How do I get ahead at work? What will take my career to the next level? Most employees will ask themselves these questions at some point in their lives, and the answers can be elusive.
According to the latest available public survey (2019), the average person changes jobs 12 times in their lifetime. Some of these changes move us up, but others can involve a lateral move, or a switch us to a different career area altogether.
Change doesn’t always equate to increased satisfaction. And, to this point, this decade has thrown us some curve balls in terms of how we work and where — which has thrown many of us off our game, shifting our career plans.
With the prevalence of remote and hybrid work, many report feeling isolated, disconnected, having difficulties finding work-life balance, encountering challenges with productivity, and having to manage DIY technology issues on top of standard workplace challenges.
And if you have a spouse or family, that’s a whole other conversation! These are not trivial considerations, and they add extra obstacles when negotiating the charge up the career ladder.
What will actually cause the job success we’re looking for?
Catherine Mattiske is a leading global business educator and author with 30 years of experience across industries, including banking, insurance, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and retail. She has seen and experienced major shifts in how we work and do business over the years and has developed some timeless advice and innovative tools for becoming an asset in your workplace.
“Success means different things to different people,”states Mattiske. “The realization that my definition of success is not the same as the definition my clients, colleagues, or employees would offer is part of what led me to think deeply about individual human differences and the way we think and talk about them — or don’t.”
Mattiske is the founder of Inner Genius, a tool which leverages an innovative algorithm to assess an individual’s specific learning preference, categorizing them as one of 12 Inner Genius Archetypes and providing a key to how individuals best receive information, process knowledge, and perform tasks. It is shown to improve their ability to learn and communicate in all aspects of their life — and how best to work with others. Ms. Mattiske states:
“Knowing how you learn gets you into your Genius Zone. That is the place where you are operating effectively and efficiently plus bringing the best of yourself to your work, your team, and the organization.“
The foundation for your success, then, largely depends on you being…you! Even before fully exploring how you learn, you can master aspects of your motivations, connections, and attitude that can make a difference.
So, before letting change and overwhelm cloud your goals, consider four major keys to unlocking your success at work that can supercharge your career aspirations — regardless of your work location and unique challenges:
1) Find Your Fuel —
“What fuels you?” says Catherine. “Are you doing this for the paycheck or for something more?” Finding your fuel is about discovering (or rediscovering) what you’re passionate about. It could be enjoying working in a team setting, becoming one of the leaders in your field, or even buying your own home. Whatever it is, once you (re)discover that fuel, remember it each morning. Remember it while commuting home, if applicable. Reflect on it during the down times and during big successes. “Your fuel is your motivation,” says Catherine. “And if it doesn’t motivate you, you haven’t found it yet.”
2) Master Strengths/Work on Weaknesses —
“If you want to unlock your success at work, become someone who masters your strengths and works on your weaknesses,” says Catherine. No matter how good you think you are at something, someone else is always better; the good news is you can learn from them! Solicit their advice, invite them to lunch, or even make them a mentor. Also, be brave enough to discover where your weaknesses are and take the time to develop them. Mastering strengths and working on weaknesses is something that many high-level performers and achievers do and is part of what Catherine calls the Growth Mindset. “Those with the Growth Mindset never stop learning, always solicit feedback from those around them, and constantly seek ways they can improve.”
3) Create Connection —
Someone who creates flow, chemistry, and connection is the type of person everyone wants on their team or wants to lead their team. “When we talk to someone and come away feeling like they ‘know’ us or that they are ‘speaking our language,’ we feel immediate kinship and connection with them,” says Catherine. “We may be able to do this with one or two people in our lives, but the ability to do this with everyone will take your career to the next level. I call this skill ‘Genius Quotient,’ and it is absolutely teachable through knowledge of learning and communication archetypes.”
4) Kick Negativity In the A** —
Be positive. Think positively. Let go of negativity quickly. Not only are the abilities to be positive and smash negativity two more traits of the Growth Mindset, but a 2008 study concluded that not only is happiness often “correlated with workplace success,” but it actually “often precedes measures of success” and that the “induction of positive affect leads to improved workplace outcomes.” “If you want to unlock career success, train yourself to let go of the negative with ease, constantly focusing on the positive no matter the external circumstances,” says Catherine.
When taking this perennial advice into account, you’re armed to take positive steps in your career — regardless of what the world throws our way!
About Catherine Mattiske:
Global business educator and author Catherine Mattiske is the founder of TPC — The Performance Company, a leading training and consulting organization that has worked with Fortune 100 companies worldwide. Established in 1994, TPC has offices in Sydney, Los Angeles, New York, London, Singapore, and Basel (Switzerland). The author of more than 30 books, her latest is “Unlock Inner Genius: Power Your Path to Extraordinary Success” (September 2021). Discover your team’s Genius Quotient at thegeniusquotient.com.
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