Are you satisfied with your career success…

How do you define your career success, even with all the achievements we rarely pat our backs and say we have done well.

So, why does career success so rarely lead to satisfaction? If you’re prone to dissatisfaction in moments when you expect to finally feel satisfied (after a raise, promotion, or award, for example), you can shift your mindset in three ways to achieve a more sustainable inner peace. 

Stop counting – First and foremost stop counting what you’ve accrued (money, awards, followers, etc.) and start measuring what you’ve contributed (Whose life have you positively impacted? What ideas have you generated?). Lasting joy comes from giving, not taking. 

Comparison to Compassion – Secondly, start by shifting from comparison to compassion. Rather than chiding yourself for what you haven’t achieved, show yourself kindness for the progress you’re making on your own journey. And instead of resenting someone for what they’ve achieved, acknowledge that their success doesn’t come at the expense of yours—they’re on their own journey, and being happy for them won’t cost you anything. 

Contempt to Connection – Finally, shift from contempt to connection. Growing insatiably ambitious, no matter how much money or power you earn along the way, will lead to bitterness and loneliness. Remember to appreciate the relationships in your life—especially the ones that have nothing to do with your career success.

Tell me about a time you failed…

One of the most difficult questions in a job interview is: “Tell me about your failure(s)?” If you try to squirm around the question, it will signal negativity at the same time you need to elaborate just the right level of failure. 

Overall there has to be a balance, so how can we prepare for it? Here are some tips.

Start with “we”, not “me”. 

Always start with “we” instead of “me”, since a team failing as a group might seem more relatable (and excusable) than an individual failing because there was consensus behind the decision-making.

Describe a low-consequence event, and keep it brief.

Make sure the incident chosen is a low consequence not catastrophic, and keep it short. Don’t linger on many details.

Don’t be defensive, be thoughtful about the words you use.

Use words like learned, gleaned, grew, and overcame. Avoid defensive or regretful language.

Choose a circumstance, not a mistake.

Don’t draw attention to your character. When did something external not go as planned? When was a strategy ineffective? When did an approach miss the target?

Lastly, Focus on learning.

What the interviewer ultimately wants (and they may even state this explicitly) is not so much your story of failure but what you learned from it and how you turned that insight into a productive approach.

It’s not information overload but filter failure…

In today’s world information overload complicates our learning process.

Learning no longer is a linear track but is a multi-track path with complex inflows of knowledge from a wide variety of sources. Also, it’s imperative that we learn at a much faster pace.

With all these, our brain has now an additional function to filter unnecessary and irrelevant information. And to unlearn/learn ensuring we keep the latest knowledge.

Filter and structure to the learning process are most critical, whether it’s thru a mentor, thru a structured course, or thru applying learning to a real-world scenario. 

So next time when you are learning, think about filters first and put structure in place to learn faster and deeper.

Asking for help…

Reluctance to ask for help when we need it can keep us bogged down in more work than is necessary—and ultimately lead to burnout. Moreover, it closes a lot of avenues be it job options, alternate careers, and getting more business. 

Whether we are afraid of seeming needy or incompetent or just don’t trust others will help, here are some strategies that can help.

Be open. 

First, let’s be open to ourselves and others that we want to improve in this area. Talk to trusted colleagues informing them that we are working on getting better at asking for help. 

Being upfront will make it easier to actually do it when the time comes. It will also prime them to be more receptive to these requests, reinforcing our help-seeking behavior and reducing reluctance to reach out for support.

Identify and unpack your limiting beliefs. 

Ask yourself: What am I afraid will happen if I ask for help? These fears are likely emotional, not rational. Reflect on what’s underlying them.

Try small experiments. 

Make small behavior changes to see the impact on how you feel and the response you get from others. It can be as simple as asking, “Can I brainstorm with you for five minutes?” or “Would you be willing to take a look at my client proposal and share your feedback with me?”

Action is simple…but is it

Action is simple just do it. But is it?

You can go to your desk and study but your mind throws tantrum to avoid it.

You can go running and be fit but the mind complicates it.

You can go talk to people and take their help but it’s laden with your pasts.

You can go, propose and win, but fear of rejection complicates it.

Mind complicates but action is simple.

If the mind wins we avoid action, but if action wins “It’s simple” and we mostly win.

It matters a lot…

Small things in life matter the most. 

Daily food, fresh air, sunlight on your face, a number of these everyday things matter the mosts.

We take it for granted, but these are the things we miss when we are in our glorious self barging in life towards what we call success. 

But in the end, this is where we return – Small things, daily things.

So question yourself and you will always find the answer to be – It matters, even if it is sometime late in life.

Pre and Post Mortems…

Learning about the past and inspecting the future is critical for any project. Pre and Post Mortems help us do that very effectively.

Pre-Mortem

These conversations are used to help identify and mitigate risks for specific projects, goals, or initiatives upfront. Ask your team: How can we make sure we enable the drivers that will contribute most to our success? How can we address or mitigate risks that could cause us to fail?

Post-Mortem

This is a chance to step back, take a more objective perspective, and challenge the team’s assumptions. First, focus on your successes. What went well, and what was the impact of these things going well? What behaviors, factors, or conditions contributed to their success? Then shift to failures or shortfalls. What didn’t go well, and what was the impact of these things not going well? What behaviors, factors, or conditions led to that outcome? How can we avoid these issues going forward?