Feature: Six Secrets to a Healthy Career

Feature: Six Secrets to a Healthy Career

Feature: Six Secrets to a Healthy Career

Career self-management is the first job all of us must take in the 21st Century workplace. No one-not your employer, your mentor, your parents or your friends-can give you a career that is meaningful and satisfying. You must create that outcome for yourself. But how does that happen? How do you increase the satisfaction as well as the paycheck that you bring home from work each day?

I’ve written a whole book on this subject because I think it’s the central challenge facing working men and women today. The book is called The Career Fitness Self Fulfillment System: How to Work Strong in Your Pursuit of Happiness. It will be released this fall, but I thought I would preview some of its content in the hopes that it will help those of you who are facing career challenges right now.

The foundation for a fulfilling and rewarding experience at work is a small but discrete set of principles. Think of them as guidelines that can help you set the course for the one-third or more of your life that you will spend on-the-job. Are there other things you should know to be a good manager of your life at work? Of course. But these principles are the minimum essential ingredients of success. Without them, there is no way that you can have a healthy career.

What are these principles? I call them the “six secrets to a healthy career.”

Secret #1: A fulfilling career is always centered on the special talent with which you’ve been endowed. All of us have an inherent capability which we can perform extraordinarily well and enjoy using day-in and day-out. I call this talent your “natural” for it is the skill that you are naturally drawn to by your calling and are naturally good at doing.

Secret #2: Accept the fact that there will be unpleasant occurrences at work. Bad stuff happens, but when you’re working at your natural, you will see such problems as challenges-chances to test and even stretch your inherent capability-not as disasters. As a consequence, you may come home from work worn out, but you’ll never go off to work that way.

Secret #3: Appreciate the good times when they occur in your career. Enjoy the victories you achieve in your work. Give yourself the psychological pat on the back that all too often you won’t get from your boss. How can you do that? I suggest that you invite yourself to a “personal performance review” once a quarter. Use that time to recognize what you’ve accomplished in your work and celebrate those successes.

Secret #4: Pay attention to your coworkers and friends in the workplace. The relationships you have at work contribute to your career’s health in many ways. They provide a resource you can tap to solve problems at work; they enable you return the favor (and enhance your own self-respect) by assisting others when they need it; and they provide a safety net of contacts that can help you find a new or better job when you need to.

Secret #5: Take time off, but really take it off. The workweek is getting longer and our employers more demanding. Frequently, our response is to overwork ourselves or pretend that we’re on holiday while we talk to the office on our cell and answer e-mail. Rest and recuperation, however, aren’t nice to have; they’re essential. Without them, your performance degrades and that, in turn, imperils our reputation and, ultimately, your security.

Secret #6: Give some of what comes naturally to you to others. Many of us make financial contributions or offer our time and hands to civic, social and charitable organizations. Those are important acts, of course, but they do not tap our true talent-our natural. A healthy career involves doing some of your best work not only for yourself but for others, as well.

Surveys show that many of us feel as if we’re trapped in careers that neither interest nor challenge us. We spend our workday engaging in unhealthy endeavors because we don’t know how to find or obtain meaningful and rewarding work. That’s what the six secrets of a healthy career are all about. They are the foundation for Career Fitness, the state of being in charge of your career and its beneficiary, rather than its victim.

Thanks for reading,

Peter

P.S. Please tell your friends and colleagues about the WEDDLE’s newsletter.

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This Issue’s Sponsor: WEDDLE’s Books

This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of WEDDLE’s Guides and Directory, the leading reference books for online job search success.

You can follow the herd and go to the same job boards everyone else is visiting online or you can shop smart and find the job boards that are best suited for you. You can add your application to the hundreds of others being submitted for the jobs everyone else is seeing or you can find the special opportunities posted at lesser known job boards and career portals. The choice is yours.

