A Quantitative Approach To Job Satisfaction

QUANTITY
adjective
  1. relating to, measuring, or measured by the quantity of something rather than its quality.

When I’m applying for a job, I take into consideration salary, commute, office environment, and job description.  The one thing I never really thought about was quantity.

I’ve always fancied myself a quality over quantity type of gal and just this morning, like a bolt of lightning it hit me:  I’m a quality gal!  (Not much of a realization, right?  Hear me out). Continue reading A Quantitative Approach To Job Satisfaction

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Thrive, Don’t Just Survive

It’s pretty empowering when you can just throw your hands up in the air and yell “I QUIT” as you exit your office, leaving everyone with their mouths agape.  But, chances are you can’t (or don’t want to).  And, if you want my opinion, that’s not a graceful way to make an exit.

So.  Here you are.  You can’t (or don’t want to) quit.  At least not right now.  What do you do?  Based on my MANY experiences with different places of employment, I’ve put together a list that I hope you will find helpful.

Continue reading Thrive, Don’t Just Survive

“Job” has become a four letter word

Time for a little motherly advice.

I’m guilty of this.  I would complain and complain and complain (and complain) about my job.  And complain.

It got to the point where it seemed like the only conversation I could have with anyone started off like this:  “I hate my job.  I can’t stand this or that . . ..”  And, as we all know, like attracts like.  Eventually, any and all conversations that someone had with me started off the same way.

That’s draining.  It physically sucks all the positive energy right out of you.  I was drained and in a bad mood.  All.  The.  Time.

The bottom line is that most of us need a way to earn money.  Jobs are the most common way to earn money.  Jobs come with obligations, responsibilities, and expectations.  Whenever anything (no matter how much you love it) becomes an obligation, and even further, an obligation tied to money, the joy starts to slip away.

So how we can change that? Continue reading “Job” has become a four letter word

Hobby, Job, Career, or Vocation?

Elizabeth Gilbert.  She’s been first and foremost on and in my mind lately.  I finished reading her book “Big Magic” and fell in love with her all over again.  Moments later, she, yet again, put beautiful words to my thoughts with her post about hobby, job, career, or vocation.  You can read her entire post here.

As an Accidental Lawyer turned Success Coach, I support women with this very issue.  In fact, it is this very issue that led me to want to coach others.  Ms. Gilbert states, “For anyone out there who is seeking purpose and meaning and direction in their lives, I thought it might be useful today to define and differentiate four very important words that relate to HOW WE SPEND OUR TIME IN LIFE.”

Let’s take some time to really figure out how we spend our time in our life.  Most of us don’t really stop to think about this; and why would we?  Our days are FULL of errands, tasks, quick coffee breaks, lists, pick-ups, drop-offs, meal preparation, and on and on.  It’s rare to find a quiet moment to breathe, let alone analyze how we spend our time in life.

I concur with Ms. Gilbert, however.  Making the time to figure out how and where we spend our energy and our time in life will bring with it some incredible awareness of how we can change things to feel more fulfilled and on purpose.  I will excerpt for you the basic definitions of these four words; while used interchangeably at times, as Ms. Gilbert points out, they do not mean the same thing.

1) HOBBY — A hobby is something that you do for pleasure, relaxation, distraction, or mild curiosity. A hobby is something that you do in your spare time. Hobbies can come and go in life — you might try out a hobby for a while, and then move on to something new. [ . . . ] The stakes are SUPER low with hobbies. Sometimes you might make a bit of money out of your hobby, but that’s not the point — nor does it need to be.

