Whatever your goals are (big or small), find compelling reasons why they matter to you. There’s a big difference between “I want to climb the corporate ladder” and “I want to make meaningful contributions to a company that improves people’s lives.”
And if your job isn’t “saving the world” so to speak, that doesn’t mean it isn’t helping to find more time, joy, or peace. Make your reasons dramatic and sexy. If they don’t move you, nothing will.
3. Clean up your side of the street.
Your job doesn’t define you, but how you do it does. Do you really want to be the person who does a half-assed job? Or do you want to be the type of person who does a job with concern and care?
Sure, you can’t control how others act or if positive behavior gets you noticed. But your experience at your job isn’t about recognition; it’s about how you feel about what you bring to the table.
That doesn’t just apply to your assignments, but to how you interact with your coworkers. Before meetings, set an intention to be your best self. Decide ahead of time to curb your reactivity, keeping your desired goal and outcome in mind.
4. Find fulfillment.
When you are engaged and challenged, you feel fulfilled. Quit waiting for something interesting to happen. Make it happen yourself. What can you do to be more proactive? Can you ask for a more stimulating assignment? Can you negotiate some changes in your job description? Your productivity hinges on your happiness. Go ahead, ask for what you want instead of taking what you can get.
5. Get some crap out of the way.
If you’re anything like me, you find it hard to enjoy what you’re doing when you’re stressing over the piles of paper and unread emails waiting to be read. Set aside 15 minutes each day for housekeeping and organization. Breaking daunting projects into smaller tasks will help you move things from the “to do” list to the “did do” list, creating space and energy to tackle the projects you actually want to do.
6. Incorporate what you love into what you do.
Sure this is easier said than done, but you can make it happen if you begin by asking yourself some basic, but important questions: What are the things you’d be happy to do and never get paid for? What are the things that excite you?
If you enjoy being the go-to person for advice, it doesn’t mean you have to quit your job and become a therapist, it means you should include that talent in your day-to-day. And remember, your talent might not be what you do, but how you do it. For instance, a good friend of mine has the ability to break things down into logical pieces and build them back up again in a new way. His unique way of looking at things makes him successful in his career.