Rethinking Significant & Meaningful Work


Do you ever imagine that a different job would bring you more fulfillment and significance? 

I used to think this frequently.

And what I found was this thought led to a feeling that dried up my creativity and enjoyment of the projects right in front of me. After all, the logic goes, there's something much better than this for you. It's never good enough. 

I began to separate from feeling good, from my strengths, and, to my great horror, from other people.

Then I felt bad and I didn't like that. So to make sense out of the situation, I attempted to find a "bad guy" - a perpetrator whose fault it was. 

I took to contempt of others, and the situation. And sometimes, and this is what triggered my quasi heart attack years ago, I took that contempt out on myself. 

Contempt, after all is one of the few emotions strong enough to cover shame. 

And the cycling through began - others, situation, and self - disgust, blame, and shame.

What about feeling good? Gone. 

What about compassion - for others and for self? Gone. 

What about seeing the bigger and broader picture? Gone. 

Disengaged my prefrontal cortex and hello amygdala. Most everything became a threat of some sort - even me. Talk about hell. 

What's my view on finding a different job out there that would bring me more fulfillment and significance now? 

I believe that I bring my own sense of significance to whatever it is that I do. 

And when I attempt to look at my life and career through lenses bigger than my own from a place of safety, I can begin to integrate every experience - pros and cons - into a bigger and broader story.

One that moves upward and is expansive. One that is full of freedom and ease. One that rings much more true.

That is significant. That is fulfilling. To me.

What about you?

7 Strategies to Land Your Dream Job


Many people have a story that follows this pattern. Start small, work hard, wait a longtime, and then finally, make it. But, this post isn't about those stories. This post is about how to take action and effectively land your dream job. So, here are 7 strategies that you can use right now to advance your career:

1) Read the room

One of the best ways to advance your career is understanding how to read a room. It’s having the social and emotional intelligence to accurately identify the landscape and respond with a fitting emotional response. Another way to look at this is, know your audience.

Using charisma, attention to detail, and effective communication skills, you can read rooms effectively. However, it’s not really about how you act or what you do, it’s about how you listen and respond to the wants, desires, and passions of your employer and/or team. This ultimately will bring value to you, your community, and your career.

2) Know what the problems are

Misunderstanding, miscommunication, and lack of expectations are a few of the things that derail careers and relationships. That’s why it’s important to know what the problems are, understand your audience, and deliver on your promises.

When you look at the highest performing professionals in the workplace, you’ll see knowledge and understanding; in many ways it’ll seem like these individuals are able to read the minds of their audiences. When you’re able - and willing - to understand the problems, you’ll be more prepared to provide appropriate solutions. This can relate to your working relationships as well as the advancement of organizations as a whole.

3) Be memorable

When you are memorable, you’re more than just you. Think about it this way: what do you remember about your grandparents? I’m guessing, it’s more than just their names. Likely, you remember their home, smell, sayings, and passions. This is because humans remember memorable things, not just people. So, think about how you can be memorable in a positive light.

Here are a few examples of how you can be memorable in your career:

  • You use a specific saying all the time
  • You treat people well consistently
  • You make jokes or you don’t make jokes
  • You understand yourself well – your strengths and weaknesses

4) Make your message about them, not simply you.

Everyone likes it when you make a message about them, and not simply about yourself. When you’re able to make your message about those around you and not just yourself, you create trust, and even more importantly, interest.

In a professional setting (i.e. an interview, training, or a review), it’s important to remember that you can actually get your agenda across by speaking directly about - and directly to – the challenges of those around you and how you can help them hurdle those obstacles.

5) Surround yourself with even better people

Create a tribe of contacts who are your biggest believers, who will advocate for you and rally around your messages, beliefs, and goals. But, more importantly, surround yourself with people who will make you look better, and ultimately, be better. When you do this, you create clout as a leader, and will be better prepared to actually be one.

6) Engage your network regularly and thoughtfully

When it comes to advancing your career, it’s important to be consistent, keep people “in the know,” and to be thoughtful and strategic in your approach. When you’re able to do these things, you will actually begin to develop a trusted brand outside of your personal network or in the case of your job, outside of your professional role.

7) Be yourself

Building a personal brand creates a unified experience of you that those outside of your circle can relate to, and it also helps you understand more about yourself. Remember, we’re all different and unique. When you’re true to yourself, you’ll begin to land the jobs you want, in the cultures you’re looking for much more easily.

The above strategies are simple areas that you can control, and use, to advance your career. To learn more about how to take control of your career, click here.