Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Getting out of the Funk!

How did I ever get out of the funk you might ask? Well, I happened on a flier, which announced a weekend workshop for adults in career transition. At the time, it was a stretch for me. I decided to go and invest in myself, which in my mind is one of the most important things we can do – invest in ourselves. I went for the weekend and took a series of assessments, which revealed information about my mission, competencies, and style. That weekend gave me a tremendous amount of clarity. Along with the assessments, there were two other important components of the weekend, the pace and the space in which we worked. At the time they seemed minor, but now I realize both were major.

Living stress filled lives

I don’t know about you, but I live a fairly hectic life with a lot of “things” and responsibilities demanding my attention. The pace of change coupled with the need to quickly respond and adapt to new demands is often a source of stress. There is often precious little time to truly replenish and renew. I have found that without adequate time to replenish and renew it is much easier to descend into a negative space, creating an environment ripe for base-level emotions to take over. I know that I never make the best decisions from a negative and/or base-level emotional state. I also know that when I observe clients and friends do the same, the results are less than positive.

Ask yourself a few questions: Do you get regular exercise and a full night’s sleep? Do you eat foods that support the demands placed on your body? Most of us don’t and we pay the price, because our emotional and mental states from which we make daily decisions are in a compromised condition. Now compound that by holding a job and/or being in a corporate environment that depletes your energy. All combined makes for a potent cocktail of negativity, therefore, making it necessary for us to invest in things that support a positive state of mind and well-being.

Time for personal exploration

The design for the weekend was supportive. The space and surrounding were inviting. The pace was perfect – not too slow – not too fast. The fact that I spent an entire weekend delving into what I wanted – well, it was something that until that time I had never done. I had the time to think about it without pressure, with adequate time to contemplate the gifts I had to offer (and my strengths). There was time to reflect about where I had been in the past with my career, where I was at that time, and to explore opportunities of where I might go in the future. Being in a setting that was supportive and surroundings that were aesthetically pleasing made the experience all the more helpful. It helped to clear away the cobweb of negativity that had engulfed me.

Wow that was fast

Shortly after that weekend, an amazing thing happened. My boss approached asking if I would be interested in redeployment within the organization. I could not believe it, because the position presented was exactly what had been revealed through the assessments I had taken. I realized that by investing in myself that weekend, I was in a better position to “recognize” the opportunity when it presented itself. Had I not gone that weekend I think I would have been too blinded to see the job presented as an opportunity, because I had way too many negative associations.

I also believed that gaining clarity allowed space to set an intention about finding a position better suited to my strengths, mission, values, and work style. Although my employer had not spent the money for the weekend, in fact, they didn’t even know about it, there was an experience as if some type of silent transmission had been made. It was a bit eerie, to be honest. Thankfully my employer recognized that redeployment was a good option all the way around, and I went on to be a much more productive employee and provided greater value to the organization when I was rightly deployed!

The importance of coming from a place of power
Every situation is different and maybe yours will not be resolved in the same way as mine. You may even feel a bit skeptical that your situation can be resolved. However, if you are in a less than ideal job it is important to realize that you are not trapped even when you might feel that you are. Looking back I now realize that I was not truly trapped, but initially unable to reach a higher level of thinking required to make a change. The fact that I “felt” that way only served to further reinforce the situation.

Feeling trapped is a “fear based” concept, and more importantly it only serves to create a negative mental decision-making environment. It was not until I could gain distance from fear, doubt, and uncertainty that I could see the situation from a truth-based perspective. Who ever said the truth will set you free knew what they were talking about! Rising above the appearance of the situation to look at it from a truth perspective, which was that I was wrongly deployed, created a mental environment where I could come from a place of strength rather than weakness.

What do you need?

If you are in a less than ideal work situation, a key component is to not wait until you are in a depleted, fearful, and negative state of mind to make decisions about your future (and now). Ask you self a few questions: What do you need to do to support yourself now? What is your mental, emotional, and physical state? Are you taking care of your mental and physical health? Where are things disconnecting for you on your job? Are you well matched for the corporate culture of your organization, your boss, your peers, and the key responsibilities? Are you provided with development and growth opportunities that will benefit your career? Is there a future for you where you are now? What are your strengths, mission, values, and work style and more importantly do they match your current job situation?

Is work a spiritual idea?
Do you think work is a spiritual idea? For me, truthfully I think it can be, because I know that when I am engaged in activities where I feel that I am giving from all the best I have to offer, I feel renewed, replenished and restored. In addition, and maybe more importantly I feel in alignment with living my purpose. Now I feel nourished by my work and that for me that is an amazingly rewarding experience and on some level that feels very spiritual to me.

So, if the idea resonates with you that work can be a spiritual experience, what do you need in order to create that for yourself?

What role can employers play?

Since I have a personal belief that there is a shared responsibility (at the individual and the employer level), a big question is how can organizations evolve into seeing the need to rightly deploy staff as important component to the employment “contract”? We have at least scratched the surface on taking self-responsibility for your career.

Tune in next week to hear about things employers can do…….

Photo Credit: Flickr Rhett Maxwell

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