Is your work holding you back from being the best version of yourself?

By Amalia Chilianis

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it” Maya Angelou, civil rights activist, poet and storyteller.

Do you feel like this great quote only applies in times of prosperity? That the current environment has forced a reevaluation of multiple aspects of life, a resetting of priorities and a reminder of what’s most important. However, in this time of uncertainty and economic challenges, survival instinct trumps happiness when our primary income is threatened. So, we either feel grateful to have a job even if we hate it or we’ve been forced to change through job loss and we focus on getting a job, any job.

If you can relate, please don’t let that stop you pursuing satisfying and meaningful work, “liking what you do and how you do it”. Because work that enables us to be the best version of ourselves, can provide many benefits including opportunities to learn, to build relationships, enjoyment, sense of achievement, sense of belonging and an ability to contribute to something greater just to name a few. For financial necessity, it might be that you have to take a job as a stop gap, but you can still set a goal and work on a plan to move onto something better and more fulfilling. We spend so much of our valuable time at work, that it is not too much to ask that we enjoy it more often than we don’t, as well as meeting our fundamental need for an income.

We often don’t consciously think about what it takes for us to be ready to act in order to make a change. But maybe you are aware of regularly ruminating about changing careers, or you’re tired of complaining to your partner about your job, or perhaps they are tired of hearing you complain and yet doing nothing about it. Likely, the story you are telling yourself is that now is not the time for a change.

Hope is not lost, there are a few things that can help if underneath it all, you know that you are unhappy with your career or job and you dream of making a change someday.

Needs

As humans we have basic psychological needs when it comes to being motivated to act, to perform at your best and to continue to grow. A need for competence (both capability and confidence in our ability), a personal connection to a goal and some sense of autonomy, personal control. Based on the work of Deci and Ryan (1985), when these are satisfied people are more motivated and have better mental health and when they are impeded lead to diminished motivation and wellbeing. Ask yourself the following, do you;

Feel competent (and confident) to change jobs or careers?

Have a clear goal?

Feel that you have some sense of personal control?

Understandably all of these can be challenging, but breaking each point down and exploring whether you can do one thing to help you with your confidence, to get clear on a goal and to focus even on something small that you can control.

Act

Before anyone makes a decision and takes action, they will contemplate the situation. Maybe you have not fully resolved whether it is time to move on. Or you are stuck between two options that are equally daunting, staying where you are with the status quo or making a change to the unknown. 

A pragmatic and effective way to move from contemplation to preparation to act is through small steps. Trying small safe actions to move forward. Not over thinking it, or “having the answer”, but taking one step at time and getting out of your head into action.

Looking at how able and confident you feel about making a change, you could simply start with updating your resume and capture your recent achievements. To help you clarify a possible goal for what might be next you could safely talk to your trusted networks or find a close friend or colleague who you can help you discuss possible options. Even researching the job market and setting up relevant job alerts, can help to give you some sense of control.

The pursuit for greater satisfaction from work is not for smiley face emoji happiness, but more that the ratio of the work you do, you enjoy more often than not. It is also not about a lack of difficulty, as challenge has been proven as a requirement for job satisfaction.

Want

While keen for you to move from contemplation to action, there is one critical step that you need to get clear on. You need to be able to clearly articulate your wants. People are better able to help you when you know what you want. You will also be more focused with your time and energy looking for something better, rather than more of the same. Reflect and write down what you ideally want from your work. How you want it to look, feel and fit in and enable the rest of your life. Everyone deserves to be and feel valued for the work they do and to gain satisfaction from their time spent contributing to work. Work can provide many benefits outside of the financial necessity. What do you want work to be and do for you? What would close to ideal look like? What conditions would make it excellent? What is most important in the work you want to be doing?

Whether you categorise your work as white-collar, knowledge worker, tradie or creative, as humans we all have needs that are met by our work and being clear on your needs as well as your wants can help you move to act. You can move from a passenger on a boat at the whim of the tides and wind, to steering your own path while navigating them.

Bio

Amalia is a mid-working life senior professional who is determined that the next 20 years of work and life will be different to the last. A courageous leader and an encourager of others who wants to help people create and secure meaningful work for a new future.

Succeeding and enduring more than 20 years in Human Resources in large corporates, such as PwC, IBM, GM Holden, NAB and more, taking on demanding leadership roles but always focused on business savvy, pragmatic and sustainable solutions that help people improve, change and grow.

