There’s a terrible trap which workers can fall into…

It’s focusing on the negatives of their jobs and actually I’m going to add a second.

Which is – plodding along!

Being happy to “just get through” another work week.

All without questioning anything. Like – how’s the company doing? How am I performing? Am I happy here?

Now please use the following ten steps if you feel you could benefit from reframing your work situation:

1. List the benefits of your job. Think of the things it makes possible for you e.g. paying my mortgage, funding a vibrant social life, work colleagues I’m close with…

2. Get GG with it! GIVE GRATITUDE that is 😊

For the next 5 working days write down two positive things that happened in the day e.g. receiving some praise, an exciting project being tasked to your team etc.

Also write two things which you look forward to the following day e.g. lunch with a friend, getting a good start on that slide deck for a client pitch.

Actively notice what you’re writing and seek to include more of it as it gives satisfaction to your working day.

3. POSITIVITY IS KEY. Being an energy giver and not a sapper can help propel your career. Think of some contributions which you have made to date as if you’re a neutral observer.

How did they come across? Were they positive? How did others react to the suggestions?

Where you identified negative contributions reflect on how you could have made it more positive in the same situation to influence it the way you would have liked.

4. FORAGE FOR FEEDBACK.

Chat so some key colleagues about your communication skills (listening, speaking and writing all included). Seek feedback and make notes of the good, bad and ugly feedback which you receive.

If there are recurring areas you notice then this is good as it highlights a need to put in place a development plan for such areas.

5. FAIL TO PLAN THEN PLAN TO FAIL.

Start planning to succeed right now. How can you become excellent at what you do? What are the key skills, attitudes, knowledge and people skills required to excel?

Rate how good you feel you are from 0-10 on each skill.

Prioritise three of the skills that you think are most vital to your career satisfaction and progression. Choose an action that increases your expertise on each area.

Pursue one of these actions to begin with so it is not too daunting.

6. CUSTOMER IS KING

Identify your customers and identify each type. Write down what you feel each type wants and think if you can better meet these needs.

Take one customer type per day and execute a positive and progressive action.

7. GET YOURSELF SEEN

What’s going on in your team, department and organisation?

What skills does the company appreciate and can help get you seen?

Are there any issues you can contribute to resolving? Could you propose that your company gives space for creative conflict on its agenda?

Don’t make negative noise about being ignored – take assertive and positive action to get noticed.

8. IMPROVE STRESSFUL RELATIONSHIPS

List these (use alternative names if it makes you more comfortable).

Think about the factors of the relationship bringing you stress.

Describe the factors in more detail and its direct impact on you.

Now for each factor identify a positive solution and how that solution will take place.

Consider the importance of each relationship in terms of your wellness and workplace contribution and choose to make a start on 1-2 of the main ones.

9. GET SUPER CLEAR

Find out the company’s key objectives and business plan.

What’s your job description and role within the team?

Look at appraisals and see if it’s objectives and personal development plan match the job description.

If there’s a disconnect then it will help to speak with a manager to clarify expectations.

10. FEELING VALUED

Firstly, what does this mean to you?

What should your team and manager do to make you feel this? (Be realistic here and remember the team doesn’t revolve around you. Also, it is good to ask yourself – “sure but have I ever given them the same credit I want?”.

You can discuss your value in your team with the manager and one or two other members. Seek clarity on the path to becoming a highly valued team member.

Nigel McPolin (high performance workplace expert) brought these excellent self-reflection tasks to my attention and I just had to share them with you.

Happy Wednesday y’all. It’s easy to get caught up in the flurry of activity mid-week but without reflection on where you’re headed you may end up plodding along…

Just a thought 😊

Declan “Workplace Wisdom” Treanor

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