“I love my job.” Can you say that? We should all be lucky enough to enjoy what we do.
Loving your job is about having a passion for it and knowing why you do it. Mark Twain said it best: “The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.”
Maybe you’ll have to pivot a few times to find the right path. Competing values get in your way, creating conflict between “this is the situation in front of me” versus “this is what I want.”
It’s okay to go a new way in the name of finding what excites you. Along the way, you’ll learn several valuable lessons. Let’s explore a few of them now.
Consider Your Mindset
Having the right mindset is crucial. In her book Growth Mindset, Carol Dweck divided people into two categories with competing values: those with a growth mindset and those with a fixed mindset.
Challenges happen, and you’ll have setbacks. Having a growth mindset determines how you handle those challenges—as obstacles you can overcome or as boulders in your way that you can’t navigate around. With a growth mindset, you can figure out how to climb over the boulder, but with a fixed mindset, it’s easier to blame the boulder for impeding your progress.
Find Your Purpose
Know what you do and why you do it. Simon Sinek says to start with “why.” Purpose isn’t the job you do—it’s why you enjoy doing it. What brings you joy, passion, or excitement?
For our part, Project Brilliant wants to help leaders. We work with leaders to make their “why” transparent. That might mean getting in tune with an organization’s mission or vision, or helping to build a growth mindset or culture.
Let Go of Limiting Beliefs
We all have limiting beliefs but might not realize they’re present.
Maybe yours looks like this: “I can’t find another job better than the one I have now.”
Or like this: “I can’t achieve the same status as my male colleagues.”
Determine what’s holding you back. Once you identify your limiting beliefs, it’s easier to overcome them.
Don’t Let Others Limit You
“I am telling you this for your own good.” “I don’t want to see you get hurt.” These may be well-intentioned sentiments from family, friends, or colleagues, but they aren’t very helpful. Some people hold you back, especially those with a fixed mindset. Know your worth and don’t let them.
You can still take advice from people who want to help, but not blindly. After all, they may not know the context behind your situation. Take outside advice with a grain of salt and ensure it fits your situation.
Continue to Learn
If you stop learning, you stop growing and lose your passion. Consider joining a book club or learning about a new topic each month. Figure out what works best for you. Just don’t become complacent or disengaged.
Establish a Peer Group
John Maxwell said, “Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you; otherwise, you won’t grow.” Being innovative is easier with people to bounce ideas off of—people with different points of view.
Two minds are better than one; this blog article even had a few sets of eyes on it. And through valuable peer discussions and feedback, the end product is better than the first draft!
Find a Mentor
Find a mentor who works alongside you but gives you room to work hard and create your own success. The best ones shouldn’t have competing values—looking out for themselves and taking credit for your work.
Instead, they should want you to succeed. They encourage you and guide you to new opportunities but give you the freedom to learn and excel. Good mentors know how to praise you when you’ve earned it but also redirect you when you take a wrong turn.
Own Your Success
“I have some great accomplishments, but I lucked into this.” Even if that’s true for you, it’s important to own your success and the work you put into an endeavor. You worked hard to achieve it, even if the stars aligned in your favor.
Still, don’t take credit for other peoples’ successes. Imagine hearing this about a female conference presenter: “She is doing a great job. My coaching has really helped her.” That’s her success, not yours.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
When you get outside your bubble, magic happens. It might come in various forms, too: new challenges, new opportunities, new friends, new learnings, or new beginnings. Something like taking an improv class when you’re usually shy could actually turn into a new passion and an adventure.
“For some people, failure is the end of the world, but for others, it’s this exciting new opportunity.” —Harrison Owen
When you step outside your comfort zone, you might fail—and that’s okay. If you fail, own it and learn from it. You can overcome any failure with a growth mindset.
Expand Your Network
Networking is vital, even if you’ve been with the same company for 20 years. You never know what could happen down the line. The contacts you meet could become colleagues or even friends, and you’ll learn a lot from each other.
Social connections lead to greater engagement. We give a little to everyone we meet and take a little of them with us.
Own Your Engagement
Businesses today are wrapped up in employee engagement. The trouble is, only about 32 percent of employees are actively engaged. Organizations can smother employees with perks and rewards, but those don’t create lasting motivation. The challenge? Today’s employees are either bored or burned out—and that’s a hard rut to dig out of.
Employees are their own worst enemies, too, and we’re all responsible for making things happen for ourselves. Engaged employees take responsibility for their careers, success, and fulfillment. Alexis Carrel was right when he said, “It’s up to you.”
Discover New Ways to Get Engaged
You’ll have successes and failures in your career, but what matters is what you do with them. Follow your passions and own your level of engagement, learning, effort, and relationships with colleagues.
How engaged do you want to be? Are you in it just for the paycheck, or have you found your bigger purpose? That’s up to you!
Ready to get more involved? Schedule a meeting with our team to learn how an Agile mindset could help.