Hired into GM Holden with the express purpose of designing and leading the support program for the closure of Manufacturing and Engineering. Together with a great team, created the most successful transition program to date with 95% of almost 3000 people participating and 93% securing gainful employment.

Having personally experienced numerous roles being made redundant and with a career spanning recruitment, career development and organisational development she has expertise from multiple perspectives. Currently, coach, speaker and consultant working nationally and internationally helping people and organisations develop and change to achieve a better future.

Links for Sharing

Website. https://amaliachilianis.com

LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/amalia-chilianis/

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Amalia-Chilianis-Consulting

Instagram amalia_chilianis

Guest Blogger 2020 Uncategorized

Nice girls don’t lead!

Powerful women can be found in the construction industry, and they have been there for some time now.  Because women are not used to showcasing themselves, it can be thought that they don’t exist.  We do.  And here is Marcia, an incredible leader, advocate, and a #GladiatHER in her own right – Bek

When Becky Paroz asked me to write a piece, my first reaction was- What will I write!

Interesting, considering I have had a diverse and let’s say- unusual career journey.

And so, my musing began. Why is it that we instantly degrade our knowledge and worth?

I reflected on my upbringing-Lets blame the parents 😊 I was fortunate to have a loving family and was brought up on a farm in a country region, where my parents expected us all to contribute to the running of the business. In saying that, there were definitely gender specific jobs, and subtle yet definite grooming into particular roles.

My first job was as a hairdresser- because that was one of the few jobs for “a girl” in my hometown. I loved the creativity of this role, and will be forever grateful for the exposure it gave me to a diverse range of people, communication and time management skills honed by a constant stream of clients. I even built my first successful business in this industry.

However- I felt there was more for me, and the pursuit of “my fit” began.

I won’t elaborate too much on the career zigzag- Hairdresser, Small Business owner, Chef, Project Director, Event Manager to name a few.

Unsettled they say, unfocused?? No, just a love of the unknown, a willingness to give anything a go, and an inner strength and belief in myself.

So why am I so resistant to raise my head and say- look at me, look at what I’ve done?

This I believe is a trait many women have, and to our detriment. Be humble, be modest, don’t brag- these are good qualities to an extent- however not always when you are a leader.

I believe my biggest learning was when I discovered I needed to gain respect rather than be liked by my employees. A big change for me as a 19-year-old “green” manager, and one which took great courage and a shift in how I saw myself.

I have worked now in male dominated industries for over 15 years now- and love it. I do still have resistance from some, and to be truthful it gets frustrating at times, however, building respect through actions is my go-to- every time. Demonstrating great leadership through your actions is a no brainer, but a commodity thin in the ground.

Great female leaders harness those inbuilt traits that can be our undoing and turn them into skills for success. So let’s turn those traits around:

Empathy: not a pushover- empathy allows employees feel heard, and is proven to be a catalyst to better performance and innovation

Humility- not to be confused with lack of confidence or weakness, humility can assist to inspire people to follow, allows you to admit and learn from your mistakes, and take responsibility

Nurturing- not mothering, rather guiding people to be the best they can, offer support, and celebrate growth and success.

Removing my need to be liked and replacing it with my desire to be respected changed everything for me. You don’t have to be bossy or outspoken to demonstrate strength and gain respect. Listen and learn from EVERYONE! Some of my biggest insights came from conversations with the people on the ground, the “workers” that often feel invisible or not important. Take risks and learned to accept “failure”. It’s not. Its growth. Be kind and fair and confident to take a seat at the table and share your knowledge- its valuable and worthy. Celebrate your abilities, your successes, and become the leader that every little girl and boy aspires to be.

BIO:

Marcia Kelly is the Director of Wingman Consultants, and a passionate advocate for increasing female participation in industries not traditionally high in women’s representation.

Marcia has a diverse career background, with her first business venture starting at the age of 19. She has owned and managed small and medium sized enterprises for over 25 years and worked across Australia and East Timor.

Marcia works in predominately Civil construction and Mining and has worked on Commonwealth Government and Defense projects. She was the Founder of Women in Resources Northern Territory, was a finalist in Exceptional Women in Resources in 2019, and has qualifications in International Business, Training and Assessment and Workplace Health and Safety, and Project Management.

Marcia is a mother of one, lives in Hervey Bay with her partner, and is passionate in her focus to support and provide innovative solutions to companies and individuals who wish to grow and improve the way they do business.

Empowering Guest Blogger 2020