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5 things everyone wants in their career, but no one talks about

wants

Here’s something I’ve noticed:

Most humans tend to move through life believing that they are islands unto themselves.

If we feel depressed, we assume everyone else is happy.

If we feel stuck, we get frustrated by how “ahead” the people around us are.

If we feel lost, everyone seems to have found themselves.

We assume that we’re alone in our internal world and that something is wrong with us for feeling how we feel.

One of the best parts about my job is that I’ve had access to countless internal worlds.

And I can tell you right now — most of what I hear is a repeat of what I’ve already heard. Everyone is thinking and feeling versions of the same thing. We have infinitely more in common than we assume.

But because most of us haven’t shared our internal fears and desires out loud, we don’t realize how normal we are.

Which is why I often hear people ask me, “Am I crazy for thinking that?” and “Is it weird that I want that?”

My answer is always, “No. That’s totally normal! And in fact, you’d be shocked at how many people have asked me the same question.”

There are plenty of differences between each person, of course. But there are some things that are so common that every person I’ve ever coached has talked about it.

So, in an effort to show you just how universal your experience is, I want to share with you the 5 things that everyone wants from their career. (I could make totally separate lists for “love” and “life,” but I’m sticking with career today!).

Consider these 5 things a baseline test to see if you’re getting your basic needs met in your career … or if you need to aim higher.

After you’ve read, leave a comment below to let me know which of the five you resonate the most with!

And remember, if you don’t have time to read, you can scroll down to the bottom of the blog and listen to me read it! (Listen time is about 7 minutes.) 🙂

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I’ve never heard anyone say, “You know, I’m just too respected. I could do with a little disrespect.” 

A lot of people I’ve coached have experienced the opposite — they don’t feel respected and valued for their work, or simply as a person.

It’s a basic human desire to want to feel respected and valued. Period.

And yet, I hear a lot of people second-guessing that desire:

“I mean, I’m pretty new here. Maybe I need to earn more respect.”

“This is just what work is like. You’re a cog in the wheel. You can’t expect to be appreciated all the time.”

And to be clear, respect is something that deserves to be earned — but that goes both ways. You earn respect through being a thoughtful person who does diligent work, and people (yes, even higher-ups) should be earning your respect with their leadership.

If you feel unseen, unacknowledged, undervalued, and like no one respects you (and if you don’t respect them) … that’s a problem. And you don’t have to settle for it.

We get what we’re willing to settle for. And staying in a situation where you’re never going to be respected or valued only gives people with authority the license to continue treating you, and everyone else, that way.

AUTONOMY & TRUST

I’ve also never heard anyone say, “I could do with a touch more micromanagement!” or “I love that my boss does laps around our cubicles every half hour.”

When someone trusts us, they’re willing to give us a certain degree of autonomy. They give us space to do our job in a way that works for us, even if it’s not the way they would do it.

When you have autonomy, you have room to challenge yourself. And when we feel challenged, we feel like we’re growing. Humans naturally abhor stagnation … we love to feel like we’re moving toward something.

When someone puts you on a short leash, or won’t let you try new things, or doesn’t allow you to use your brain to solve a problem (they just want you to do things the way they’ve always been done), it’s stifling.

Humans can’t thrive when we feel suffocated. We need room to breathe!

Being stifled and not trusted is sadly normal in a lot of workplaces, but normal doesn’t mean necessary. If this is what you’ve been tolerating, you have complete permission to aim higher.

FLEXIBILITY

Once again, no one has ever told me, “I hate the idea of being able to work from home if I feel like it,” or “Choosing my own schedule? Gross! I want a strict, rigid system that I can never deviate from.”

 No one likes feeling trapped. Freedom is as basic a need as food or water.

Not everyone needs the same degree of freedom — some people can’t thrive unless they work for themselves, others prefer a more stable existence — but everyone needs a certain amount of flexibility.

What “flexibility” means is up to you. Maybe it’s the ability to set your own hours, go to the gym in the middle of the day, or work from home a couple days a week. It could be as simple as choosing to come in one hour later in the morning and work an hour later in the evening.

Whatever makes you feel like you’re not trapped is a good place to start.

