* This ten-day series is designed to help you kickstart a new way of approaching your job or career. Over ten days, we’ll explore how to look objectively at the job/career situation you’re in, and clarify where to go next. For some, that might mean not leaving a job but drastically improving it in some meaningful way. For others, this series will provide some help with clarifying your next career move or pave the way to a transition. You’re strongly encouraged to complete all ten steps, in order, to see what answers you arrive at.
Badda-bing, Badda-boom! You have now…
1.) Written out your ideal day, from start to finish
2.) Identified the most important qualities of that ideal day.
(If you haven’t done these first two steps and want to see the previous days, click the “job suckage” category to the left of this entry)
Today, Day Three, it’s time to get pro-active.
Exercise: Brainstorm at least 3 different ways that each quality could some how be incorporated into your current job situation. Brainstorm solutions even if you think that they aren’t likely to happen (note: fire-bombing is not an option).
For instance, perhaps you work for a large corporate entity and you have identified that “creativity” is a quality to bring into your ideal day. Perhaps you are a receptionist, and the idea that you will ever be able to fulfill your longing to become a mixed-media artist while somehow sitting at that desk seems like it’s a total pipe dream. The goal with this exercise is to bring the quality of creativity into your current workspace, because bringing the qualities that are important to you into your current job will make the job seem just a smidge better. It empowers you to create the life you want, with the circumstances you’ve got–and that is Powerful with a big, phat-ass “P.”
Here are some possible brainstorms for such a hypothetical situation:
1.) make art on my lunch break
2.) organize people from work into a monthly art group
3.) carry around art in my wallet/purse/briefcase and look at it often
4.) creatively answer the phone–make it a game to see how many creative ways I can think of to make everyone I talk to feel really great as a result of talking to me
5.) create a piece of artwork, scan it, set it as my desktop screensaver.
Those are just a few random ideas for one quality–creativity. Brainstorm at least three ideas for each quality you’d like to bring into your current job/workplace. The value of how the small things add up is best explained in a quote I heard once. A CEO had turned around a failing company and people asked him how he did it. He replied, “It’s not that we did one thing, 100% better. We did 100 things, just 1% better.”
Lots of “1% betters” can add up to “100% better.”
Now why would you do this, if you know for absolute certain that you are in the WRONG JOB?
I encourage you to do this because this is the 100% fail-safe way to a.) test out whether the jobby-job is the real issue or the scapegoat issue for why life is not working, and b.) because it’s more powerful to make positive shifts even in situations you dislike than it is to wallow, and c.) because if you’re still in the WRONG JOB, theoretically you have not up and quit because you need to wait to do that…you need another job, or to build up your biz on the side, or for Obama to push universal health coverage through so that your kidlets won’t end up with untreated cases of rickets because you jumped ship from that employer HMO. And if you’re in the WRONG JOB for the next three months or year or whatever, why not make it a little more palatable? Why not build some character? Why wallow when there is possibility around every corner?
I’m kind of laughing at myself as I type this, because I absolutely know that when I started to do this work myself, I was all, “Are you kidding me?” It seemed like a colossal waste of time.
And now, on the other side of all of that, having taken these steps, I see how important it was that I acted with all of the integrity I could muster. I felt stronger and more powerful every time I made a choice to put my all into what I was doing. For someone having doubts, I’d ask–what would that feel like for you?
I’ll also add that tomorrow, I’m going to address the “Can’ts” that might have come up for some of you in response to this call for action.
Get started–no need to wait for the right time, the right MOOD, the right pencil, the right…just dive right in and brainstorm at least 3 solutions for each quality that you identified in the previous exercise. Left your qualities list at home? Lost it? The dog ate it? Start brainstorming just based on what you remember, and fill in the blanks later.