What makes you get out of bed and to the office (or the next room) each morning? You may say, the people I work with, donut day, the pay check, the value I feel in my work, or the difference I make in the world. All great reasons to motivate yourself each morning - whatever it is, own it. Motivation is triggered differently for every person and it can change throughout your life cycle. If you are missing your "why", this is dedicated to you.


The last two and a half years have proven difficult for many to reconnect with their purpose at work. We see many trends reshaping what the workplace will look like in the next five years. We will see an uptick in collaboration, new work schedules, automation in processes, further disconnect with remote work, more professional development opportunities, and an all inclusive workplace for work/life balance.


On average, you will spend one third of your life, close to 90,000 hours at work in your lifetime - so lead with purpose. Purpose is defined as the reason for which something is done or created or for which something (someone) exists. You were born with a purpose, a talent, a gift that needs to be shared with the world.

"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why" - Mark Twain

Don't rely on others (your employer) to find your purpose at work. Your employer has a mission and vision statement that they hope their employees will align with. This could have been the reason you were attracted to your employer from the start. But maybe you have lost the connection to your true purpose and how it aligns with your work at work.

 

Five steps to find your purpose at work

  1. What responsibilities, activities, opportunities, benefits, projects, or actions give you joy at work? Make a list of the top 10 items that fit this category. Limit to two to three words per item. Example: The people.

  2. Why does each item give you joy? Next to each item, write a sentence explaining the "why". Example: My co-workers inspire me to do my best work so I can contribute to the team in a positive way.

  3. Rate the 10 items from 1-10 in order of which gives you the most joy (10) to less joy (1).

  4. Evaluate your results. What are you most inspired by? Tasks, projects, helping others, connection to others, contributing to the organization, being creative, customers, the culture, the company's vision/objective, having a work family, the benefits, using your degree/schooling, professional development opportunities, etc.

  5. If you could change one thing, something you could change that you would change, what would that be? Take note of this one thing and let it resonate with you. Allow yourself to hold on to it and really focus on how you can make this one thing a reality.

You may find at the end of this exercise that you are the perfect fit for your current organization and that you truly believe in your purpose. If you find at the end of the exercise that you don't find much joy in your current situation, it might be time for a change. It may be possible that at one time you had great purpose in your work at your organization and today have lost that connection. That could be for many reasons. And not all bad! Employment tends to be a life cycle. If you have put your all in your current situation and lack purpose, it might be time to evaluate what once gave you purpose in your work. Then make a move!


That move could be a change in departments within the organization, it could be seeking a promotion, maybe taking a step back from a management role, maybe you see an opportunity in the company that isn't being capitalized on and want a special project, or maybe it is filling a new role at a new organization you better align with today.

 

If you are struggling - work with a coach.

The above exercise is one tactic to find your purpose but it may be a larger question for you. Your "why" or purpose may be impacted by multiple factors that do not include your current place of employment.

There are eight quadrants that make up a well balanced life (career/business, family/friends, finances, romance/intimacy, health/selfcare, social/fun, personal/spiritual, physical environment). Some days you may fill 6 or the 8 perfectly and 2 of the 8 need help. This is where a coach can work with you to discover how to build up each quadrant to live your best life and prosper at work.


Through working with a coach you will be able to articulate not only your purpose at work but in the other seven areas of your new well-balanced life.


You can live the life you want with proper work/life balance. You can stive for whatever ambitions you have with support, clarity, and a goal. It is within your grasp!

Get started today: https://www.fullcirclecoachingco.com/services-7.


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Managing Stress at Work

We have all been there; that report is due by Friday, you have more meetings than you can count, and your boss is demanding you do more with less, all while working from a corner in your living room. The stressors of working through the pandemic are real and rarely considered in our day-to-day.


Whether you are in the office or working from home stress is hurting you. In 2021, of 1,501 US adult workers surveyed, 79% of employees had experienced work-related stress. AND nearly 60% employees reported negative impacts of work-related stress. (APA)


Types of workplace stress.

There are four types of workplace demands that attribute to workplace stress.

Task demands – relate to job insecurity, workload, and the type of occupation.

Role demands – conflict within the role or within departments.

Physical demands – potentially hazardous workplaces, poor lighting, temperature, working remotely, and pace.

Interpersonal demands – Staffing, leadership style, expectations by leadership, lack of personal interaction, and personality conflicts.


How stress affects your health.

Initial physical symptoms of distressed “negative” stress are problems sleeping, upset stomach, elevated blood pressure, headaches, depression, anxiety, skin problems, and chest pain. Continued stress becomes harmful when people use tobacco, drugs, and alcohol to temporarily bandage the problem. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) had declared stress as a hazard of the workplace – costing American companies $300 billion annually.


Ways you can manage stress at work.

Stress management is about balance. Work should not consume your life, your body’s balance to defend, your relationships, or your joy. Things you can do:

Ensure you get plenty of sleep each night

Eat a balanced diet, and drink plenty of water

Exercise frequently throughout the week

Get away from your desk

Set boundaries and leave work at set time each day

Breathing exercise when entering a stressful meeting or conversation

Learn what is draining your energies

Be kind to yourself.


Another successful tool is hiring a career coach to build a toolset to manage your workplace/life stressors. A coach is not a therapist but instead someone who helps you establish what you hold valuable in your life and balance that with your career goals. Whether you are someone who has recently been promoted, someone who has been asked to continue to work with less help, someone who needs to understand their “why”, or someone who just needs to talk about what’s next – a coach is proven to help.

 

Quick breath exercise for reducing stress.

Sit in a chair with your back straight, your feet flat on the floor and your hands in a comfortable position on your lap, eyes closed. Start by taking a few deep breaths in through your nose and out your mouth. Then breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, and breath out for a count of 8. Do that 5-10 times until you feel your heartbeat and body relax. Then when you’re ready, open your eyes. …repeat as necessary.

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She was in her mid-twenties, stressed to the heavens because she wanted more out of my career. She spends countless hours both pushing for her MBA and working a full-time job as a Financial Analyst in a career that isn’t exactly her niche. She is burning at both ends and doesn’t know where to turn. She can turn to her friends, family, co-workers and anyone who will listen all she wants but something is missing. So, she decides to see a therapist. After many therapists, something was still missing. She made career moves that she thought was right and took the plunge into the career she’s always wanted. But again, unhappy. She was sick of complaining and tired of apologizing for being so ambitious. The most recent therapist gave me an “AH-HA” moment.

After the last therapist, I discovered a trend…I seek help when I get overly worked and feeling helplessly stressed. But not about my home life, not about my personal relationships and not about “finding myself”. But instead workplace stress was my trigger. I would go off on tangents and rant about my day whenever I saw my therapist. And she helped a little. But I could tell she was not sure how to handle me.

One day, at a Leadership retreat in Boston, I participated in a workshop where the key speaker described her days spent by helping people be their best at their job. Hearing her talk about one of her first clients was so eye opening. This client loved her job but felt stuck. She didn’t know how to get ahead, earn more money and reach for the promotion. And I thought to myself, that’s how I feel.

Challenge accepted! I want to do the same thing for women in my home town. Then one night, as I sat at home with my dogs and flipped through yet another study guide for an up and coming certification, I realized, I needed to talk to someone who could give me tools to find my best self in my career. So, I embarked on a journey…

My journey brought me to coaching.

And here I am today, professionally trained in executive leadership and career coaching. I’ve discovered that coaching is a journey and does take time. However, there isn’t anything that can’t be solved through coaching, especially if it means career happiness. I challenge you to discover what one coaching conversation can do for your career, especially if you feel like I did when I was in my twenties.

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