How to Be Inspired on the Job When You’re Just Tapped Out

Find on the job inspiration

There are a million reasons why you may be tapped out at the inspiration pump.

For me, right at this moment, it’s because it's officially summer. Like for real deal, mid-July, summer. If you're like me, my clients or literally anyone who has a job right now.... you're probably feeling totally sapped of inspo and just want to lay on the couch watching crappy daytime TV and eating microwave burritos like summer breaks of yore.

Look, it’s totally understandable. And while not fixable, at least work-aroundable. First off, acknowledge it’s actually, truly summer (or the dead middle of winter) - whenever it is you lose your mojo.

Now acknowledge that you’re a grown person and not in school so you don’t get 3 months off anymore (unless you’re like… European and we’re all jealous of you).

I get it - I was an academic. My brain is hardwired to turn off between June and mid-August and then I ramp up again full on. I know how difficult it can be difficult to be behind a monitor all day and scrolling through those super curated, ‘influencer’ insta feeds of croatian beach vacations while you’re in line for a wilted salad ain't helpin'!

So, instead of trying to force yourself to do business as usual - as much as your job allows, cut yourself some slack and give yourself a little leeway.

Then go ahead and try some of my summertime “lack of inspo” tricks:

1. Take advantage of weather and take 15 minute walk outside with your fave ice coffee and why not learn a little Spanish while you’re at? That way when you’re ready for that early fall vacation to Spain that you’re saving for - you’ll be ready!

2. Speaking of Spain… plan a vacation! Whether it’s a full 2 weeks in Europe or a day trip up the coast - just planning a trip has proven psychological benefits!

3. Knock out some of those mindless tasks you keep pushing to the bottom of your to do list cuz you just don’t wanna do ‘em. Put on a rad podcast like 2 Dope Queens or Reply All and know out a few of those tasks. When you’re ready to gear back up in a few weeks - all that stuff that’s been nagging at you will be done!

4. Find a new outlet. Your lady friends at work feeling just like you? Bookclub the trashiest beach read you can find. Have a lunch on a patio, take your salads to the park and dish on your favorite parts.

5. Break up your pre/post work gym routine. Find a new waterside route to jog instead. Go throw a frisbee with friends in the late summer sun and relieve your stoner college days. Just shake it up (my fave? Zumba with the old ladies at the Chinatown Y!)

6. Pin up a $5 bill in your cubie and treat yourself to a gelato at lunch on Friday (or fro yo, or a couple tacos - whatever your jam is - I mean hey… it could be jam. $5 buys a decent jar of jam right?)

7. So maybe you can't really slack off at all (boo) BUT you CAN jam (what is WITH the jam?!). I meant In the musical way. Slap on your headphones and crank a summer themed playlist.

Ahhhh that's better.

 

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Bullet Journal Collection Ideas For Your Career

Bullet Journal Collection Ideas For Your Career

Are you into bullet journaling? Or BuJo as the cool kids call it? I can’t imagine you’ll need even a fraction of these ideas, but hopefully they will inspire you to organize your career in a new way. But beware, once you start with this stuff, you’re gonna be the crazy adult with like 12 pens, 3 rolls of washi tape and an actual paper journal in your purse. It’s a thing.


You Don't Have to Figure Out Your Career By Yourself

CareerHelp

Before I work with any client I always ask them one question:

“What is the #1 thing holding you back from career success?”

To this question I get dozens of answers. Dozens and dozens. Like way too many dozens of eggs left over from Easter dozens. But all of those answers are rewordings of one single problem. Always.

“A clear focus on what I want to do/should be doing.”

I hear you. So loud. So clear. Trust me when I tell you I know the frustration. The feeling that somehow everyone else has been let in on some secret that you’re not cool enough to know.

The secret though? That’s bullshit. Most people feel the same way you do!

Why? What the hell man?! It’s because we’re not taught how to manage our careers. We’re taught what to know to get certain jobs and sometimes how to get jobs, but rarely, if ever, how to manage our careers once we’re in them.

We are left to our own devices and frazzled HR directors who have no time to have a career growth chat because they have to run payroll, get the new benefits system up and running and talk to Joe about not wearing his daisy dukes even on casual Fridays.

So what then? What are you supposed to do?

For starters, you absolutely don’t have to figure out your career all by yourself. Below is a roundup of some resources you might find helpful:

You could start with career blogs. There are so many talented people out there writing and offering help, to you, for free. 

Besides mine (the awesomeness you're in right now) you could try: Laura Simms an amazing coach with a stellar blog or The Career Sherpa.

You can also hit up some super comprehensive, totally interactive websites like: The Muse or Career Contessa.