No one contributes their best when they feel chained to a system that doesn’t work for them. We’re all far more engaged, energized, and productive when we can work in a more intuitive way.

Being handcuffed to your desk is not something you have to continue “sucking up” or getting over. It’s something no one wants, and you’re completely normal for wanting more freedom.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

I’ve never worked with any sociopaths, so I’ve never heard anyone say, “I have no desire to help anyone. I just want to serve myself. The world can go to hell.”

If you’ve ever said, “I want to help people!” or, “I really want to have an impact,” or “I wish I could make a difference,” you’re both admirable and completely unoriginal (in the best way).

Humans are wired to support each other. We find deep joy and satisfaction in being of service.

So if you’re doing something that feels completely pointless — or worse, actively harmful (you know, like marketing tobacco to teenagers) — it’s no wonder you’re existentially exhausted. What’s the point if you’re not doing any good?

It’s not unreasonable to want to make an impact. Don’t let the slightly jaded people convince you that “helping people” is unrealistic and that you and your do-gooder dreams should pack it up and go home.

Your life is valuable, which means how you spend it is important. If you’re not spending it doing something you believe in and that feels worthwhile … then what are you (or any of us) doing here?

SPENDING TIME IN NATURE

Lastly, I’ve never heard anyone say, “I love working in a windowless office for 9 hours every day! I have no need of sunlight or fresh air.”

This one is so basic that you may have forgotten … but the ability to go outside, absorb some sunshine, and take a few deep breaths isn’t just a “nice to have” — it’s a must.

Whenever humans spend time in nature, our brains produce chemicals that put us into a relaxed state. We’re biologically connected to nature in a way we can’t begin to understand.

So it makes perfect sense that spending all day in a beige office under fluorescent lighting might be draining, annoying, and anxiety-inducing.

At the very least, you should be to walk outside every day or take your laptop and go work on a bench. Even better if you have a flexible work policy that allows you to plan a hike in the middle of the afternoon if you so choose.

You’re not a diva if you’re stuck inside all day and hate it. You’re not a robot! If you felt nothing about that, we’d know something was wrong with you.

So … there you have it. These five things are so universal that you should expect to have them met in a job. And if you can’t reach that baseline … feel free to explore options that will honor your basic human needs.

Can you relate with these five? What else do you think is a basic need? Share with me in the comments!

TOO LONG, DIDN’T READ? LISTEN INSTEAD!

If reading long blogs just isn’t your deal, you’re in luck:

We’re now recording our blogs for you!

Here’s Rachel reading this week’s blog:

IF YOU LIKED THIS, THEN YOU’LL ALSO LOVE …

How to end the 40-hour workweek

How to live more and work less

How to create more time in your day

Much Love,

Rachel (& Kristen)

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Is 2017 turning out the way you wanted? Your mid-year reality check

mid-year

I was talking to my younger brother the other day who, like me, is a deep questioner and intensely curious about life (we sound like a pair of amateur philosophers when we get together), and he was saying how weird it is that time seems to move so much more quickly as we get older.

When you’re a kid, a month feels SO long. And a year? That might as well be forever. I remember when waiting for my next birthday seemed interminable.

And yet, we’re now closing in on the end of June, and I feel like we just celebrated New Years. Somehow six months have passed, and I’ve barely gotten used to writing 2017 whenever I need to include a date on something.

Time feels like it’s moving uncomfortably quickly.

Which is why I thought we all (myself included) could use a brief moment to do a mid-year check-in with ourselves. Because if we don’t take moments to pause, reflect, and reevaluate … before we know it, 2017 will be over and we’ll be wondering, “Did I actually do the things I wanted to do this year?”

While at a coaching conference this past weekend, I wrote out a few mid-year reflection questions for myself. And then I thought, “Why not share them with our community?”

So here you go. Here are the 3 big mid-year check-in questions I came up with for myself (and, incidentally, for you):

QUESTION 1: WHAT WERE YOU HOPING WOULD HAPPEN IN 2017?

The first thing I did in my mini reflection session was to check in with the intentions, goals, and hopes I had at the start of the year.

