|The Secrets to Career Fulfillment|
Come Monday morning, employees can yearn for the upcoming weekend and feel unmotivated and unhappy. However, research shows having a positive attitude about the week can greatly increase the success level and feeling of content for employees. In a survey of 850,000 people conducted by The Conference Board—a research group—researchers found those satisfied with their jobs tend to start the week off energized and motivated. Below are a few things fulfilled employees do differently.
Cut Back on the Small Talk
Matthias Mehl, a psychology professor at the University of Arizona, found people who engage in deep discussions, as opposed to small talk, are happier. This is because human beings are driven to find and create meaning in their lives. People who are more talkative can make themselves happier and more successful by focusing their discussions on substantive work issues and cutting back on short, meaningless conversations. You should strive to incorporate just one more thoughtful conversation each day regarding a work issue and avoid at least one small-chatter session.
Avoid People Who Complain
Typically, there tends to be a group of people who complain about many aspects of their employing organization. However, complaining with no solution in mind is a dangerous habit. Sometimes just thinking more positively can create a better outlook on your position and organization. Search out ways to be authentically positive such as praising a coworker’s accomplishment or a team’s achievement of project goals.
Make Every Assignment a Challenge
Start looking at each large project not only as a way to get things done but as an opportunity to learn and expand your skill set. Doing more than what is required, such as researching industry trends related to the project, talking with colleagues for best practices and creating innovative ideas, can improve both your project and your organization. The amount and quality of work you contribute to your company will likely be valued, and even on the slim chance it’s not, intrinsically you will feel better about yourself by knowing you gave a project your all.
Find a Strong Mentor
Every great employee needs that extra push to acknowledge what he or she is truly capable of. This typically means finding someone who can instruct, guide and push you to be your best. Obtaining a mentor, whether that be a boss, senior colleague or even a family member, can help you to excel in your work. To find someone who will be the most beneficial to you, ensure there is trust in the relationship, the proposed mentor has sufficient time and there is good chemistry. Once a mentorship is created, ask the coach to help you understand what success looks like; and have him assess your strengths and weaknesses and define the next steps in your career.
Some people looking for lifetime fulfillment will leave their jobs or stray from a secure path in order to find themselves. However, before jumping ship, a recommended strategy is to trying to bring a purpose to your current role. Take a long look at your position and find what differences you could make in your role or what you could do to challenge yourself more. Have regular conversations with managers, peers, family members and mentors who can give a valuable opinion. Also consider activities outside of work such as volunteering or new hobbies to obtain greater fulfilment.
—Adapted from “5 Stealth Ways to Make Monday Better,” by Chester Elton, www.inc.com