What if you had a way to make sure you'd never need to come to someone like me to help you figure out how to inject the energy back into your career? Better yet, what if the process were easy and painless? Would you want to know about it?
Well here's the secret sauce: Make your work a nonstop research experiment focused on you. As you go about your work, ask yourself questions like:
- What do I love about this? Why?
- What drives me nuts about this? Why?
- What do I care about in my work? What feels important?
- Where do I shine? What lets me shine?
- Where do I fall flat? What's behind that?
The more you know who you are and what makes you tick, the easier it is to make decisions that will play to your strengths and incorporate what energizes you.
You can run this research experiment as frequently as you like. You could even make it a habit to do an end-of-day review, scanning through the day's events and asking yourself those questions (or others you come up with). Combine it with a journal to keep an ongoing record of what you learn.
Of course, insight without action is little more than navel-gazing. So as you gain insight about what works for you and what doesn't, follow it up with another question: "What can I do about this?" Where are the opportunities to bring more of what works into the picture? How can you eliminate what doesn't work?
Finally, if you change jobs, the insights you get from your internal research will make it easier to identify the right opportunity, not just a make-do job.
After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker, explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.