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Before You Make a Career Change, Try Doing These 2 Things

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career advice

You can’t go into work anymore without a full-body shudder. The thought of doing whatever it is you’ve been doing for a couple years today is insufferable. The only way you’ve been able to get through the day is to fantasize about that big fat career change, and how much better life will be when you’re actually doing what you want.

So you find yourself putting in job applications. Work somehow becomes tolerable when you check emails in gleeful anticipation of your golden ticket: the second interview. You’re finally going to have meaning! You’ll be able to wake up and know that what you did counted! Most importantly, you won’t be stuck here anymore.

But I have a question for you. What’s to say you’re not going to repeat this process after you’ve been doing your next job for a couple years? Fact is, changing your job will only change your job. If you don’t manufacture meaning in your life through consistent personal growth and giving, you’re still going to crave change no matter how awesome your job is. So, before you submit another quick app on LinkedIn, and before you take that second interview, there are a couple things you should do first.

1. Start a regular giving practice

Part of desiring a career change is wanting to make a difference to people. You want to know that you’re exerting a positive influence through your skills and resources because you’re human—we need to feel connected to others, and that we’re using our talents. But what would happen if you started a giving initiative outside of work? How might that change the way you feel at your job?

Studies show that charitable giving leads to greater happiness and satisfaction, which spills over into workplace satisfaction (no matter what job you have). You can tap into this instant sense of meaning by designating a portion of your paycheck, 5-10%, to causes you’re passionate about or people you have compassion for, both locally and globally.

“You’ve got to make the jump.” – Steve Harvey

Start a new bank account specifically for giving and set up an automatic transfer. Then every week, or twice a month, depending on how much you want to give at a time, take an hour on the weekends to research where your money can make the biggest difference. Sites like YouCaring.com have a bevy of fundraisers from social causes to medical bills and disaster relief.

Another option is to start a note tab for giving and simply pay more attention to people’s needs in your community, in your circle of friends, in your family, and in your country. Write down ideas as you read the news or whenever you hear of an opportunity to give. Not only will you end up giving to more meaningful causes that you’re closely connected to,which studies show has a more positive impact on your wellbeing, the habit of note taking will make giving a more substantial and active part of your lifestyle, which multiplies the benefits.

2. Start planning for more of what you love outside of work

As adults, we get in the bad habit of making life about work. We prepare for work, we work, we come back and do things to relax from a hard day’s work, then we sleep so we can go to work again. Which kind of makes you feel empty at work…because life isn’t just about work! But if you don’t plan on doing the things you love, and doing them consistently, you’ll pin more of your happiness (or lack thereof) on work. Which might not be fair to your job.

So start planning for joy. Right now, write out a list of the things you’ve really wanted to do or haven’t done nearly enough of over the last few years—things that maybe you’ve been too tired to do, or that for some reason never seem to happen. They might be fun trips, sporting leagues you haven’t joined, dance classes you haven’t taken, language lessons you forgot about, volunteer meetups you put off—anything that would bring you joy and that you could improve.

Then every weekend, spend ten to twenty minutes drafting up a weekly list of the activities you’d love to do most and that you refuse to put off. Write down enough activities to where you feel excited about doing more than what you normally do, but not so much that you feel anxious about having to do all this extra stuff. You’ll strike a balance after a week or two.

“If you want to make a permanent change, stop focusing on the size of your problems and start focusing on the size of you!” – T. Harv Eker

Use a blank hard-backed sketchbook for this planning activity. Then every morning, in the same planner, refer to your weekly list as you draft up daily goals. Pick the things that are most realistic or appealing for that day. For instance, if you get off early on Wednesdays, or can work from home on Fridays, those would be good days to organize pick up basketball, or to drop in on that cooking class you’ve been dying to take.

Then write out the goal with a big checkbox next to it. You’ll know what to include when you take 5-10 minutes to plan out your day each morning. Last, you’ll want to set reminders in your smartphone that alert you of the activity you want to do. Once you start consistently planning for, doing, and improving at the things which bring you joy, you’ll feel a whole new world of opportunity open up for you. And your work life will improve because of it.

Conclusion

None of the advice in this article suggests that you remain at a toxic work environment or a job that doesn’t challenge you and enrich your life. Sometimes a big career change is exactly what you need, but oftentimes the case is that you’re not putting enough effort to make life great outside of work, which makes work the scapegoat, and which makes your “dream job” a will-o-the-wisp.

If you transition into another career or job without having brought meaning to your personal life, your work can never actually make you happy. So start a giving habit first, then plan out and do the fun things and learning experiences you want to accomplish as a daily habit. If you do this consistently for a couple months and still dread walking into the same workplace, then go for that second interview!

What advice do you have for starting a new job? What has worked for you?

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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Emile Steenveld Speaker and Coach

Some people seem to naturally know how to effectively communicate in a group setting. They can express themselves clearly and listen attentively without dominating the conversation.

Being a powerful communicator is important for several reasons, including building and maintaining relationships, achieving goals, resolving conflicts, improving productivity, leading and influencing others, advancing in your career, expressing yourself more confidently and authentically, and improving your mental and emotional well-being. Effective communication is an essential life skill that can benefit you in all aspects of your life.

But, don’t worry if you don’t naturally possess this skill, as effective communication is something that can be developed with practice, planning and preparation.
 

1.  Listen actively: Practice active listening by giving your full attention to the speaker and responding to what they are saying.

 

2. Use “I” statements: Speak from your own perspective and avoid placing blame or making accusations.

 

3. Avoid assumptions: Don’t make assumptions about what the other person is thinking or feeling.

 

4. Be clear: Express your thoughts and feelings clearly and concisely by getting to the point and avoid using jargon or overly complex language.

 

5. Show empathy: Show that you understand and care about the other person’s feelings.

 

6. Offer valuable insights: When speaking in a group, provide a valuable takeaway or actionable item that people can walk away with.

 

7. Be an active listener: Listen attentively and respond accordingly, incorporating your points into the conversation.

 

8. Choose the right time: Pick the most opportune time to speak to ensure that you have the group’s attention and can deliver your message without interruption.

 

9. Be the unifying voice: Step in and unify the group’s thoughts to calm down the discussion and insert your point effectively.

 

10. Keep responses concise: Keep responses short and to the point to show respect for others’ time.

 

11. Avoid unnecessary comments: Avoid commenting on everything and only speak when you have something important to say.

 

12. Cut the fluff: Avoid being long-winded and get straight to the point.

 

13. Prepare ahead of time: Sort out your points and practice them before speaking in a group.

 

14. Smile and be positive: Smile and nod along as others speak, to build a positive relationship and be respected when it’s your turn to speak.

 

15. Take responsibility: Take responsibility for your own actions and feelings.

 

16. Ask questions: Ask questions to clarify any confusion or misunderstandings.

 

17. Avoid interrupting: Allow the other person to finish speaking without interruption.

 

18. Practice active listening: Repeat what the other person said to ensure you have understood correctly.

 

19. Use your body language too: Use nonverbal cues such as eye contact, facial expressions, and body language to convey your message and build rapport.

 

20. Be aware of the tone of your voice: it should be calm and assertive, not aggressive or passive.

 

By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your communication skills and become a more powerful communicator, which can help you build better relationships, achieve your goals, and lead a more fulfilling life.

I you want to learn how to become more confident in life then you can join my weekly mentorship calls and 40+ online workshops at AweBliss.com so you can master your life with more success.

 
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