Does your job stress or energize you? - by Nicholas Wai

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Photo from: quote by Simon Sinek, author of the popular business strategy book “Start with Why” and its related TED talk, showed up on my facebook page this morning and it resonated with me so much that I felt compelled to share my thoughts and feelings. Why did I react to it so much? Looking back at my career, I can recall a long period of time when I was under constant stress that it felt normal to be working in such condition. I even told myself that I needed the stress to perform, to play the game. Although I was doing well and getting promotions and recognitions, I was always tired and didn’t sleep well.

Since switching career into coaching and training four years ago, even though I am as busy if not more as before, I can feel a source of energy from deep within me that sustains and propels me forward. Compared with before, I feel more alive, more able to handle pressure, and more confident in taking up challenges. Although I have also made some lifestyle changes that contributed to my better well-being, such as being more disciplined about my rest time, doing regular exercise, and eating more healthily, I believe my willingness to change and sustain my new lifestyle has a lot to do with the fact that I want to be physically and mentally strong so I can be more ready and equipped to do the work I love.

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Graphic from: may ask, is doing what you love enough? And what can you do if you are not ready to jump into a completely different career? Regarding the first question, I would like to refer to a model I used in a recent talk about finding your dream job I did at a local university. So, is just doing what you love enough? Probably not, because you would also need to do it well, meaning you will need to have the knowledge, skills and experience the work requires. And on top of this, a dream job would not be a dream job if it does not at least pay you well enough to sustain you financially, let alone really well. Understanding the 3 component parts will help you find your sweet spot that is your dream job.

How do we help our clients find and work towards this sweet spot, you might ask? A suggestion, is to first, use techniques like the one I described in my previous post to help the clients find their important values and motivations. Then, ask the question - what problems are you good at solving for others, or what problems are you passionate in helping others solve? With these component parts brought to awareness, we can then help our clients identify any knowledge/ skill/ experience gaps that need to be developed, or meaningful work that the clients could change to or expand into by recrafting their jobs if they are not ready to take the jump. By this stage, the client will be able to more confidently and precisely come up with action steps that lead them towards their sweet spots. By breaking down a question that at first seems impossible into more manageable steps, the clients will not only have the motivation but also the pathways to their ultimate dream job.

So my questions to you:

-        What are the problems you are good at solving at your job right now?

-        What problems are you passionate in help others solve?

-        How motivated are you in finding and living your dream life?

Nicholas WaiNWComment