3 ways values misalignment can affect you and your work!

3 ways values misalignment can affect you and your work!

Our values are the bedrock of the decisions we make concerning our lives. They influence our actions, how we show up in our relationships (personal and work), determine what is important to us, our career decisions and so much more! When your personal values are aligned to your work, you feel a sense of, fulfillment, joy, connection to what you do, and are driven to put your best foot forward. Ultimately such positive feelings are great for our mental well being. On the other hand, when your personal values are misaligned to your work, your overall well being, productivity, performance, and confidence are negatively affected. Let’s explore further how this happens

  1. Lack of performance. A misalignment of values can and does remove your sense of care for the work you’re expected to do. When you don’t feel connected to the values of an organization, you may often find yourself not being accountable, reliable, not delivering quality results, and possibly, not meeting deadlines.  It is thus important you critically consider an organization’s values and how these influence their culture, especially when applying for new roles. Check out this blog on how you can assess an organization’s values during the selection process. 
  1. Burn out – Ever felt like you’re consistently lacking the energy to meet work KPIs? Find it difficult to concentrate on work tasks? Feeling detached from your work, team members, and even your personal relationships? These are some of the symptoms of feeling burned out. While there are several causes that can lead to burnout, values misalignment can exacerbate stress levels and lead to burn out. If you’re feeling uncomfortable about doing certain work tasks, are afraid of raising concerns you have to your boss(es), don’t feel like your work is being valued and so on, this may cause you to lose your motivation, make you feel exhausted because you’re doing work you’re not finding fulfillment in and of course increase your stress levels ultimately leading to burnout.
  1. Stagnation – Just because an organization has certain values, does not mean that they live up to them, or all of them. This is why you should continue assessing the organizational culture and how values are implemented, even after you’ve been hired. Clocking a misalignment in values as early as possible can prevent you from investing too much time in an organization that is, for instance; not stretching your skills and knowledge therefore not allowing you to develop your career. This can lead to you being stuck in a position or job for too long when you could have used that time to seek out new opportunities in other organization s that may be invested in your career growth. An organization that is intentional about upholding its values and meeting those of the employees is an organization that is committed to seeing its employees grow in their careers. Wondering if you’re stuck in a career rut? Read our article to find out. 

Still wondering how personal values lead to job satisfaction? Read this article that further explains the importance of clarifying your values with your work. As always, you can find more similar content on our Career Happiness Center, and you can reach out to us about your career challenges at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke

 

WFH: 3 Ways To Set Work Boundaries And Why It’s Important.

WFH: 3 Ways To Set Work Boundaries And Why It’s Important.

With many people now working from home, a new challenge presents itself; how does one establish boundaries to prevent work-life from seeping too much into their personal life? Understandably, this is not an easy thing to navigate as it comes with worries of being seen as if you are not contributing fully to the team’s success.

However, not setting boundaries may risk exacerbating other unrelated stressful situations one may have such as achieving your current work goals, managing your household and family, studying among others. For employers, we’re witnessing a paradigm shift that accelerates outcome-based work cultures, flexibility on working hours, and approaches to collaboration and communication.

As an employee, taking the responsibility to ensure you are creating adequate time to detox, reenergize, and get back your BEST state is necessary if you wish to maintain a highly productive and successful work life.

So what are some of the ways you can establish boundaries that will help ease your life today and in the long-term?

1. Communicate – Now more than ever, it’s critical that you communicate to your boss and colleagues your working hours, when you may not be available for whatever reason, any additional resources and/or support you may need to successfully accomplish your work, and so forth. For instance, if you happen to require flexibility around your working hours because you have to take care of priorities such as schooling your child, or if you’re unable to respond to emails/work calls at a certain time, it’s important that those you work with are aware of this information to avoid any misunderstanding or delays with your colleagues.

