Friday, December 21, 2007

Are you Successful . . . and Exhausted?

I’m working with a client who is extremely successful in her career. She came to see me because she is concerned about why she feels so tired at the end of her work day. Granted she puts in long hours working for an organization that is growing fast, but she is energetic, in her mid 30s, and sees no reason why she should feel so spent at the end of her day.

It turns out that her job, which on paper looks like a good fit for her skill set, is actually a mismatch in two fundamental ways. The first is a misalignment between her talents and the needs and demands of the job. And secondly, there is a disconnect between her values and those of the job and her organization. Her work, she said, feels boring and meaningless. It is thus no surprise that she goes home exhausted.

If this sounds at all familiar, what is one to do? First of all, you need to recognize that using your talents in your work is one of the keys to feeling energized and usually leads to a work day that is easy and natural. You can know what your talents are by exploring what came/comes easily and naturally for you, what tasks and activities energize you, and what things you tend to do and think about when no expectations are placed in front of you.

Values are key to your sense of satisfaction with work. To understand your values, you need to take a deep and thoughtful look at what is most important to you. If you are feeling a sense of emptiness, meaninglessness, or lack of purpose, chances are your values and work are out of synch. Take time to articulate your most important values, defining what they each mean to you, and then asking yourself how you want and need those to be a part of your career.

Knowing and acting on your talents and values are keys to feeling energized and satisfied in your work. Alcehmy’s career services can help you to figure these things out and then find ways to build them into your career. For more information, check our web site for a current schedule of programs or feel free to e-mail or call me with your questions and comments.

Mark Guterman