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.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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