What have you done for you lately?

While you may not be a Mother Teresa or a Fransiscan monk, you may be so focused solving others’ problems, taking the business to the next level, or exceeding expectations on the job,  that you are ignoring job #1…taking care of YOU.

For years I thought if I did a great job others will recognize it and reward me. And guess what?  It worked well for a while. I got offers, promotions and raises. Then I realized I wasn’t getting the roles that I wanted. I was doing what others needed at that point in time. And typically it was more of the same. It just looked different. I wasn’t growing professionally. I wasn’t doing the things I wanted to do and that I knew fit my skills and disposition. And by the way, the raises I was getting weren’t bringing me to the level of some others. I was so busy doing great things for the business that I had no energy left for taking care of myself. I wasn’t applying the same business planning sense to my career and my health. So I took control and it worked!

Do it now while you still have time

In my coaching business I see it so often. An executive reaches a point in their career but hasn’t really thought about what he or she really wants. Sometimes they are in roles that happened by accident and they discover years later that they really aren’t enjoying their job. They have to work harder to stay on top  because this is not where their strengths lie. They intuitively KNOW this is not the role for them. But they have a mortgage, kids in school, memberships, status, a spouse who is counting on them, some expensive habits. After so many years it’s too late to change their profession. So the treadmill continues. And it’s getting faster and steeper with fewer breaks.

We see it all around us. It’s evident with higher stress in the workplace such as, short tempers, illness, gamesmanship, even backstabbing. Out of work executives realize that their skills are not really transferable to other companies because they were unique to the company they just left. In fact maybe their skills are not up to date even for the role they had.

Is this you now? Will this be you in a few years?

What have you done for you lately?

Here’s a couple of suggestions:

  1. Step back from your job and examine where you spend your time. Is it on the essential critical aspects of your role or are you being sucked into urgent but not important activities? Are you doing the things that only you can do? What will make a difference a year from now?
  2. List the best times of your life. When were you most successful? What were you doing? What did you enjoy the most? Keep updating your list. After a couple of weeks read it and you will see a pattern emerge that will tell you what you are good at and what you enjoy. How do you get more of that into your job? This sounds simplistic and maybe even silly…. BUT  you will be amazed at the insights you get.
  3. Based on your inventory think about what kinds of roles are your ideal ones and what skills you need. Comparing where you are now and where you want to be, identify the skills you need to use more often, less often or add to your arsenal. Think: “why would I hire me?”
  4. Ask others “When you think of me what is the first thing you think of?”. It may be an eye opener. They may have a different impression than yours. Use what you learn.
  5. Write down the 2-3 things that you want to accomplish for you over the next 12 months. By just writing it down you have a better chance of actually accomplishing them. Do it.

Well, this is a fairly basic list. Nothing earth shattering or even ground breaking. However as you probably have noticed the best solutions are often the most simple. Try it now. If not completely satisfied you’ll get your money back.

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