2) JOB — You may not need a hobby, but you do absolutely need a job. Unless you have a trust fund, or just won the lottery, or somebody is completely supporting you financially…you need a job.  [ . . .]  I believe there is great dignity and honor to be found in having a job. A job is how you look after yourself in the world. I always had a job, or several jobs, back when I was an unpublished, aspiring writer. Even after I’d already published three books, I still kept a regular job, because I never wanted to burden my creativity with the responsibility of paying for my life.  [ . . . ] Now, here’s the most essential thing to understand about a job: IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE AWESOME.  You don’t need to love your job; you just need to have a job and do it with respect. [ . . . ] Of course, if you absolutely hate your job, by all means look for another one, but try to be philosophical about why you have this job right now. (Some good philosophical reasons for staying in a crappy job right now include: You are taking care of yourself; you are supporting your beloved family; you are saving up for something important; you are paying off debts. The list of reasons to have a job — even a bad job — goes on and on, and honor abides within all those reasons.)  

3) CAREER — A career is different from a job. A job is just a task that you do for money, but a career is something that you build over the years with energy, passion, and commitment. You don’t need to love your job, but I hope to heaven that you love your career — or else you’re in the wrong career, and it would be better for you to quit that career and just go find yourself a job, or a different career.  [ . . . ] Let me make something very clear about careers: A career is a good thing to have if you really want one, but YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A CAREER. There is absolutely nothing wrong with going through your entire life having jobs, and enjoying your hobbies, and pursuing your vocation, but never having “a career”. A career is not for everyone.

4) VOCATION — The word “vocation” comes to us from the Latin verb “vocare” — meaning “to call”. Your vocation is your calling. Your vocation is a summons that comes directly from the universe, and is communicated through the yearnings of your soul. While your career is about a relationship between you and the world; your vocation is about the relationship between you and God. Vocation is a private vow. Your career is dependent upon other people, but your vocation belongs only to you.

Excerpts taken from Elizabeth Gilbert’s post, found here.

—-

I’ve tried to make hobbies into careers, and careers into jobs, and vocations into hobbies.  It wasn’t until I sat down and made sense out of the way I spend my time, aided by these definitions, that I brought some clarity into my life.  

I invite you to take these definitions, a cup of tea or coffee (or wine, whatever floats your boat), and a good hour or two of quiet time.  Spend some time writing out how you spend your time.  Decide if those activities are a hobby, job, career, or vocation.  Decide if activities can be rearranged under a different category to bring you more joy and fulfillment.  For example, once I moved “attorney” from the career category to the job category, I lifted a huge burden off my shoulders.  I then moved “coach” from the hobby category to the “vocation” category.  Joy began filling my heart.  Much like Ms. Gilbert, I know that even if my vocation doesn’t always pay the bills, it will always bring me immense joy and fulfillment.  And that is how I am choosing to fill my time in life.

How will you spend yours?

#TheNewFirm

Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life . . . Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it

“Badassery”

If you haven’t yet heard of Brené Brown, I truly encourage you to check her out.  I’ll make it easy, check out one of her TED Talks here.  (Over 22 million views.  Yep, she’s a badass.)

As I’ve come to embrace my #1 reason for diving head first into entrepreneurship (creative control), I’m consistently reminded of Brown’s words about being in the arena.  Brown has spent countless hours studying vulnerability and shame and refers to the arena on many occasions.

Let me explain.

“I’m not good enough.”  Heard that one before?  I sure have.  In fact, that statement kept me from fully embracing my desire for creative control for many years.

“Who do you think you are?”  That was next.  After realizing my worth, my value, embracing my fears and jumping in, that little voice told me I shouldn’t dare.  When that is the record that has been playing in your head for years and years, it’s easy to give up.

Then, the critics.  Brown describes them as the people sitting in the stands looking down into the arena.  They are not actually in the arena, but they are commenting, criticizing, and making suggestions about what the man in the arena should do.  She goes on further to say that 90% of the time, when the man in the arena looks up into the crowds to view his critics, all he sees is himself.  We are our biggest critics.

Truly sounds like a formula for failure.  But see, here’s the thing.  Those who dare to try will fail.  That’s a given.  Brown urges, however, that at least you will have been in the arena.  You will have had mud on your face and sweat in your eyes, but you would have been there: courageous, brave, vulnerable.  No matter who the critics are, push open the door to the arena and be prepared to have your ass handed to you.  You’ll fall over and over again, but guess what?  Do it anyway.