One of my top intentions for 2017 was to prioritize my physical health. Last year was a pretty shitty year for me health-wise, so I vowed to listen to my body more and take pristine care of my health this year. I also wanted to keep improving my emotional, mental, and spiritual wellness, too — because health goes beyond just your physical body!

When it comes to my relationships, I wanted to practice greater appreciation of the people in my life, as well as better intuitive discernment in new relationships (I tend to put on blinders and see only the good in people I meet, which has come back to bite me on more than one occasion!).

Rachel and I also had some business goals, like totally revamping our Passion Profile Short Course, upgrading our business systems and technologies, and implementing some new, creative ideas (more to come on that front!).

It felt good to remind myself of what’s most important to me and check-in on the intentions I set for myself.

So now it’s your turn: Take a minute to jot down the things you hoped to do or experience at the start of 2017, whether or not they’ve happened yet.

QUESTION 2: WHAT DO YOU SAY YOU WANT VS. WHAT YOUR ACTIONS ARE REFLECTING?

So how am I actually doing with all of that? Am I walking my talk?

Ugh, this question was uncomfortable. It’s easy and fun to think about all of my goals and hopes for the year, but the reality check of matching what I say I want with what I consistently do revealed some … inconsistencies.

I’ve made (and actually stuck with) some big dietary changes, and I’m feeling healthier than ever after loading up on fruits & veggies and cutting out crappy foods that my body wasn’t appreciating. I even started meditating on a (mostly) daily basis.

But on the exercise front? I could up my game on that, for sure. While I love stretching my body (and mind) in yoga and building strength in barre class, I can easily talk myself out of going, which means my consistency is hit or miss.

Talking about the changes you want to make and actually acting on them are two different things. 

The same was true for the other intentions I’d set for myself. While I may have made progress in one area, there were other areas where I had to admit I wasn’t fully following through.

In those moments, I could have judged or shamed myself for not doing all of the things I’d said I wanted to do. But instead, I chose to have compassion for myself (I’m only human, after all), applaud myself for the progress I have made, remind myself of the deeper values underneath each of my intentions, and reignite my desire to make these things happen.

You might be tempted to skip over this question. Nobody likes acknowledging where their actions may not match up with their words.

But if you’re willing to get honest with your answers to this question — without judgment or shame, and with a healthy dose of self-compassion — you’re priming yourself for amazing changes on the other side.

QUESTION 3: IF THE REST OF THIS YEAR CONTINUES ON JUST LIKE THE FIRST HALF, HOW WILL YOU FEEL?

Your gut reaction to this question will tell you everything.

If you felt immediately disappointed or panicked by the idea of the second half of this year continuing on just like the first … that’s a clear indicator that something needs to change.

However, if you felt content or even excited about the year continuing on the same trajectory, that’s a sign you’re on the right track! Keep doin’ what you’re doin’.

More than likely, your response was similar to mine: mixed emotions.

In a lot of ways, I’m happy with how things are going, and I’m all kinds of grateful to have seen improvements in my health and my business so far this year. And … I want to practice walking my talk in even more ways so I can become magnetic to the health, joy, relationships, experiences, and opportunities I want most.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? IS 2017 TURNING OUT THE WAY YOU WANTED?

It’s easy for all of us to get stuck in our normal routines and get a bit complacent. Which is why it’s so important to remember that time is going to keep chugging along (and, as my brother pointed out, it’s only going to keep moving faster!), and it’s up to us to make the most of it.

Sometimes we all need to be jolted out of our everyday routines to take a breath, zoom out to see the bigger picture of our lives, reevaluate our priorities, and make changes toward the life we want.

Consider this your jolt.

Leave a comment below to let me know if you’re willing to do a mid-year review of your own. And if you want to share your answers for one (or all!) of these questions, I’d love to hear them!

TOO LONG, DIDN’T READ? LISTEN INSTEAD!

If reading long blogs just isn’t your deal, you’re in luck:

We’re now recording our blogs for you!

Here’s Kristen reading this week’s blog:

IF YOU LIKED THIS, THEN YOU’LL ALSO LOVE …

What I’m doing to follow my passion more in 2017

This works SO much better than New Year’s resolutions

What to do when you feel like you’re behind in life

The danger of living a life that’s OK, but not great

Much Love,

Kristen (& Rachel)

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