In 7 years of career coaching, I’ve learned one simple truth that can change your whole world: it’s not your job, or your company, or your boss — it’s you.
You control your happiness.
Now before you close this down disgusted, hear me out.
I talked the other day about job descriptions being static and humans being dynamic and that the greatest thing you can do is to be dynamic in a static job. Let me add to that:
Satisfaction at work comes from congruence and the resulting energy — when you do what you do best you feel energy from doing it and, thus, satisfied. Congruence comes from authenticity — or being more of who you are and less of who you aren’t — and authenticity comes from self-knowledge. And who controls self-knowledge? You.
“But my job doesn’t align with my strengths!” Of course it doesn’t — it wasn’t written for your strengths. It was written for a nameless, faceless, generic individual and you chose the job. It’s now on you to bring yourself to it and make it great.
“But my boss doesn’t get me and micromanages.” Nine times out of 10 your boss doesn’t get you because you don’t even get you. You don’t know you well enough to help them see you in a different way. They micromanage because either 1) they don’t know what you do well and what you don’t and, therefore, how to manage you, 2) they don’t know themselves as a leader and so they lean on industrial-era management or techniques learned from a TV show, or 3) they don’t see you doing your job (which you aren’t doing because you don’t enjoy it because you aren’t bringing your whole self to it) and so they don’t know what else to do. Or all three.
You have the power to change it. And the key is:
1) get clear about who you are and what you do best
2) get clear about the outcomes or expectations in your job, and…
3) figure out how to get those outcomes by doing what you do best.
Number 3 is the tough part, but you can do it. Trust me. It takes some creativity, human ingenuity, reflection, and effort but if you really want to figure out how to do more of what you love in a finite structure you can do it.
Oh, but one word of caution: As with most things that matter, the payoff is gradual over time. You might feel an immediate reward in the form of a boost of energy but “they” might not see it and reward you immediately. See, change is tough. Even good change. So be patient, do what you do, and if it doesn’t improve then get out and try something new.
My new book, Reset: How to Get Paid and Love What You Do, launches today on Amazon and via Kindle.
I could talk about it all day, but here’s what others are saying:
"I have read a lot of books on leadership and career, and this book really gave me the clarity and confidence I was looking forward to take the next step. I wish I had this book in my 20s! -Kate C.
His writing style is clear and easy to follow, thoughtful, and thoroughly committed to the reader’s experience. I feel like I have received personal career and life coaching from Dustin himself just by reading his book. -Amy R.
I have found this book to be enormously helpful. It provides structure and actionable steps that make the process of crafting a career seem manageable instead of overwhelming. It resonates deeply with my personal belief that work doesn’t have to be drudgery. -Lindsey J.
If you’re looking to find your calling, reinvent your career, or just want a great read–this book is for you! -AG
His passion for this topic comes through clearly, and it is contagious! Each chapter has a ‘reflection’ worksheet at the end of it, which allowed me to apply the steps he had suggested in each chapter, and by the end, I truly had a much more defined idea of where I am thriving and where I should be taking action. -Haley F.
Dustin filled Reset with a plethora of application ready strategies to position you down the path you’ve always known you were meant to travel. Dustin shares his own stories and struggles that you not only can relate to, but also help you take action. I imagine that this will become one of the books many leaders will earmark, highlight, share, and reference often. You have the skill-set and tools already built in to make a successful leap, Dustin’s just there to push you over the edge. -Calvin S."
Is Reset for You?If you’ve ever felt stuck, driven to do something different, or called to a work, it’s for you. If you’re looking for a quick-fix to your career dilemma, it won’t do that.
I wrote Reset for me 10 years ago. I was working a stable job but lacked energy, satisfaction, and passion for the work. One day I slammed on the brakes in the rat race and began searching for a better way. People around me in different jobs and industries were getting paid to do what they loved to do. I knew I could figure it out. We spent the next 9 moves and 10 years figuring it out but I’ve landed in a vocation I love getting paid and doing what I do best every day.
The best news is, anyone can do it. This book is the roadmap. If you’re considering a Reset, pick up the book. It won’t find the career for you but it will arm you with knowledge and strategies to figure it out.
Oh, and by the way, if you order a print copy of the book today you’ll get access to the Kindle version FREE, because my goal was never to make a fortune on this book. My goal is to move people closer to doing what they do best…and getting paid to do it.
Check out my Amazon page for more:
Reset: How to Get Paid and Love What You Do
Here’s to resetting in 2015!
Don’t underestimate your most significant competitive advantage in work — you are human.
Job descriptions are cold, static, unemotional, and devoid of talent — and they should not define your daily work.
They are the lines on the football field but they don’t define how the game should be played.
Job descriptions tell you what should be accomplished and, ideally, why it matters, but you define the how.
And the best way to define the how is to center your methods, your process — your daily work — on your innate aptitudes and abilities.
If all players in a sport at any one position played the game in the same way the game would be boring to watch and play (and in low demand). Imagine if all running backs ran the same routes in the same way without regard to individuality. Or if all point guards only passed.