If you want to take the path less traveled and find a great job online, you’ll need the gold standard of job board guides: WEDDLE’s. WEDDLE’s publications are your road map to the best of the 50,000+ job boards now operating on the Internet. WEDDLE’s books include:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Called the “Zagat of the online employment industry” by the American Staffing Association, it provides full-page profiles of 350 of the best job boards in a range of occupations, industries and locations;
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites. The “address book of the online employment industry,” it lists over 9,000 sites and organizes them by the career fields, industries and geographies on which they focus; and
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden job market” online, it details the employment resources and capabilities that are provided at the Web-sites of over 1,900 associations and societies.
  • These books are a smart investment for the smart professional. They provide a real and important competitive advantage in your search for a great job during a difficult economy. So, don’t delay! Click on the link to your left or call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 and place your order today.

    Section Two: Site News You Can Use

    WEDDLE’s identified the villain in the “whodunit” it published last month. (For those of you who missed this “crime of talent,” click here and select the March 13, 2008 issue to read it.) Remember, the clue we had from the victim was 4 I. Lots of you sent us your solution to its meaning, and some of that email follows:

  • “… maybe [it was] Andy on the 4th floor in Independent [Projects] … 4 I …”
  • “It was Fortuna. He was phonetically spelling her name and died before he completed it.”
  • “My theory is that Paul was trying to tell us that the interview at 4 was the 1 who killed him.”
  • “4 I translates to “four-eyes” to me, so I’m going for the first candidate that he “dissed”…. four-eyes was certain he could do great things for the company and quickly realized the only way he was going to get his foot in the door was by eliminating the bad man that didn’t have a clue what ‘top talent’ was or could do!”
  • Thanks to these intrepid detectives and to everyone else who sent us their solution to the crime. Who actually did it? The interviewee who wore glasses. Even fatally wounded, Paul Appleton couldn’t help but be unpleasant, so he described the killer with the less than polite term 4 I, meaning “four eyes.”

    AARP published an article in the March & April, 2008 issue of its magazine that explored the connection between physical exercising and brainpower. It focused, in particular, on a yoga exercise that is receiving considerable attention for its ability to boost your “mental muscle.” It’s called “superbrain yoga;” here’s how it works:

  • Step 1: place your left hand on your right earlobe, thumb on the front of the lobe with your fingernail facing outward and second finger behind the earlobe. Then, with your left hand, grasp your right earlobe using the same finger placement. Press both earlobes simultaneously, making sure your left arm is inside your right and thus closest to your chest.
  • Step2: As you press your earlobes, squat down, keeping your back straight. Do 10-12 deep bends, inhaling through the nose on the way down and exhaling through the mouth on the way back up.
  • The exercise may not be something you want to do in your cubicle, but when repeated on a daily basis, devotees say it stimulates memory, concentration and abstract reasoning, especially among those of us who’ve had a lot of workplace plaque build up over the years.

    Monster concluded a survey of employers and found a disconnect between the hiring plans of employers and the employment expectations of this year’s college graduates. According to the site, almost six out of ten employers (59%) plan to hire new college grads this year, a large number but one that is down from almost eight in ten (76%) just a year ago. That reality stands in stark contrast to what the class of 2008 thinks will happen in the job market. On average, graduating seniors expect to have two or more job offers by the time they leave school. If the graduates prove correct (and let’s hope that they do), it will be due, at least in part, to their efforts to make better use of their profiles on social networking sites. They’ll ditch the pictures of wild keg parties and post information that enhances their perceived capability at work. Why is that so important? Because the number of recruiters checking the profiles of college students before making a hiring decision jumped by almost 37% in just the last year.

    MyBusiness magazine featured a list of what it calls “time bandits.” These activities eat away at the time you need to think, evaluate, and plan for career success. What are the worst of these time bandits? Here’s the magazine’s list with a few of my variations on the theme:

