Feeling Strong Now!

By: Marti Benjamin, MBA

Champion for a Great Work-Life!

Certified Career Management Coach | Professional Certified Coach

Certified Professional Résumé Writer

When I work with career coaching clients, one of my first questions is, “What would it take to make your current job work for you?” The purpose of that question is to determine whether it’s the specific job, the occupational field, the employer, the manager or the work itself that has created a sense of discomfort. If it’s possible to tweak the current position, that’s usually the fastest route to career satisfaction and may be the easiest because it doesn’t involve changing jobs.

I encourage those considering a job change to take my question seriously—what would it take? Often the answer is, “I don’t know.” That’s usually not avoidance, but an honest response that means, “Right now, as I sit here, burned out and discouraged, I can’t imagine how this job could work for me.

One of the best ways to answer the question is to maintain a log of time and activities at work that feel satisfying and those that feel draining. This is a noticing exercise, and it’s one of those simple but not necessarily easy things to do. It takes practice to tune into one’s own energy level, but the effort is worth the valuable information gained.

Throughout your workday, notice the times when you feel optimistic and hopeful, when you’re positively engaged in a task, conversation or meeting. Notice when you are absorbed in work and lose track of time. Pay attention to the work that leaves you feeling masterful.

All of these thought states are signs of engagement in activities that utilizes your character strength(s). A great work-life depends on using your strengths more often. These clues are important markers for understanding what you’d like to do more.

Here are a few indicators that you’re relying on your natural talents in a particular activity:

  • You feel successful.
  • It gives you energy, rather than draining you.
  • Doing this activity seems instinctive to you; it just makes sense to you.
  • It feels easy for you; seems effortless, even if it’s challenging.
  • When you’ve finished the activity you feel fulfilled, powerful and energetic.
  • You look forward to engaging in this activity again.

Try maintaining a log (or journal) of the times and tasks when you experienced these powerful signs of a strength at work. Look at your log for a two-week period and identify the common themes.  Do you consistently feel strong when you’re organizing a project? Or, when you’re collaborating with a particular type of person? Or, when you’re working independently?

Once you know the commonality in the times of greatest work satisfaction, you can explore whether your current job allows you to do more of those satisfying tasks. If there is no viable option for turning your current position into more rewarding work, it’s time to consider a new position where you can use your strengths more often.

In my next post, I’ll offer some suggestions for evaluating other career options to identify positions that match your natural talents.

Marti Benjamin inspires great work-lives in her business and career coaching practice. She describes being a professional coach as, “The best possible job in the world for me.” Since she began coaching in 2004, her systems have led fed-up professionals from frustration to fulfillment in their work-life. www.CareerFromHere.com , www.BusinessEnergetix.com  


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