If you're a more tactile cat and you prefer a good book try picking up a copy of Born for This by Chris Guillebeau or A Job to Love from the School of life.

Want someone to do the heavy lifting for you? Leverage recruiters and even temp agencies! Their job is to analyze your skills and place you in a job you’d thrive in. You could try some national agencies like Premier Staffing or Robert Half.

You could try taking a few tests. I personally am not a fan of these and I don’t use them in my practice but many people really like them and find them useful. There is one called Strengthsfinder that many companies rely on. Once you know what your strengths are you can make sure you are focusing on those in whatever role you’re in because working to your strengths = happiness.

Oprah apparently has an awesome (and free) career assessment test too!

And of course there are career coaches. Now I know private coaching isn’t an option for everyone - but it truly IS the most comprehensive option.

That said, many coaches offer lower cost group programs or self-paced online courses. There are so many amazing coaches out there - you just need to do a little research to find the best one for you.


See what I’m getting at? Don’t feel like you’re left to your own devices. Try one, two or a few - whatever feels good to you. But don’t leave your career to chance. Figure out what you love to do, want to do and make a plan.

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Visualize Work Not Sucking

Visualize Work Not Sucking

Career fulfillment is a 100% personal concept. Fulfillment doesn’t mean you need to wake up every day with hearts and rainbows in your eyes about your job, but it does need to mean that you get true satisfaction from it - beyond a paycheck. What is fulfilling for one person could be a nightmare for another so you will need to define what “fulfillment” means -  for you.

How to Change Careers: Put on Your Creative Pants

How to Change Careers: Put on Your Creative Pants

I believe that it is absolutely necessary to tap into your creativity if you are even considering a career change.

Career changes come about for several different types of reasons but they all have the same outcome - you have to pivot into something different than what you are doing now. While a lot of people find that terrifying, I see it as the ultimate opportunity to do something that makes you truly happy. It’s the chance to do something that fulfills you in a way your old job didn’t.

 

What Happens In a Career Change?

Career Change.png

Short answer: A LOT

Longer answer: A lot of overwhelming decisions based on working on… your work.

TL;DR: It’s a longer-than-you-would-like-completely-frustrating-at-times-but-totally-worth-it-process

So how exactly does a career change happen and what goes into it?

Lemme break it down for you with a little thing I like to call The Five I’s. This is 100% arbitrary by the way. I could have picked literally (in the real sense) any letter and forced them into this handy exercise, but today felt like an “I” day… so here ya go:

Introspection: This is where you need to grab a glass of your favorite beverage, find a quiet comfy spot and really dig deep. This is where you need to ask yourself the BIG questions. The what is important to me and why? questions. The will that really make me feel fulfilled? questions. The what gives me a sense of purpose? questions. The what do I value? questions. 

Inspiration: Once you’ve taken the time to dig deep into your grey matter and your heart valves, it’s time to let inspiration, the A-Ha’s and Oh Really’s, hit. This is where you draw up a list of all those new-to-you possible careers based on what you decided was important to you during the Introspection phase.

Investigation: Now it’s time to find out if those careers really line up with your ideals, like in real life. This is where you get out there and do some field research. It’s time to experiment with a new skill, volunteer in a new role, research what your day to day would genuinely look like, talk to people to already have the gig you think you might want. Basically, this is the tough but fun stage. This is the work you gotta do on your work. The key here is to be comprehensive and to do the thing with intention. The key to it all?  Keep a w-i-d-e open mind. You never know what opportunity will come your way!

Interviewing: Alright, so now you have to actually get the gig. This is going to mean ‘rewriting your narrative’ - which is a fancy way of saying you have to prove that you can do the job. This means showcasing your transferable skills on your LInkedIn profile, your resume and your website. It means being able to explain to potential employers why they should give you a shot. This may mean spending some time filling in skills gaps from your old career to your new. It will mean networking your ass off and getting someone to personally vouch for you.

Indulge: The last “I” is the best “I.” It’s now time to indulge. To simply bask in the awesomeness that is your new career, full of challenges, growth and fulfillment. You worked hard to get here. Enjoy the hell out of it!

Are you thinking of possibly changing careers? Check out my free workbook below to help you get started:

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What Do You Value?

What Do You Value?

Maybe you have a job, but you’re unfulfilled. Are you climbing the monetary ladder, but your gig isn’t in line with what you see yourself being happy doing long term? Maybe you are looking to switch careers but have no idea which direction to turn. Maybe everyone is telling you you need to “Follow your passion!” but you have no freaking idea what that might be. No matter what your sitch, let me guess… you’re stuck, frustrated, lost and freaking out to varying degrees.