This has been another frustrating week for me. I am making progress on my research, but the stuff I’m working on right now is slow, and not a little tedious. It’s difficult to keep in mind that I am actually going forward, just at what feels like a snail’s pace. I sort of feel like I should enjoy this, because I suspect June is going to fly by in no time at all.
Anyway… Miller Mondays are just what I need to get keep me focused on what I am doing, and to find what I am moving towards. So, with no further ado…
First and foremost, Dan Miller wrote 48 Days to the Work You Love for people who are not satisfied with their current work situation, whether they do not love what they are currently doing, or recently lost their job and are trying to figure out what they really want to do. This book is written with the underlying assumption that you already have, or are getting ready to, go through some major changes.
The first section of 48 Days to the Work You Love is focused on helping you identify your strengths, and how you react to change. The three main points are:
1. We will all face changes, we have no choice about that. We do have a choice in how we respond to these changes.
2. Change will be challenging, whether you expect it to happen or not. Instead of focusing on what is not the same, look for the new opportunities that have been presented in the change.
3. We all have obstacles in our lives. Instead of focusing on your liabilities, focus on your assets, and use these to respond positively to change.
Dan highlights the changing work environment around us. Up until around the 1980s, the goal of most people was to get a “real” job with a large company, one that included company cars, insurance packages, and 401(k)s. Now, this is not the case. In 2005, only 2.6% of the companies in Nashville, Tennessee had more than 99 employees. Over all, this country is seeing a huge shift from the large company to the small business. This should also change the way we look to find, and love, our employment.
For many people, the thought of “work” means growing up after playing in college, and entering the “real world.” Dan challenges this view, and wants you to try to find something you truly enjoy doing in life – then structure your work around that. This thing you enjoy can often be turned into your career – and then aren’t we all having fun all the time!
Dan stresses that you need to do some introspection to decide what kind of life you want, and then plan your work around this life. More time invested in a job does not necessarily equate to more money or more success on that career path. Rather, if you are doing something you love, you are much more likely to be successful in all areas of your life, including money and career. Imagine waking up every day and getting to go do something you love, while making money at it! How many of us have that thought? Why did you choose your current career/job? Is it something you really wanted to do, or were you pressured by family, friends, or other circumstances? At the end of the day, if your career/job does not align with your personal characteristics and beliefs, it is not a good fit for you or for your life.
Dan says (this is one of my favorite things from this section) that “not all change is positive growth, but all positive growth does require change.” He talks about setting “positive goals,” and how this often requires that you stop doing something you are already doing, rather than just starting a new behavior. This was a big one for me.
In general, the reason people are considered for advancements and promotions is 85% attributable to their personal skills (attitude, enthusiasm, communication, etc). Technical skills and credentials only account for 15%! What are your characteristics that fall into that 85%, and what can you do to develop them? Any change should force you to reevaluate what your best options are. What about your 85% characteristics can you leverage into something favorable from change (positive growth)?
Thinking about what you love, your positive goals, and your 85% characteristics, what can you do today to start on your new beginning?
Next week, Section 2: What do I want to be when I grow up?