Are you on cruise control when it comes to job performance? If that's you, maybe you're not maximizing your potential or having fun at work. The thought of starting a job hunt may sound unsavory, however, it's good to know where you stand with your work. In which areas are you suffering? What do you love? When you get clarity on that, you can be strategic with a solution. Don't abandon ship--you may not have to leave your job or company. You might be able to re-shape your role to include new responsibilities you didn't think were possible before. Awareness and being pro-active with ideas are two big steps that hugely impact your day-to-day experience. Start off now, by asking yourself these 5 questions:
- Can you define your Zone of Genius (talent and purpose) and are you using it in your current job?
Yes: Congrats--that means you are enjoying work more than the average person. Kudos.
No: Bummer, no worries though, most people don't have this down. Start by tracking your moments of joy at work. What excites you? Most likely you're using your talent in those moments. Figure it out and do more activities that use your talent. Don't know your purpose? Read this.
- Do you experience frequent "Zone" moments at work? That's when you lose track of time and are totally engaged in what you're doing.
Yes: Fantastic! Keep doing more of what you're doing.
No: This is a sign that you aren't engaged and probably bored. Take note.
- Do you have a clear vision and ultimate goal for your career?
Yes: Good for you--you're ahead of the game. You're on track for achieving your what you want.
No: No fear. There's no better time to work on this. The first couple months of a new year is a great time to do big picture thinking. Set aside some time to figure out your vision and ultimate career goal. Having those in place can help you more easily access your current situation.
- Are you feeling challenged and excited about work at least 60% of the time?
Yes: Kudos again. You are ahead of the game, go for 80%.
No: Again, this is another significant red flag. You may need to operate differently or look for another job.
- Is your office or work environment supportive, motivating and energizing?
Yes: Great! Keep track of the environmental details that help you maximize your performance and try creating your ideal workday. You may already have it.
No: Can you be creative and find time to change up your environment by working in a caf, at home, or elsewhere for part of your day? If not, then reconsider your current situation. Environment plays a big role in being able to perform at your best.
Observe your answers and if there are a lack of Yes's, you can start trying to re-shape your current role by doing the following:
- Take note on some of the above points. Go to you manager and discuss how your current role isn't motivating you and not producing the best performance, present an alternative strategy i.e. another role, different projects etc.
- Start thinking about what your organizations goals are, is there something you can do that is related to those goals but also excites you and leverages your talent and purpose? Build a strategy for how you can start to take on these additional responsibilities and present a plan to your manager.
- Is there someone else that would be better suited to do some of the tasks that don't feel like the right fit for you? Find that person or talk to your manager and see if there is a way to transition some of the work that isn't motivating to create space for new responsibilities.
If you find that you aren't able to re-shape you role, you may be ready for a job change. Get clear on what your Zone of Genius is and find the organizations that require someone like you to succeed. Whatever your situation, you deserve to have 5 Yes's to the above questions. Keep in mind that the average American spends 90,000 hours of their lives working. What a waste if that time isn't spent energized and excited about the work you're doing in the world.