2. Learn to say NO – We know, it sounds scary, but here’s the thing, when you allow continuous violation of your boundaries, you’re telling those you work with that it’s acceptable. Ultimately, you’re bound to be stuck in a bubble of regrets for failing to ask for what you need and are now in a cycle you dislike. If you’ve already let those you work with your working preferences and schedule and still continue to receive requests during your off-peak hours, point it out with the respective individuals. Often, a polite reminder may be all you need. Of course, there’ll be occasional emergencies, but let the distinction be clear.

3. Fit your work within your boundaries –  As often as you can, structure and prioritize your work within your own boundaries. In addition, inform your team of your day’s schedule and when you have created time to support and collaborate with them. By learning to respect and stick to your own plan, you can positively influence others to respect your boundaries as well.

Reflecting on how you currently organize your workdays, in which areas do you feel you need to create boundaries to ensure you are taking time to rejuvenate and fulfill other personal responsibilities?

Connect and share with us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke

3 Ways You Can Improve Your Self-Awareness For Career Success!

3 Ways You Can Improve Your Self-Awareness For Career Success!

Succeeding in our career paths is a dream many of us have and the journey towards that success is different for everyone. Self-awareness, however, is a common factor that plays into this success. What is self -awareness?

“Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude, and your responses to them at the moment.” (Pathway To Happiness)

Our career development journeys are fueled by how best we understand ourselves; what we’re good at, what we aren’t, how we react to different situations, how we form relationships and engage with others along the way, etc. We outline below three ways you can further, develop your self-awareness and how it plays into career success.

1. Personality tests as a foundation – Personality tests help you get a head start to learn more about yourself and how your preferences and talents might influence work results. They help you further understand your personality, your interests, strengths, what excites you, what gives, and what drains your energy. All this information is valuable in deciding what career paths to choose and what jobs offers to take or reject. The more we experience life, the more we evolve, thus we encourage you to take these tests at different levels in your career as with each new experience you become an even better version of yourself. Some of the most popular personality tests you can try are 16 personalities and the MBTI test.

2. Regularly evaluate your strengths and weaknesses – Self-assessment and reflection is a key element of developing self-awareness. This is why it’s important to keep track of your progress; the skills you have learned, your achievements, impact created as a result. This also includes being bluntly honest about your areas of weaknesses and making deliberate steps to improve on them, or, pursuing jobs or careers that align mostly to your strengths.

3. Ask for feedback – A part of understanding your strengths and weaknesses is also asking for feedback. Sometimes, we can be blind to our own weaknesses, therefore, asking people we trust who are interested in our own growth and success (colleagues, bosses, mentors, friends, family) can provide us with additional insights to learn more about ourselves. This is especially useful in uncovering our blind spots where more of our talents and strengths may be hidden.

How else do you improve your self-awareness? Learn more here and share with us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke.
Find similar content on our Career Happiness Center.

3 Ways Emotional Resilience Can Boost Your Career Development!

3 Ways Emotional Resilience Can Boost Your Career Development!

The world has dramatically changed in the last few months. Many of us have experienced a significant shift in our worlds of work; an increase in remote working, flexibility of working hours, and a focus on the outcomes rather than time spent working, virtual meetings have become the norm, a thin line between work and life has been created and so on. On the negative side, we have also seen many job losses and massive income slashes which have undoubtedly caused many of us emotional and mental distress. And yet, we know little about the future. It is thus crucial that now more than ever, we enhance our emotional fitness as this will be a key asset in overcoming many of the current and unforeseen future challenges in our careers and lives in general.

What is emotional resilience? Simply, “it refers to one’s ability to adapt to stressful situations or crises ”(verywell mind).” Closely related to emotional intelligence; (we highlight in this video several ways you can bring Emotional Intelligence into your everyday work interactions into your everyday work), emotional resilience helps you control how your thoughts, actions, and behaviors adapt to difficult situations, and this can help prevent you from losing your ability to be productive, collaborative, intentionally going after your career goals and so much more.

