Grow or Go

go-or-grow

How do you keep your work interesting so you can be happy at work?

How do we keep our work exciting and interesting whether we have done it for a few months or many years? A doctor I know has been practicing medicine for 25 years. His office is full of books, literature and patients. In addition there is always a student from one of the medical schools seeing patients along with my doctor friend. Patients often hear him discuss the literature and all possible treatments for their problems or questions.

The doctor is clearly in his element when he is discussing some new theory or even his own ideas on the patient’s condition. By eagerly reading, staying current, and adding his own ideas to the practice of medicine he has succeeded in keeping it vital for himself.  He is happy at work!

Musicians who become proficient at playing an instrument may keep it fresh by improvising. Jazz musicians are a great example of this. Doing the same thing week after week, year after year can get boring. If a plants stops growing, it dies. So do we. Some of us do as my doctor friend did and develop in depth knowledge of our field others of us choose to go into new lines of work so that we can grow in new ways. Either way the goal is to be happy at work.

Sally had an administrative job in a consulting company. Her degree was in history but she had never had the opportunity to use her education. She knew she had “settled” for the job she had. It wasn’t just her work life that was unpleasant for Sally it was her whole life. She came home from work exhausted and never had time for friends or social activities. Weekends she stayed to herself because she was feeling so down.

Your job affects your whole life. If you are bored there, you probably will find the rest of your life boring. With coaching support Sally was able to break out of her rut and try some new ideas. Sally found a job designing and implementing a training program for a company. The job was a stretch for her but the manager knew her and was willing to take a chance on her and Sally was up to the challenge.

When you are feeling that you are in a rut at your present job and you are not happy, there are two possibilities to re-energize. One is to take a strategic view of what is needed and find opportunities for intellectual or career growth. Taking your business or work to the next level is one way to recharge your batteries so that you can once again be happy at work.

If after you take that long view, you see no other possibilities that excite you in your chosen line of work then the other recourse is to find something else to challenge you. As difficult as the prospect is this is the time to assess your skills and begin to look for something else. If you wait too long, you will become bored and boring.

Take Action

  1. Assess your current job. Make a learning plan that you implement immediately.
  2. Explore the current trends in your industry. Read everything you can about the trends and discover how they will affect you and your job.
  3. Become an expert in one area of your current job. One way to know you have succeeded is if others seek you out to ask about your expertise.
  4. Innovate. How can you add to the body of knowledge at your job? Find a way to improve a process, make something better or develop something new.

Coaching can help you to grow

If you are not sure how to spice up your current job, I can help.  Clients have told me it is just helpful to have someone who does not have an agenda listen to them.  Often it is the first time they have talked about this out loud.  Sometimes the solution reveals itself just by hearing themselves talk.  Othertimes it helps to have a coach to ask a few questions and reword the issue.  Wherever you are at the moment coaching can help you to evaluate the possibilities.  I’d be happy to work with you for 30 minutes at no charge to clarify your growth ideas.  Call me at 781-598-0388 or email me at asparker@asparker.com.

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