Why?  Because the credit will always go to man in the arena, for he is the true badass.

There is so much to her research that I cannot even begin to scratch the surface, nor do I choose to try.  If you’d like to devour her books like I have been lately, please do.  And let me know what you think!

Brown was inspired by Theodore Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena“.  Click on the link above to read the full excerpt.

#TheNewFirm

Badassery (1)

“Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear”

Lately, I’ve been attracted to a certain type of book.  The Big Leap, Rising Strong, Sacred Choices . . ., etc.

Most recently I picked up “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert from the local library.  I fell in love with her (as most of us did) throughout her journey in “Eat, Pray, Love”.  She has now re-entered my life just when I’ve decided that having creative control is the reasonmotivation behind my work.

The rest of the title reads like this:  Big Magic:  Creative Living Beyond Fear.

Go on, Ms. Gilbert.  You have my attention.

I was captured, almost immediately, by the following passage:

But I will never forget what the real Jack Gilbert told somebody else–an actual flesh-and-blood person, a shy University of Tennessee student.  This young woman recounted to me that one afternoon, after his poetry class, Jack had taken her aside.  He complimented her work, then asked what she wanted to do with her life.  Hesitantly, she admitted that perhaps she wanted to be a writer.

He smiled at the girl with infinite compassion and asked, “Do you have the courage?  Do you have the courage to bring forth this work?  The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.”

Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert, p. 7

I wish I had known Jack Gilbert.  I wish more mentors like him existed.  Here’s the magic.  Through this book, I feel as though Jack Gilbert is speaking to me, as well.  Through this book, those of us who are choosing to have creative control, to have courage, and to take that plunge are being inspired to release those treasures that are hidden inside each and every one of us.

Now that’s some Big Magic.

#TheNewFirm

-Do you have the courage- Do you have the courage to bring forth this work- The treasures that are hidden inside you are hoping you will say yes.-

 

 

What is Creative Control?

As a lawyer, I appreciate the fine art of words.  I don’t always stop and think about the definition of a word, but today, I’m going to define “creative control” in two ways.  The first, by looking up the words in the dictionary.  The second, my interpretation.

Continue reading What is Creative Control?

My Why and Creative Control

Over the last two years, I have been hearing a lot about identifying my WHY.  See, when you walk the plank and dive into the sea of entrepreneurship, you have to have a really strong reason to keep you motivated.  Unlike a traditional job where you are paid consistently, earning money as an entrepreneur is much seeing like seeing a double rainbow:  it exists, you don’t know when you’ll see it, but when you do, WOWZA.

Money cannot be my why.  Otherwise, I would have cut and run ages ago.  I kept hearing about “time freedom” and “residual income”.  I tried those out for a while, but they really didn’t motivate me enough.

Then, I explored my family, my children, and ME as my whys.  It worked for a little while, but it still wasn’t the real reason why I plunged into my own business.  (Although these three reasons are fundamentally woven into my desire to be better, every day.)

Then, like most magical things do, it hit me like a ton of bricks:  CREATIVE CONTROL.

Just like that, it all made sense to me.  Everything that I struggled with about the traditional employee/employer model, everything that irritated me about a M-F, 9-5 kind of job came down to a lack of CREATIVE CONTROL.

I’ll dive deeper into what creative control means to me in my next post.  For now, I invite you to explore your WHY.  Try on a few different reasons.  See how they feel.  If they stick, keep them.  If they don’t, explore other ones.  Once you identify your WHY, you’ll experience a spine-tingling, hair raising, jump-up-on-the-couch experience that will overwhelm you with joy.

Keep at it.  It’s worth it.

#TheNewFirm

What is your Why-

Confidence

CONFIDENCE
 
noun
 
    1. the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.
      “we had every confidence in the staff”
    2. the state of feeling certain about the truth of something.
      “it is not possible to say with confidence how much of the increase in sea levels is due to melting glaciers”
    3. a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
      “she’s brimming with confidence”
       

Confidence is such a beautiful thing.  When I look at my infant daughter, I see that she is very confident.  When I look at myself, I wonder why I am not more confident.  My daughter smiles at everyone, tries anything and everything without hesitation (even if it didn’t go well the first time), she doesn’t take herself too seriously, and shares her emotions freely without any fear that she will be judged or reprimanded.  