We outline below, 3 ways developing emotional resilience can boost your career development:

1. Adaptability – Emotional resilience allows us to cope with changes such as organizational restructuring, a redefinition of our jobs, different organizational cultures when we switch jobs, our approaches to how we do our work based on the changing needs of the organization, and so forth. Every moment of change is an opportunity for growth and learning. Emotional resilience allows us to be clear-headed which helps us generate solutions and move gracefully with the flow of the changes taking place. Thus, we are able to make better decisions that solve our most immediate challenges and prepare us to succeed in the future

2. Developing your confidence – The more you’re able to overcome difficult situations, the more confidence you develop in yourself and the ability to thrive under difficult circumstances. Confidence is a muscle. The more you practice and experience it, the stronger it grows. In difficult fast-changing situations, one needs to be confident to trust themselves, their decisions, and the solutions they come up with. Whether you’re transitioning to a new field, succeeding in your new restructured role, or finally becoming an entrepreneur after a job loss, confidence will get you halfway there!

3. Developing empathy – Emotional resilience not only allows you to develop empathy for others, but also self-compassion for yourself. And right now, we need to be more gentle and kind to ourselves.  Empathy will help us take the blows without blaming ourselves. Empathy will remind us that we did the best we could under the given circumstances. Empathy will help us communicate our needs more effectively to our colleagues, bosses, and other stakeholders while keeping in mind that everyone is going through different challenges right now thus creating space for understanding and supporting each other in our unfolding career journeys.

How can some of the ideas shared today support you in becoming a more resilient individual?
Feel free to share with us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke. Looking for more similar content? Visit our Career Happiness Center and learn more about how to succeed in your career!

Wondering what direction to take in your career? 5 reflection questions to ask yourself.

Wondering what direction to take in your career? 5 reflection questions to ask yourself.

The journey towards a career that is fulfilling is one that involves a series of self-examination and honesty. Many of us have career goals we want to achieve and we have an idea of what our ‘dream’ career is. To get there, we have to be intentional, and we have to periodically question where we are now, and whether what we’re doing is leading us to our career goals/dreams. Do you ever take the time to check in with yourself and ask these questions? If not, you’re in luck. Below are 5 reflection questions you can use to evaluate where you are in your career journey and determine if you’re on the right track.

Am I satisfied with where I am? 

Admittedly, this is a broad question. It could further be categorized into; Am I excited about the work that I do? Do I feel like I’m adding meaningful value? Am I utilizing my strengths fully?  Do I enjoy working with the people that I work with? Am I growing? Do I feel excited going to work or do I dread it? All these questions and more, when truthfully answered, can help you recognize if you’re satisfied, or, if you need to disrupt what you have been used to. Sometimes, when we’re in a comfort zone, it can be easy to dismiss valid emotions about our careers because we worry that there may not be something better out there, or are afraid of putting ourselves in situations of discomfort. As the saying goes, “If you want something you’ve never had, then you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.”

What am I doing or not doing, that is hindering my career progression? 

If you’re aware of where you want to be in your career in a few years, it’s worth asking yourself if you’re doing the right things that will get you there, and if you aren’t, how is this hindering your progression? For instance, if you’ve been thinking about venturing into a different career, are you seeking out professionals in that field who may guide you into that transition? Have you done your research to determine what skills you would need to thrive in that industry? Have you sought out additional support and resources that you would need? If you’re not doing these things, then you’re certainly not on the right track. On the contrary, there are also things you could be doing that can hinder your career progression, for instance; if you’re looking for a new job and you’re sending out job applications with unchecked grammar and spelling errors or are copy-pasting your CV details into application forms instead of customizing your responses, you’re doing things that go against what you want – a new job.

Are my values and needs being met? 

Because our values and needs evolve, it’s important to first ask yourself if you have the same values and needs when you first started your career. Along the way, we get to accumulate different experiences, meet new people, learn new things that may feed into new passions or interests, and sometimes, start disliking what we do, and therefore, want to seek out new things; be it a new job, a new career path, pursuing our hobbies monetarily and/or starting our own businesses. Our values and needs play a critical role in making these important life decisions.

