It came up again! That question that makes me wince: “So, tell me, what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?” The question was actually posed to a client, interviewing to be a judge and you would think they’d be far more interested in learning what she loved to do versus her own perception of how she behaves. Your perception of your own behavior even has a good chance of being inaccurate, so instead of focusing on what you do well and what you don’t, look at what you love. You love it because you’re good at it and doing it makes you better! Some call it “livin’ the dream” and some simply use the phrase to sarcastically justify doing a job they don’t really enjoy. But how DO you do what you love? Well, here are five ways.
Rather obvious I might add, but how many of those dreams of what you wanted to be when you grew up, have you set aside to do what pays the bills? Who wants to wait to retire to be happy? Think back, remember, honor , and cherish the stuff you love.
You may remember the story of when we hired Janine, our Director of Operations at Contagious Companies, 8 years ago. I interviewed her for sales, but when I asked her what she loved, she said “beating her own data entry speed record”. Yep, we changed that job in a hurry and she and I have been oh so happy ever since. Want to make your leadership job easy, ask people what they love to do and hire them to do just that.
Even if you can’t just up and quit, the amount of time you focus on those things that frustrate you, exponentially increases the amount of frustration you FEEL. Find a way to keep your eye on those things that you enjoy, tolerate well, or even that offend you the least and your feelings will follow your eyes, so to speak. Want to live the dream and can’t leave? Look for aspects of your dream, right where you are.
People who do what they love, make it look easy. They are good at it, enjoy it, and complain far less than those who feel stuck or stagnant. The more you do what you love the more confidence you have in doing it. The more confidence you have in your own abilities, the better you feel. Ironically, the same works in the reverse so try feeling better, building skills, and watching what you love appear to come within reach.
Okay, so even those who know what they love tell me they can’t do it because of a laundry list of excuses. Those excuses could be speed bumps or down right brick walls and until you accept that you have that dream for a reason and your natural gifts, skills, and talents have value, the beating of your head on that wall will continue. Face it. Stare the fear down, strip the excuses of their power, and even if you have to do it part-time, find a way to fulfill that dream. The effect of just doing that, whether you work in a job that IS your dream or not, will carry over and spread into your job. We don’t call behaviors and attitudes contagious for nuthin’!