  • Clutter wastes time by forcing you to look for things when you need them. A possible solution: Spend the last thirty minutes of each day putting things away in their designated place.
  • Interruptions waste time by breaking your train of thought and forcing you to start over and over again. A possible solution: Set aside periods of time during the day as “interruption-free zones” and then rigorously enforce them.
  • Meetings waste time when they don’t start or stop on time and proceed without an agenda or designated objective. A possible solution: Work on changing the culture in your organization so that anyone who calls a meeting spends as much time preparing for it as they expect to spend in the meeting itself.
  • Miscommunication wastes time because work must be redone when it’s not executed as needed or specified. One possible solution: Develop checklists for situations that occur frequently and for those that don’t, insist on regular status reports so that disconnects are identified early, before they become huge problems.
  • Micromanaging wastes time because it overloads you (causing you to take longer to do each task) even though others are perfectly capable of performing some of the work. One possible solution: Take the time to ask yourself if each task on which you’re working could be done just as well by someone else, and if so, give them the chance to excel.
  • WEDDLE’s announced a fast-acting and effective antidote to slower hiring in a slow economy. It’s WEDDLE’s WIZNotes-Fast Facts on Job Boards. These books are a quick reference to job openings on the Internet and an inexpensive job search aid. Each WIZNotes includes compact, but complete profiles of the key sites that specialize in a specific career field or employment situation. There are WIZNotes for:

  • Sales & Marketing professionals,
  • Finance & Accounting professionals,
  • Engineering professionals,
  • Human Resource professionals,
  • Scientists
  • Women Professionals
  • Managers & Executives,
  • and

  • Recent Graduates.
  • Plus, there are WIZNotes on:

  • Finding a Job on the Web
  • Writing a Great Resume
  • All you have to do is select the WIZNotes that’s right for you. Each volume has exactly the information you need to find the right job boards and career portals for you. And best of all, at $12.95 each, WEDDLE’s WIZNotes are a bargain to boot! To order your WIZNotes, click on the link to your left or call 317.598.9768. Order today!

    Section Three: Site Profiles

    Site Spotlite … from the pages of WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guides and Directories

    There are 50,000 job boards now in operation in North America and an equal number operating elsewhere around the world. The key to a successful online job search, therefore, is knowing where to find and how to select the best sites for your specific employment objective. WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide identifies 350 of the top sites worldwide and provides the information you need to determine which job boards will deliver the best opportunities for you. For example:

    VetJobs

    http://www.vetjobs.com

    Post full time jobs: Yes

    Post part time, contract or consulting jobs: Yes-All

    Distribution of jobs: International

    Number of jobs: 30,000+

    Salary levels of jobs: Up to $150K+/yr

    Offer a job agent: No

    How long are resumes stored: Indefinitely

    Restrictions on who can post: Must register and be a military veteran or a member of their family

    Other services for job seekers: Discussion forums, Assessment instruments, Career information, Links to other sites with job search/career resources

    Member, International Association of Employment Web Sites: Yes

    Please Support Our Sponsor: WEDDLE’s Books

    This issue of WEDDLE’s newsletter is brought to you through the generous support of WEDDLE’s Guides and Directory, the leading reference books for online job search success.

    You can follow the herd and go to the same job boards everyone else is visiting online or you can shop smart and find the job boards that are best suited for you. You can add your application to the hundreds of others being submitted for the jobs everyone else is seeing or you can find the special opportunities posted at lesser known job boards and career portals. The choice is yours.

    If you want to take the path less traveled and find a great job online, you’ll need the gold standard of job board guides: WEDDLE’s. WEDDLE’s publications are your road map to the best of the 50,000+ job boards now operating on the Internet. WEDDLE’s books include:

  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet. Called the “Zagat of the online employment industry” by the American Staffing Association, it provides full-page profiles of 350 of the best job boards in a range of occupations, industries and locations;
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Directory of Employment Related Internet Sites. The “address book of the online employment industry,” it lists over 9,000 sites and organizes them by the career fields, industries and geographies on which they focus; and
  • WEDDLE’s 2007/8 Guide to Association Web Sites. The key to the “hidden job market” online, it details the employment resources and capabilities that are provided at the Web-sites of over 1,900 associations and societies.
  • These books are a smart investment for the smart professional. They provide a real and important competitive advantage in your search for a great job during a difficult economy. So, don’t delay! Click on the link to your left or call WEDDLE’s at 317.598.9768 and place your order today.