I recently started a new job and fell into the same trap as so many others fall into early on. Everything is amazing. This will be the best job ever. This will help me grow in my career and I'm going to love my new colleagues and we'll be happy together forever.
Of course, we all know that sooner or later the honeymoon period will end. Whenever we will start to see behaviors, processes, and activities that we are less than fond of, this is often the point where many of us start to question if the move we made was the right one.
However, whether we have been in our current role for a year or we are brand new, we need to acknowledge that there are some aspects we will love and others that we won't. So, what can we do to maintain balance and emphasize the aspects of our work that we love?
Here are a few things to consider -
Make a List: Love v. Don't Love So Much
Can you clearly articulate the aspects of your job that you love? Most of us can talk about what we don't like, but sometimes even those items can be a bit superficial. All we have are the uncomfortable feelings we encounter in some situations and the feelings of elation in others.
That is why it is a great exercise to write down what aspects of your work serve you and what doesn't. That level of clarity can help you avoid future work that will be disengaging, so you can pursue energizing work.
Make Another List: Strengths v. "Opportunities"
There is the question of what you love to work on and then there's the question of what you're good at. The adage tells us that we need to spend our time amplifying our strengths, not our weaknesses. Therefore, we need to find a balance between our strengths and what we love.
First, start by comparing your list of strengths with the list of work that you love. Where there is overlap there will be meaningful work to pursue. This can serve as input for Development Planning, SMART Goal Setting, and Career Strategizing.
Have the Talk: What Stays v. What Goes
We can often paint ourselves into a corner where we are convinced that the way our jobs are structured today is how they will be structured forever. This is rarely the case and we often have a lot more flexibility to create change if we approach it thoughtfully.
Here's how you can start that conversation with your manager, "Manager, in the past 6 months I've seen the highest returns/results/improvements in pursuing insert the work you love and I'd like to get discuss the option of focusing more of these areas." Be prepared to share what this new working model would look like, including how the work you're leaving behind will get done.
Think More "How" v. Thinking "What"
An important point to keep in mind is that while we can influence our managers on the work that we want to pursue, we can't guarantee that our responsibilities will change or change when we would like. So, it is important to pursue what you love in a way that you can control.
By assessing our strengths and opportunities and getting a great understanding of what we love to do, we can alter our work to include more of what we are passionate about. Also, even for the items that are set in stone, we often get to determine how we approach.
By being an active participant in how we execute our work and maximizing the items that we love, we can have a much more positive and healthy relationship with how we get our work done. We should all feel empowered to actively pursue what we enjoy and reduce what we don't as much as possible.