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 »

New People Manager? Define Which Kind You Intend To Be

August 30, 2017

Excited because you were just promoted into a people manager role? Congrats. Now you’ll want to think about the type of manager you’d like to be.

Many people don’t do this. They jump from individual contributor to people manager, diving into the new job responsibilities.

That’s not always a bad thing, but it can help you in the long run if you take a little time to consider the types of managers you’ve had and to define the kind of people manager you intend to be. 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 »

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 »

Want To Be Successful At Anything? Cultivate The Skill Of Mindfulness

June 12, 2017

meditation-1837347_150Hearing the term “mindfulness” might conjure up a smiling guru sitting peacefully in a quiet, meditative posture. But mindfulness is no longer just for gurus. Mindfulness is a skill you can cultivate to help you be successful in anything you do.

A wide range of companies, including Intel, Google, Target, General Mills and Aetna, have embraced mindfulness programs, believing the courses will have a positive impact on their employees and on their bottom line.

Universities are also encouraging the practice of mindfulness. David Mick is a marketing professor at the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce who teaches a “Wisdom and Well-Being” course that equips business students with philosophical concepts and mindfulness practices that can improve their professional and personal lives. Each week, students apply readings on philosophy and mindfulness to business cases and to their lives. Read the rest of this entry »