Convince yourself that you are great with career affirmations
Could career affirmations help you to get the job you’ve always deserved? Sometimes we get stuck in a rut in our professional lives and we feel that we are not being awarded the status and rank that we deserve, and that we’ve been working towards. What can we do about this?
Do you feel “negative” about your career position?
I hate being told that I am “negative” because I don’t think that I am. In fact, I think I am one of the most positive people you will ever meet, because I genuinely believe that great things can and will happen; I just have a more realistic picture of how I think I will get there than most.
One of my favourite all time bloggers is Penelope Trunk. She started Brazen Careerist and has been featured in the New York Times on many occasions as a young, woman, entrepreneur. She has a great post called Bad career advice: Do what you love where she points out that, “Career decisions are not decisions about ‘what do I love most?’ Career decisions are about what kind of life do I want to set up for myself?” Career affirmations might help.
Because of this advice, and this mindset, I have lived my life never chasing happiness, but fulfilment. What makes us happy is not often what pays us and what pays us is most often not what makes us happiest: but you need to find the balance between what you are good at, and what you can physically and mentally stand to do. Often we are really good at things we hate doing, and often we are not good enough at what we love to turn a coin. This is normal; this is standard.
I realised I hated what I was good at
I am now well into my professional career and it took until my thirties to realise that I was very often being paid to do tasks that I was ‘good at’ but that I detested. I spent a lot of my time as a promotions manager, where organising events was par for the course. I also spent many years in radio where I was isolated from the rest of the office/studio, which I found challenging. Long story short; it took me a while to work out what I was both good at, and could get paid for – maybe you are still searching? Could trialing some career affirmations be the key to your success?
Have you tried a SWOT analysis?
In How to Create a SWOT Analysis for the New Year I wrote: “A typical SWOT analysis involves nailing down the specific objective of the ventures or projects you plan to undertake and assisting you in looking at the positive and negative area or landscape around that to achieve your goal. Build your personal strategy for the New Year with a bit of planning.”
Doing something like a SWOT analysis can really help you to nail down what you like doing, with what you really need. For example; if you are new to a career sector, and you are in your early twenties, without lots of family and monetary commitments, then taking a “starter” job in a company you really gel with, perhaps for a lower wage and job title than you’re aiming for, is totally acceptable. Career affirmations are something that many people need to try.
However, if you’re a family guy or gal, with family commitments and a mortgage, then choosing a role with a decent and appropriate wage, in a suitable location, might be more essential than working somewhere “cool” and “desirable”. These are simple examples; the nuance is that we all have to come up with our list of deal breakers and money makers. The specs are up to you.
Convince yourself that you are great
Far too often, we don’t back ourselves, and we discount our natural talents and forget to promote them. Penelope Trunk says, “Convince yourself you are great. Then convincing other people is so much easier.”
Women, in particular, fail to back themselves, and constantly down-play their achievements, rather than building themselves up. This is devastating when it comes to career traction, with women worldwide earning less than their male counterparts for doing the same jobs.
Forbes writes that there is “…a fundamental lack of belief in (women’s) own value, worth and ability to achieve consistently tempers female ambition and holds women back,” and the problem is worse the more developed your country is – not less.
“”In nearly all cultures, men have higher self-esteem. But the difference lies in the magnitude of the gap,” says writer Margie Warrell. “In industrialised Western countries like the U.S. and Australia the gap is more pronounced than in non-Western, developing countries. That is, the gap between how little women think of themselves compared to how highly men do grows in the more developed, egalitarian, countries – the very ones (we) might expect it to be the least.” Thinking about career affirmations in a positive light might be the way to go.
More “men called Peter” than “total numbers of women” in ASX companies
The excellent Forbes article also found that women don’t fare any better in Australia than in the USA, “…where a recent study cited in Women’s Agenda found that there are more men called Peter (6.5%) leading ASX 200 companies than all women (5.75%).”
Ways to convince yourself that you are great
So, how do you talk yourself into feeling (and really believing) that you are great? In fact, there are many ways to give yourself a pep talk in order to kick start your career.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Work out what your triggers are, says doctor and psychologist Susan Biali, including social media. “Start noticing the situations that cause you to play the comparison game. Social media, as I’ve mentioned, is a big one for most of us.”
Focus on what you have now, and build on it
Keep learning, and focus on what you already know, says web journo Allison Renner. “You want to accompany others when they do their jobs, so offer that opportunity to your co-workers. Instead of helping them out only when they ask, offer to teach them what you know so they won’t have to call you all of the time”.
Practise labelling your emotions
Wellness expert Amy Morin says that you need to label your emotions. “Putting a name to your feelings decreases their intensity. So whether you’re feeling sad, anxious, angry, or scared, acknowledge it; at least to yourself”.
Amy says, “Also, pay attention to the way those emotions can affect your choices. When you’re feeling anxious you may be less inclined to take risks. When you’re excited you may be more impulsive”.
Career affirmations can work for you
When you are feeling stuck in your career, and that you don’t deserve the rank and status that you feel you have been working towards, you can make a positive difference to your life by taking a step back, and really focusing on the positives in your skill set.
Convince yourself you are great. Back yourself. Seek mentors and give yourself credit for how far you’ve come already. Face it, if you don’t back yourself, who will?