The Mid-Career GPS Podcast

219: Loving Your Job More (Three Questions for Career Growth)

January 30, 2024 John Neral Season 4
The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
219: Loving Your Job More (Three Questions for Career Growth)
Show Notes Transcript

Are you waking up with a sense of purpose, eager to embrace the workday ahead? Many mid-career professionals settle for liking their job, but in this episode, I unfold the blueprint to transform that contentment into a deep-seated passion. I'll guide you through three transformative questions that will not only ignite enthusiasm for your current position but also help you craft a career trajectory that resonates with your aspirations. Whether it's uncovering the deeper purpose behind daily tasks or initiating career-accelerating conversations, get ready to unlock a more fulfilling and impactful professional life.

This episode will help you love the job you have even more and help you strategically hit daily milestones for career growth as you navigate toward whatever is next for you and your career. 

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John Neral:

You hear me say it every episode I help mid-career professionals find a job they love or love the job they have. Well, some of you have been asking me, john, I kind of like where I am, but how can I love my job even more? Truthfully, it can be a very exciting time in your career when you get to find ways to stretch and grow, because you and I both know after this job, more than likely, there's something else for you, and that's why, in this episode, I have three questions you can ask yourself to help you love the job you currently have, and I'm ready to share them with you. Let's get started. Hello, my friends, this is the Mid-Career GPS Podcast and I'm your host, John Neral. I help mid-career professionals find a job they love or love the job they have, using my proven four-step formula. So often currently employed professionals hear how they should be grateful they have a job. Whether the market is great for job seekers or not, they're always being told you should be grateful you've got a job and, trust me, that's true, and they know that they don't need you telling them that. But if you truly love the job you have and are satisfied where you work and what you're doing. I wanna offer you that there are plenty of opportunities to grow in that current role that you love. So here are three questions you can use to help you love your job even more while you build your mid-career GPS to whatever is next for you and your career. So question one how can you find more purpose and meaning in what you're doing? If you wake up every morning excited to get to go to work every day, there are obviously things you love about the work you do, the people you help and the people whom you work alongside. So how does your current role contribute to the overall goals of the organization? And in that, I want you to ask yourself where can you do it better? And how can you do it better when you have an opportunity to find more of that in your day? Where can I add more value? Where can I make a greater impact? How can I have a conversation that I've been wanting to have that's going to accelerate the trajectory of my department, my team, myself, whatever that is you're tapping into, whatever that purpose and meaning is about, why you do the work you do every single day. I love what I get to do and I am always leaning into where I can add more value, what different program or service I can offer? What's a new training I can offer to an organization? Where can I do more of what I love doing? The same applies for you, okay. Question number two how can you develop more positive relationships inside and outside of work that support your network? Think about who you enjoy working with. Sure there's that trusted colleague and friend you love having a great laugh with and probably commiserate when you need to spill some office tea. But there's also something about them for somebody else that you truly appreciate and value the quality of their work. Find ways to cultivate more of those kind of relationships. We've said numerous times on the podcast here that the greatest strategy you can have when networking is to give first and ask later. When you think about inside of your organization who are the people you wanna get to know a little bit more, be curious about how you might be able to help them, even if you don't know immediately that you may be of exceptional service to them. Sometimes people wanna connect and build those longer relationships down the road when they need somebody. In the last organization where I worked, which in our department was roughly about 800 people one of the things I enjoyed doing was getting to know people in other departments, just to simply know what they were doing and how their work fit into the larger puzzle of the organization. Building my network that way and finding ways to connect with people not only broadened my network, but I was able to help them as well, because I remember times when people will come to me and say, hey, john, don't you know so-and-so, and I would say, yeah, absolutely, I've been trying to get a meeting with them. Can you help me with that? Absolutely, I can. So build more positive relationships. And if you are currently leading a team of people, I wanna offer you how can you build more positive relationships with the people on your team? Where can you take that working relationship and professionally develop them to the next level that your relationship with them simply strengthens and grow? Be curious about what it is that they need, be curious about their desires, what's important to them, their overall professional goals, and see if there is a way you can foster and nurture that relationship, either between the two of you or pulling in another work colleague who may be able to help. Hey, there, we'll get back to the episode in a moment, but I've got a quick question for you. Are you currently getting ready for your annual performance appraisal? These can sadly feel like a check the box kind of meeting when in reality they are important and necessary conversations to discuss what you've done well, develop some new goals and talk about where your career is headed. But here's the thing you have to show up for these meetings prepared to talk about all of it, and you can't rely on your supervisor to know everything After all, they're busy too. But you can help them by showing up to these meetings with more evidence and greater clarity about what you want and why you believe you are ready for your next advancement opportunity. So to help you, I've got a free guide it is called 12 Questions to Help you