Career masterclass: Love the job you're in

The nine-to-five shouldn't be a slog...

by MT Staff
Last Updated: 31 Mar 2016

Be proactive. Don't wait for the best projects to come to you. If the CEO's new initiative gets your adrenaline pumping, get involved. If you can't find a project that excites you, create one.

Find fun. Blur the work/life boundaries. Is a challenging meeting so different from a debate over dinner?

Join a new gang. Colleagues can make or break a job. Love people still keen to learn? Volunteer to help with induction.

Fed up of naysayers? Befriend the office innovator. Ignore anyone who brings you down.

Discover your drivers. Write down the best aspects of your job (working alone, negotiating), then consider why you enjoy them (freedom, the thrill of closing). Once you understand what drives you, you can start turning the daily slog into your dream job.

Be selfish. Once a week, ignore deadlines, flout strategic priorities - delegate if you need to - and spend the day doing something that excites you. The company won't collapse (we promise) and the boost to your performance will last for days.

Switch your vocabulary. Instead of 'I manage the dreaded customer complaints process', try, 'I convert sceptics into loyal advocates'. If you can't change your job, change your perspective.

Get moving. Consider what would make you happy (more/less travel, study leave, secondments), then discuss it with your manager. If you don't ask, you don't get.

Find flow. According to psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, combining major challenges with high levels of skill creates a state of ultra-productivity called 'flow'. Set stretching goals that challenge you in your strongest areas.

Remember your purpose. What impact does your work have? Recognise and relish the difference that you make.

The Mind Gym: Relationships is published by Little, Brown at £12.99. Visit managementtoday.com/masterclass for further information about MindGym/MT masterclasses

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