When does all of this change?  When do we go from being such confident and happy beings to ones riddled with anxiety, stress and little to no ability to appreciate our own abilities and qualities?

From my personal and unique experiences, I believe it comes from a cumulative effect.  A parent telling you yours grades aren’t good enough, a teacher telling you your art isn’t good enough, a stranger giving you a funny look because of how you look, a friend asking when you put on that extra weight, a significant other criticizing you . . . 

At first, the comments don’t mean much.  You appreciate and trust your abilities and qualities, so you brush the criticism off.  Water under a duck’s bridge, right?  I know I am good enough.  I know my art is beautiful, I love the way I look . . . But then, a second, third, and fourth person says something mean or demeaning.  Your “sure-ness” starts to diminish.  I think I am good enough.   think my art is beautiful.  I think I like the way I look.  The days and years go by.  More and more and more.  Now, you can’t help but think:  Am I good enough?  Is my art beautiful enough?  Do I really like the way I look?  Self-doubt EVERYWHERE.

That was me.  This is me.  Most days I have to really work hard to brush off the perceived criticisms and judgments that I am faced with.  Most days I have to fight against the negativity that creeps into my mind from years and years of internalizing external criticism and judgments.  

But I’m learning.  Come hell or high water, I’m changing things.  Here’s what I recently learned from some (a lot!) of personal development, it is all about perception.

PERCEPTION.

noun
 
  1. the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.
    “the normal limits to human perception”
     
  2. the state of being or process of becoming aware of something through the senses.
    “the perception of pain”
  3. a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.
    “Hollywood’s perception of the tastes of the American public”

The erosion of my confidence, the erosion of my appreciation of my own abilities and qualities comes from my perception of what others say and do.  I know what you are thinking, but wait! That art teacher clearly said, “your art is terrible”.  I didn’t mis-hear him.  That is pretty clear.  And, you are right.  That is pretty clear.  But, perception.  That is ONE person’s opinion.  ONE PERSON.  I know people who don’t like the Mona Lisa.  I know people who don’t like Picasso. The bottom line is, so what?  So.  What.  The Mona Lisa’s value is not diminished because one person does not like her.  And, your value is not diminished simply because someone doesn’t know how to value you.

If you love to DRAW, then draw.  If you love to DANCE, then dance.  If you love to COOK, then cook.  The more you do things that you LOVE and that make you FEEL good, the more your confidence will soar.  You may never hang a painting in the Louvre or win Top Chef.  So what?  Treat your house like a museum and hang your painting there.  Treat your kitchen like the best restaurant in the world and cook there.  See my point?

Have you misplaced that confidence?  Don’t know what you love to do?  Don’t worry.  There are a lot of resources out there that can help you get back to your authentic self.  My current resource of choice is the Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte.  I will write about my experiences as I work through this life-changing book.

One thing I did recently was look back on my college application essay.  I was 16 or 17, full of ambition and hope for a future filled with everything I was confident I wanted to do.  What did it say?  It said I was going to combine business and art into a fabulous career.  What do I do now?  I’m an attorney.  Somewhere along the way, life took me in a different direction.  Looking back on my life, I know it was what I needed to do to work out some “stuff”.  The beauty of life is that you can always re-invent yourself.  You can take steps to return to your authentic self.

What did your college application say?  What did you spend hours doing as a young child?  What have people always told you you should be doing?  Does it align with where you are now?  If not, can you change it?

Life is beautiful.  Actually, it’s downright amazing.  Take a chance, re-build your confidence.  Live life on your terms.  Appreciate your abilities and qualities because there is only one you.  Only one.  And boy, we are sure lucky to have you. 

I'm Possible.
I’m Possible.