Energizing your career
Feeling energetic may be the most important attribute we can bring to our job
Keeping a career vibrant, meaningful and worthwhile takes intentionality. As career-driven individuals, we have an imperative to steer ourselves along a course leading to all of the beneficial rewards a successful career can provide. No one can rely on being showered with blessings from afar for a fabulous career. We need to each own this one.
We often talk about keeping our focus on a set of workplace constructs that will make the difference between being minimally engaged with our jobs or truly embracing them. So we gauge our achievement levels in areas such as skills mastery, motivational techniques, attractive compensation, work-life balance and team cohesion, among others. However, it is possible that we may be overlooking one simple and obvious, but admittedly elusive, point of concern to best boost our careers: our individual energy levels.
Feeling energetic is perhaps the most important attribute we can bring to any job. All of our talents and expertise are diminished and less valuable if we don’t have the physical, emotional and cognitive energy to perform optimally. And it is not just our productivity that is negatively impacted by low energy. Our mood, self-concept and demeanor can be adversely affected as well.
Taking the time to assess what energizes you versus what drains you may be one of the best things you can do for your career.
So, where to begin? The Energy Project is a workplace development firm that attempts to peg organizational improvement to the well-being of the organization’s workforce. The premise of their approach states that high performance requires highly energetic individuals. To this end, The Energy Project presents an energy-enhancing model they claim is science-based and effective in promoting personal energy for busy people.
Examining The Energy Project’s design for furthering individual energy offers insights we each can utilize toward fulfilling our own personal goal to get more energized. It begins with an understanding that our energy stems from four different domains: the body, the emotions, the mind and the spirit. If we can advance conditions in each of these areas, then we can find ourselves more invigorated and better able to face challenges.
Let’s unpack these. The body refers to our physical stamina. Yes, we are talking about adequate exercise, nutritional foods, proper amounts of sleep, cut out or at least decrease the drinking and maintaining moderate weight. Sure, you have heard it all before. But this time, let us reframe these practices as ways of strengthening our careers.
Energy is further enhanced when we can manage our emotions. Rather than being continually buffeted by external events that affect our moods and anxiety levels, we can choose instead to find ways of controlling our emotional response to the inevitable pressures and sudden demands of the workplace. So often we slip into fight or flight modes of reacting to too much strain, which ill prepares us for working at our best.
Upgrading our ability to concentrate and focus our attention is the foundation of mind improvement in this model. Here is news you can use — multitasking diminishes productivity, and distractions are ruinous! We can discover and rehearse practices leading to fewer interruptions and deeper immersion to the task at hand while curtailing disturbances that only keep us off our game. Also necessary is to allow ourselves time for mental renewals.
Our spirit is indistinguishable from our purpose. When we care about what we do and work consistently within our values, we feel viscerally connected to our careers. Such an association is energizing. Know how to prioritize requests for your time so that you are spending time on those people and jobs most important. Practice observing yourself. Know the situations that best get you to your sweet spot.
The bottom line here is to accept the unmistakable link between our energy and our career. And just possibly, more energy may lift up your life as well.
Bill Ryan writes about career, employment and economic topics from his home in North Sutton.