Get What You Want Out of Your Work Life
I wouldn’t wish a serious illness, death of a loved one, divorce, or the loss of a job on anyone. But those who have first-hand knowledge of these emotional upheavals know that these experiences cause us look inside ourselves to reassess our values and priorities. Do we have to wait for such an event to analyze what we want and how to get it? Of course not.
During coaching sessions with my clients, I hear recurring themes when I ask “What would you change to make your work life better?” Here is how I respond to those issues.
I want a boss who appreciates me. Your boss is only half the relationship. You are the other half and the only part over which you have control. We can’t change other people. Some bosses don’t praise. They feel the employment, pay, and benefits they offer show appreciation. So work on changing your expectations. In other words, expect no verbal praise. Do your job spectacularly. Demonstrate commitment and enthusiasm to your coworkers and clients. Improve your value to your boss and your company. Praise from your boss will come in the form he or she is comfortable with bonuses and raises. And you may even find a sincere pat on the back to accompany your success.
I want a boss who communicates with me. We have extra challenges today with so many employees working in offices separate from their bosses. In addition, everyone has a preferred method of communication. Some people work better talking things over. Others like to see the issues in writing, take time to think about them, then have the discussion or get back to the other person in writing. Talk with your manager about what form of communication works best for him or her. Also, set up planned meeting times to review and discuss several issues at once. By avoiding random and frequent interruptions, employees will most likely find their bosses more attentive and responsive.
I want work to be less stressful. People hate to hear me say this we create most of our own stress. Are you guilty of any of these personal stress triggers? Do you arrive at work exactly at starting time, allow no time to get settled, and have people waiting and phones ringing? Do you complain about issues you can’t control instead of adapting to them or responsibly working to change the situation? Do you allow your personal life to influence your attitude and performance at work? Do you judge others instead of accepting them for who they are? Is your work quality below standards causing errors and double work? Identify the circumstances that cause you tension and eliminate them.
I want a more challenging job. Here’s how I handled my own challenge on that issue fifteen years ago. I was in a marketing position with a major corporation. I felt I could do the job in my sleep (except for the driving part). Instead of becoming bored and stale, I asked the customers I was dealing with what else I could do for them. Several told me they could use some help developing professionalism and customer service in their businesses. On my own, I researched sources of information, education platforms, and my customers’ specific needs. Then I approached my boss and said, “Would you mind if I incorporate people development sessions in my regular customer visits?” My great boss said, “Go get ’em, tiger.” My territory sales shot up, I learned new skills, and my customers were getting more than they expected from me and my company.
Before you decide your job isn’t challenging enough, look into what more you can do for your customers or coworkers. Is there a new product or service to become expert in? Can you educate and train new employees? Can you conduct training sessions for your customers on how better to use what you sell to them? Seek out opportunities to personally grow — you never know where it will lead.
I want to earn more money. The 4:00 AM infomercials try to persuade us that we all can make a million without leaving home, if we own a computer, in only thirty hours a week. By 4:05 AM we should realize the only people making money on those promises are the folks selling the program. I may be old fashioned, but the only way to earn more money is with more education, improved skills, smart work habits, and the commitment and discipline to reach your goals. First, establish your financial goals. In what position can you earn that income level? What knowledge and skills qualify you for those responsibilities? How can you gain access to education? Search for information that will enable you to meet your income and career goals.
Don’t wait for a life-changing experience to get what you want out of your work life. Knowing that all change begins with you should clear the way for you to make great things happen in your life.
Emily Huling Selling Strategies, Inc. P.O. Box 200 Terrell, NC 28682
Phone: 888-309-8802 Fax: 888-309-7355