Research shows that you should be genuine and sincere at work but to resist sharing overly personal stories. Lisa Rosh and Lynn Offermann wrote an article, “Be Yourself, but Carefully,” in the Harvard Business Review that cautions that telling that story about falling on the way to work can cause people at work to take you less seriously.
I have to admit, I am a big time fan of self-deprecation and it looks like I am going to have to scale it back. Probably for the best since no one laughs anyway! (Okay, will stop though, seriously.)
“Now, Discover Your Strengths,” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. This book has been instrumental in how we think about developing talent at Facebook. Like all organizations, we have a system for giving feedback to our employees. A few years ago, Lori Goler, Facebook’s head of human resources, brought Marcus to meet with our leadership team to help us improve this system. Marcus and his colleagues surveyed employees for 25 years to figure out what factors predict extraordinary performance. They found that the most important predictor of the success of a company or division was how many people answered yes to the question “Do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day?” And this makes sense. Most performance reviews focus more on “development areas” (a k a weaknesses) than strengths. People are told to work harder and get better at those areas, but people don’t have to be good at everything. At Facebook, we try to be a strengths-based organization, which means we try to make jobs fit around people rather than make people fit around jobs. We focus on what people’s natural strengths are and spend our management time trying to find ways for them to use those strengths every day.
When seeking a career as you come out of school or making a job change, always take the job that looks like it will be the most enjoyable. If it pays the most, you’re lucky. If it doesn’t, take it anyway, I took a severe pay cut to take each of the two best jobs I’ve ever had, and they both turned out to be exceptionally rewarding financially.
via Barry Ritholtz
There is a perfect job out there for everyone. Most people never find it. Keep looking. The goal of life is to be a happy person and the right job is essential to that.- Byron Wien
What do you like to listen to as you work?
Some people listen to the radio and personally, this drives me crazy. No way can I deal with the commercials. A lot of people like to set up playlists on Spotify or Pandora.
I have this problem where if I listen to a certain band at work too much, I then associate their music with work. I once listened to Fleet Foxes at work all of the time because it was soothing but now it brings back memories of what I didn’t like about that job whenever I hear them.
Helpful hint: go for a walk outside and listen to music for short breaks. Or walk during your lunch break. I recently had a job that didn’t have a decent outdoor space to walk around. I listened to 60’s girl group bands and walked all around the building. It was actually quite freeing.
A reader asks: 23 year old + A.A, B.F.A, A.A.S degrees = lack of job satisfaction. Just can’t seem to figure it out, what is one to do? Can’t reasonably be a fulltime student for the rest of my life. So, what should one do to ensure finding the right career that ensures job satisfaction most of all and a comfortable living?
Bad news first: the answer to your question will not be in this (or any!) blog entry. “How do I find a satisfying, lucrative career that suits my needs?” is akin to “Where will I encounter my soulmate?” Some false premises are at play.
Some people find their soulmate. And other people find jobs that pay them $150,000 a year to fight the good fight and still have time for rich and satisfying home lives.
But … that does not happen in your 20s. If ever. So for right now, the real question is what is most important to you? Is it money? Pursuing your passion? Doing something you’re uniquely good at? Something that pays the bills but doesn’t eat your life?
Make a list of what is the most important for you. Flexibility? Status? Money? Respect? Experience? Coworkers? Commute? Workplace culture? Just something that pays the bills?
No job will have every single thing that you want, but it’s good to prioritize and move towards a job that has your most important desires.
Fridays aren’t as fun when you actually want to get something done though.
Advice from Psych Expert Dr. Amy Przeworski (I was her research assistant back in the day): "Your surroundings set the stage for your focus—if they are associated with work, you will focus on work."
Can you make your workplace a special, yummy place? Writer Susan Cain says she trained herself to look forward to writing by sitting in a cafe that she found aesthetically pleasing and eating a large chocolate chip cookie while she worked. I co-wrote a paper on introverts and how they cope with rudeness from co-workers that was inspired by Susan Cain's writing. Many people are finding solace in her message that just because someone's quiet doesn't mean they aren't as smart or nice. Just imagine if she hadn't found the will to complete her work? Lots of people want to make an impact but can't stay organized or motivated to finish projects.
I think I will try the Cookie Approach next week and update my progress.
Bring on the cookies!
Update: Cookies work! But after awhile, cookies get old. It’s good to mix in other rewards like smoothies or a get together with a friend.