‘Your environment has the power to shape who you are.’
And without an enthusiastic environment you will not find meaning in your work… Enthusiasm is what makes things fun, but it is important here to differentiate between excitement and enthusiasm. Excitement is a sudden rush over the short term, and just as it takes you soaring upwards, it will also bring you back down quickly, whereas; enthusiasm is a sustained eagerness over a longer period of time that allows you to feel a sense of enjoyment.
So why is meaningful work important? For most of us it is true that we spend more time working than we do with our families. And if we are not connected to what we do to earn a living, happiness will remain at bay. Connection or meaning is what allows us to develop a sense of belonging, and it is critical in the formation of commitment. Commitment is what helps us to keep going even when things get difficult.
And without commitment, we will be unable to go deep in anything – achieving excellence without a commitment is impossible.
Put another way, without this triad of enthusiasm which leads to meaning, and meaning which leads to commitment, and finally commitment which is the cornerstone of excellence – no one ever became a senior leader.
See, any job you are considering must qualify through two basic paradigms. Firstly, your unique strengths and abilities must be able to get the job done, i.e. you must have the competencies to be able to have a significant impact on the organization’s business issues. May these be the challenges confronting an organization, or the opportunities that they find on the road ahead. If this is asked in a question it would be, ‘Can you solve the company’s problems?’
And secondly, the cultural environment at the organization must be in alignment with your personality. When the company’s value system fits well with your value system, you get a supportive environment – one where you can gain momentum and traction for your efforts much easier. But if this match is missing, it further sucks out the enthusiasm and joy from everyday work. Again if this is asked as a question, it would be ‘Do you want to solve the company’s problems?’ Culture will indeed eat strategy for breakfast!
Your dream job is one that makes you an incredibly compelling hire for the prospective organization, and that only happens when you are able to and willing to solve the organization’s problems, or help them capitalize on the opportunities ahead of them. You cannot have a short term view with regard to these two paradigms, because people who build great careers work with the long term in mind and not only do they deliver exceptional value through their contributions, but they do so because they work with individuals they like and respect.
As we grow older, we slowly and naturally will trade energy for experience (if we’ve played our cards correctly). Good judgement comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgement. And these bad judgements occur more frequently when we are in the process of developing our experience. But the good news is that you don’t have to burn your own hand in the fire to realize that it is hot. You can learn from the experience of others, and that is where a career coach comes in. Someone who has walked the this road before, otherwise you will keep facing these dead-ends in your career.
If you are interested in starting your career acceleration journey, attend my ‘Power Up Your Career’ Live Workshop where I explain the foundation to building an extraordinary career for yourself. Register here: https://bit.ly/Powerupyourcareer