In what ways have I grown? 

Reflecting on our career should also include monitoring our growth. Do you have a list of expectations or goals (learning, scale of projects, clients you want to work with, skills to develop, etc) that you wanted to have achieved by a certain time? If so, they should be included in your career check-in. You may discover that you have achieved what you set out to achieve and therefore decide that it is time to explore something new. Or, you may discover that you’ve achieved very little of your set goals, if at all, and therefore, decide to seek out opportunities where you are (if available) to achieve them or explore something new as well. Ultimately, this knowledge feeds into the decision making process.

What next steps should I take? 

After you have answered all the above questions, it’s time to decide what next steps you need to take. For instance, if you want a new career. This may mean coming up with a career transition plan, are you able to do this by yourself, or would you need additional professional support? If you decide you want to look for a new job, what are all the things you need to do to prepare you for this process? You can find some tools here. Further, are you willing to put in the work required to help you attain what you want? We can’t emphasize how important it is for you to be deliberate about your career goals.

Check out this article we wrote with eight questions you should ask yourself at the end of the year, though December is still far, many of these questions are timeless. We’d love to hear from you, what other questions do you include when reflecting on your careers? Tell us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke, where you can also reach out to us about our career coaching services.

Thinking of transitioning into a new career? 3 ways to discover your core strengths.

Thinking of transitioning into a new career? 3 ways to discover your core strengths.

Your career does not have to be static. I wish the eighteen years old me struggling to figure out what degree to pursue would have known this, ha! Choosing a career path can and often does feel very binding, and while it is, to an extent, it’s important to know that the career path you start with doesn’t have to be what you do for the rest of your life. Our passions, interests, and strengths evolve, and sometimes, that informs our decision to pursue different careers.

Many of the clients we have coached to transit from one phase of their career to the next, agree that knowing your strengths and unique ways of contribution is a prerequisite of making this life-changing decision.

Today, we outline below 3 ways you can discover your core strengths and why it’s important to have this knowledge before embarking on a career transition journey. 

1. Seek honest feedback – When considering transitioning into a new career, asking for honest feedback from people you have a trusting relationship with is key. This could be your supervisor, peers, clients, or anyone else who cares about seeing you grow in your career. You want to make sure you’re talking to people who care about your growth so that they’re honest about your strengths and areas of development. This is why it’s important to cultivate meaningful, trusting relationships with the people we engage within our professional lives. Usually, people around you will have observations that can give you additional data to use in making career transition decisions. Here is a guiding article you can use to get honest feedback, spoiler alert; it takes time, building trust and effort.

2. Follow what keeps you in-flow/energized – As explained here, “flow is the mental state in which a person is engaged in an activity where they are fully immersed with a feeling of energized focus, involvement, and success in the process of the activity”. What are these activities for you? How do they fit into the goals you have set for your career goals and the next career you’d like to have? Simply, what type of tasks do you enjoy doing and how can you tap further into those strengths to create a foundation that will help you begin the career transition process? This also makes it easier/smoother and you pick up things faster, which helps you identify what next steps you need to take, for instance, if you enjoy sharing knowledge and information, you could reach out to a coach in your area of interest who can be your mentor and hopefully connect you to learning opportunities, or you could start a blog or social media page where you share said content and seek engagement.

3. Work with a career coach – Working with a coach enables one to reassess their strengths through the provision of tools and resources customized for this very need and one is able to get an objective perception of their strengths. Further, one can also learn more about the skills needed for them to thrive in the next phase of their career and know which best next steps they should take to fill any gaps before or during the transition period; this usually will include setting clear goals, coming up with an action plan, and the confidence to pursue these goals. We wrote more about the importance of working with a career coach here. This is a good way to ensure you’re making informed decisions that will ultimately benefit you personally, and professionally.

Looking to transition into a new career and are not sure where to start? Reach out to us today; happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke. Follow us on our social media for more similar content: LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube