Every boss wants employees who are excited and passionate about what they are doing. Without employees who are committed, focused and personally invested in the big picture a company has very little chance for true success. As we think about mid-year assessments and reviews it’s a good time to make sure we are in the right place with the right job and that we are committed to making ourselves and our companies enormously successful.
Are you genuinely happy to be where you are and doing what you’re doing? It’s something all of us need to stop and consider from time to time. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this what you really wanted or thought it would be? If none of the original reasons why you took the job are still in play or if you’ve had to make too many compromises on what you feel you are meant to do you will never be more than mildly content and your true dream will haunt you until you ultimately cut ties.
- Do you act like you are leaving your job? If so then guess what, you are leaving your job! Stop stalling. Do the inevitable and move on to the next big thing.
- Is the fact that you are already there the only reason you stay? If fear of making a change or lack of motivation to do so is the only thing keeping you in a position you genuinely don’t like, you really should leave and do yourself and your company a big favor.
- Is money the only reason you stay? Money is of course how adults keep score. It will always count and be significant, but money never keeps us happy. If money wasn’t a factor would you still stick around? If not then it’s time to find something else.
- How often do you laugh every day? If the answer is never, get out. Longevity and success are tied to laughter. Five-year-olds laugh 500 times a day vs. 35-year-olds who laugh only 15 times a day. Your career is far too serious a matter to take too seriously. Save the heavy weighted consideration for the foolishness in your life. You should be having fun at what you do for a living.
- What’s your five-year plan? It’s an often used interview question: “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Hopefully you see yourself doing bigger and better things right where you are, or at least with your current situation being an integral part of your journey to your ultimate destination. If not, time for a gut check.
My sincere hope that the above checklist helped reassure you that you do have a pretty terrific career going and are in a great place. If so, look to the second half of the year as a time to reconnect and recommit to your company and your original goals. There is still time to make this the best year of your professional life. Focus on the following four areas and step up your game like never before.
1. Client Relationships
Committed and passionate employees already realize that very few rewards come from doing the bare minimum. Going above and beyond should be your modus operandi — especially in the area of client engagement and relationships. Client loyalty happens when we make clients feel like we are part of their team — partners in their individual or organization’s long-term success. Commit to showing your clients a genuine and unprecedented eagerness and enthusiasm to meet their needs and fulfill their dreams.
2. Professional Growth
All the enthusiasm in the world is pointless if you are unwilling to grow professionally. Your eagerness to learn new things take on new challenges and become a better version of yourself has a direct correlation to your level of advancement, happiness and success. Truly outstanding professionals are open to constructive criticism, willing to take on new opportunities and responsibilities that open doors for larger roles within the company, and, above all else, hold themselves accountable for their results.
Always be actively participating in some form of training that expands your professional development and career advancement. Find a mentor who is willing to offer honest feedback. And read, read, read! Vow to learn more than everyone else about your industry and all its latest trends and developments. You’ll be amazed how quickly you skyrocket to the top when you are perceived to be the resident expert in your field.
3. Master Goal Setting and Achievement
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Set realistic, yet challenging goals, then let nothing stand in your way. Repeat. A career with no goals is akin to a ship drifting aimlessly in the surf. Both are destined to crash. Research shows writing down your goals and looking at them constantly has a profound effect on the end result. Do it, and have a specific deadline by which you plan to accomplish each goal. Sharing your goals with others is a great way to motivate yourself to stay focused. Who among us wants to fail in front of our peers and colleagues? Create an action plan for each goal and build better habits that help you work smarter.
4. Lead and Share More
Having a title or position has nothing to do with your ability to lead. True leaders do just that — they lead others regardless of their station in life or rung on the corporate ladder. Sharing your knowledge and helping others achieve success is an extremely important part of the cycle of life. I can assure you from personal experience it’s really true — the more you give the more you will receive. Enriching others is the only lasting way to enrich ourselves. Become the “go to” person who others respect and look to for leadership and guidance.
I was recently asked, “What’s the best way to get into management?” My response, “Act like a manager.” When you act like a manager you will become a manager. When you act like a leader you will become a leader. When you share with others the secrets to your success and help them grow you will grow and become more successful.
Today you will determine your results for the second half of this year. Recommit to your goals and your company. Demonstrate your dedication and willingness to get involved. People who commit to an idea, faith or organization honestly believe it is important. They eagerly show up, follow through and stick with it no matter what obstacles and challenges may present themselves along the way. True commitment creates momentum, fosters trust, and takes you higher than you ever imagined. Fire up those internal engines and soar through the next six months with a renewed since of commitment and purpose. The work you are doing is important and changing lives. Make certain everybody knows it.