Players who excel use the general job description of a running back or a point guard as a guideline but not as a limit. There are power backs, finesse backs, pass-catching backs, blocking backs, and so on. All point guards pass, but many also drive, dunk, and shoot the three.
Why should our work be any different?
The only reason it’s different is because we haven’t taken the time to define who we are and what innate tools we bring with us and how those tools could be used to make the job we are expected to do more dynamic. We may not have had coaches and analysts and specialists watching us and reflecting back to us what we do best. We don’t know who we are and what we have and how we could be centering our work on our greatest asset — us!
We are getting in our own way.
Are there certain standards that teachers and engineers and salespeople have to meet? Sure. To be honest, probably too many. But if you find yourself meeting the standard and nothing more you will also find yourself without soul, passion, energy, or satisfaction for your work.
Do your job but be you while you do it.
Thank you, Beano. If not for you, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
My first job out of college was working for a PR firm in downtown Dallas — a big, fancy place with underground parking, a key card, and a cubicle all my own. I worked for five clients and one of them was GlaxoSmithKline, the maker of Beano.
On a regular basis I cold-called media and pitched them the anti-gas medicine. And I regularly got shut down. Imagine that — journalists for Men’s Health,Shape, and Muscle and Fitness didn’t want to stake their journalistic reputation on a groundbreaking story about how a little pill can prevent gas after eating a steaming heap of broccoli.
But, if not for that experience I never would have learned a few things:
Sometimes it takes a crazy experience to shake you out of the mediocre job slumber you’ve fallen into. Thank goodness for those experiences.
But actually, what’s scarier is a job that is bad but tolerable. Many of the people I coach are in this place. They know their job is lame but they are comfortable and don’t see how it could get any better. “This is just the way work is,” they say. “That’s why it’s called work.”
In actuality, there is another way. Loving what you do and getting paid aren’t mutually exclusive propositions. The trouble is, you might not realize you are in a bad job. And, even if you do realize it, you may not know how to escape. Let me add my book to the myriad tomes on career.
Reset: How to Get Paid and Love What You Do was written for anyone who doesn’t get paid…and love what they do. It launches next Wednesday, March 25th on Amazon and is available now for pre-order on Kindle. Just use the link below:
The book is priced dirt cheap to provide as much opportunity as possible for people to figure this career thing out.
So, if your current gig isn’t good or bad but just average, and if you’re looking for a boost in energy and job satisfaction, trust me — there is a better way. Give it a read and let me know what you think!
I recently heard about a top hedge fund manager who runs one of the most successful hedge funds for the past decade. He has a team of 8 and they have zero consistent staff meetings.
Wait, what? No consistent staff meetings?
He said his son, who is his heir apparent, keeps pushing him to put a consistent meeting on the calendar but he pushes back. Why?
Because he’s learned that if you consistently hold the time, you will consistently come up with stuff to fill the time.
In his firm, everyone knows what to do. They each know their role. They execute their role daily and only get together when absolutely needed, given that meeting together takes them away from execution of their role.
This got me thinking…why do we meet? What’s the point of gathering a group of people in a room for a period of time? It’s an expensive gathering, if you calculate the total cost of the salaries in the room at any given time. Why do it?
That I can see, there are really only a few value-adds to meeting:
1. Alignment around topics
2. Brainstorming and tapping diverse expertise
3. Teambuilding, because teamwork makes the dream work
4. Clarity on assignments for projects or division of labor
The problem is, someone somewhere at some time determined that meetings should either be in 60- or 90-minute lengths. And that they should be regularly scheduled. And so we find things to fill the time.
I’m not a disbeliever in meetings. I’m a believer in productivity. If we don’t need to meet, let’s not meet.
So what does this hedge fund manager do when he needs to talk to his team? He asks everyone to get together for a few minutes in the afternoon for a quick meeting.
In other words, they meet when meeting moves the work along and they don’t meet when it would get in the way.
I recently coached a friend who was torn between accepting an offer that perfectly aligned with who he is and waiting out another offer that may not come for a few more months.
He chose the “now” option instead of the potential option a few months down the road. It was the right choice for him. But in hindsight he said that the thing that kept him hanging on so long was thesunk cost of the time he had invested in the other search process. He’d begun the application more than a year ago and the thought of pulling out when he was so close to the finish line combined with not knowing what the response might have been was almost more than he could bear. We call this “What if…?” syndrome.
There’s a solution to getting over the “What if’s” if life: winning.
When you succeed and win you erase regret or wondering. Picking the job right in front of him and crushing it will do wonders to help him get over “what might have been?” The best thing you can do when making a decision about career is pick the option that most aligns with your authentic self and then WIN at it. Knock it out of the park. Dominate it.
Do you think JP Morgan ever regretted investing in electricity? Did Henry Ford ever regret shutting down the Detroit Automobile Company to start Ford Motor Company? Does any great entrepreneur or career-shifter ever regret the move they made? Yes. But only if they don’t find a way to make it work and win. You are never free from regret, but succeeding can cover a world of “what if’s.”
Make the best decision you can with the information you have, then get after it and make it happen. Being paralyzed by “what if” completely disregards your human ingenuity and ability to take something average and make it awesome. Now trust yourself and get to work.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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