resources, communication and diplomacy are the skills workers say their boss needs to improve most.

In the survey, workers were asked, “Which skill do you think your manager needs to improve most?” Nearly one in three employees (30 percent) rated their boss lowest in communication and diplomacy skills. The next lowest rated skill was technical expertise (18 percent) followed by leadership (17 percent) and strategic thinking (14 percent). Read the rest of this entry »