How can your work help you live longer?

Several years ago, a NY Times article focused on a group of women in their 90s that play bridge with each other regularly.  Researchers believe there are a couple of components to longevity- social interaction and using the mind. The game of bridge uses both.

You can get a similar boost to your longevity by managing your career well. You will want to make sure to have lots of social interactions with supportive people (networking) and you also will want to challenge your mind in a way that helps you to grow intellectually in your chosen profession or occupation.  Meaningful work is work that enables you to grow both intellectually and inter-personally.  Here are 10 Tips that will put you on the road to a long life and grow your career at the same time! Using these tips will help you to be happy at work and to live longer!

  1. Read current periodicals in your profession or occupation. To stay current in your profession or occupation read the journals, newsletters and magazines that are thought to be important in your profession or occupation.  You may not have time to read the periodical from cover to cover but you can scan the table of contents to pick the one or two articles that are most pertinent to you.
  2. Know the hot topics in your profession or occupation.  Use Google Alerts to bring you information daily on those topics. What are the buzz words that everyone is using?  Start to form your own opinion about the trends you see in the industry.
  3. Read books related to your field. Identify the thought leaders in your particular field and read the books that they write.  If you see a new trend on the horizon explore it and read books related to it.  Think about how it impacts you and your career.
  4. Read books and periodicals in other areas too.  Look for ways to integrate your field to another area and read up on that area too.  Try to develop a unique perspective or expertise so that you can distinguish yourself from others in your field.
  5. Write articles and/or speak at meetings. Speak and write about current topics in your field where you have developed an expertise.  Get known by others in your field and related fields. Become known as a thought leader.
  6. Use social networks to let people know about you and your work. Write articles for your blog. Comment on someone else’s blog.  Answer questions that others ask online. Share your expertise with others online through a newsletter, blog or postings to Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
  7. Don’t stay behind the computer or books and magazines.  Get out and socialize!  Join business groups, mentoring circles, and professional associations to meet people with common interests.  Go to or invite others to a Tweetup.  (Gathering of 2 or more people who know each other through Twitter)
  8. Start a group of your own. Start a business book club where you read the latest business books and get together to discuss them.  Are there several people in your networking sphere that have something in common?  Working mothers perhaps who want to share time management ideas for example.  Socializing for business purposes should be fun and useful!
  9. If groups are hard for you, have coffee with a colleague instead. Try meeting someone new every week at work.  If you work in a small office where you know everyone, find a new person in your building or in another office that does work you are curious about.  Expand your network with both mental and social growth in mind.  Spend time with people from whom you can learn and grow.
  10. Pay it forward. Be open to helping others.  When you begin to build relationships with others, start by helping the people get what they want.  To do this you could introduce them to someone they are interested in meeting, you could provide them with information they ask about, or you could refer a potential client or referrer to them.  It is said that you have to give to get so begin by giving.

If you find yourself letting your career slide and you want to take back active control,  a coach can really help you move forward.  As you read through these tips if there are one or two you want to get started with but need some help moving forward, I would love to be that coach.  Call or email me at 781-598-0388 or asparker@asparker.com to set up an appointment to discuss how we might work together.  There is no obligation and no pressure with the call.  I only want to work with people who have a sincere desire to learn and grow.  Is that you?

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