Prepare for your annual performance review. You can download it for free on my website at johnnarrellcom or check under the resources tab, and I'll have a link for it in the show notes as well. Let me help you build your mid-career GPS and be more prepared for your upcoming performance review. Now back to the episode. All right, question number three, and if there are three questions that I'm giving you today, this is the one that I absolutely want you to pay attention to here. Where are the growth opportunities when you think about this job that you love? Where are the growth opportunities for you to do more or be better? Where do you get to expand your skills and take on new challenges when you discuss your career goals with your supervisor and explore professional development opportunities within your current role? What does that look like? I want to offer you that. This is an opportunity for you to be a better advocate for your professional development. Are you attending conferences? Are you speaking at those conferences? Perhaps you're taking on more leadership opportunities and maybe there's an opportunity for you to go on a detail and work for another department and build another skill set. The reason why this question is so important to me is it's so reflective of a pivotal time in my career In 2009,. I was getting ready to make a major career. Pivot in that I was leaving my classroom teaching and district mathematics coordinating job and I had my eye set on being a manager for a professional development team at the District of Columbia Public Schools. It was a job that, in so many ways, was the absolute best next step for me to level up my career. I had gone through the interview process back in February of 2009. I was given the green light but I didn't have the offer letter just yet. And in June of 2009, walking out of lunch with a colleague of mine, I got a phone call and it was the deputy chief of that department and she said I didn't want to make this call and I went oh no, what's wrong? And she said we didn't get the funding. She said you and everybody else on the team I wanted to bring in. I have to tell them no, but I want to assure you that I've got a green light for next year. If this still fits and if this still is of interest to you, I want you to reapply. I will tell you. I felt this sinking feeling in my heart because there were there were personal reasons in terms of my relationship for why I was moving. There were professional reasons in that I just didn't want to go back and do another year where I was. But I was like OK, it's fine. And I remember taking some time and saying to myself OK, how would I show up if I know that I'm going to get this job in a year from now? What do I get to learn over the next year? That question was so pivotal to helping me determine what I was looking for, what I needed to learn and how I was going to show up that next year. I started building out things that I thought I would need to know more in this new job. So it was things like getting better at delivering and receiving feedback, budgeting, curriculum planning, fine-tuning my instructional coaching skills that I could deliver better feedback to the teachers I was supporting. How was I building better relationships with administration? So not only were it the principles at the buildings that I was working in, but it was also my work as a co-president of my local union. I looked at all of these things as opportunities for growth that when I went to go interview for this job again, I was far better because I had a year of additional experience I didn't have before. I was able to talk about things from a more specific place because of what I had done over that last year, because I was so focused on those growth opportunities. Now I said earlier that I didn't want to go back and do another year. The reality of it was I had spent 13 years there and there were a lot of things I really did enjoy about the job. The only reason why I didn't want to go back was I had built up this story in my mind of how everything was going to play out and I was simply disappointed. It was a great job, working with great kids, great staff and, admittedly, I was making really good money too at the time. So all of those things, of course, I loved what I was doing, but I got to love that year even more because of where I was focused on my growth. Here is another byproduct of that. I remember going into that academic year in September and saying to myself this may be the last time I ever teach this lesson, and so I showed up for my students in a way of like I'm going to give you the best damn lesson I can hear today. I didn't say that to them, but like. But it was that mindset right, because I was like, oh my gosh, if this is going to be the last time I ever deliver this lesson, what do I get to learn with that as well? Getting excited about where the growth opportunities are I want to offer you is the biggest and best thing to help you love the job you currently have, because there is something else after this. There's another position, whether it be inside or outside of your current organization, and you are meant for it. But right now, where you are meant to be is sitting and growing in this place of where you love your job, and what you're going to learn is going to make you a more valuable and marketable candidate for the next job you apply to. All right, my friends, as we wrap up, here were the three questions you can ask yourself to help you love your job even more. Question one how can you find more purpose and meaning in what you're doing? Question two where can you develop more positive relationships both inside and outside of your organization? And lastly, where are your growth opportunities? All right, if you like this episode, and even more if you love this episode, I'd be honored if you would share it with somebody and tell them all about the Mid-Career GPS podcast and how it can help them figure out whatever is next for them and their careers. So until next time, my friends, remember this you'll build your Mid-Career GPS one mile or one step at a time, and how you show up matters. Make it a great rest of your day. Thank you for listening to the Mid-Career GPS podcast. Make sure to follow on your favorite listening platform and if you have a moment. I'd love to hear your comments on Apple podcasts. Visit JohnNarrowcom for more information about how I can help you build your Mid-Career GPS or how I can help you in your organization with your next workshop or public speaking event. And don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at JohnNarrowCoaching. I look forward to being back with you next week. Until then, take care and remember how we show up matters.