I started this company to help people accelerate in their careers and to help companies build better cultures for their people (Ascend5). But I kept coming across a question that a client brought up, "In today's fast-paced economic world of expansions and contractions, why should people even care about their jobs? Do companies care about their people?"
And surprisingly and honestly, I can now say, "Yes". I have worked in many great company cultures and branded many amazing leaders in Fortune 500 companies. Many actually do care about their people. And yes- there are still some bad companies out there too that take advantage of their employees. With social media, times have changed. People can speak up against toxic cultures through company reviews and word-of-mouth, spreading like wildfire and decimating a company's talent pipeline. This leaves them without their essential great talent to move mountains and can affect their economic bottom line substantially. Employees are finally able to start taking back some power and companies are listening.
Let's talk about your power.
When I first started this company, my goal was and always has been to empower people to make a positive impact on the planet through their own career and personal growth. "Happy people, happy planet." Empowered people can move mountains for companies. They can even change cultures and visions, often in the worst of organizations. Companies with a growth culture actually generate much better revenue because everyone is rowing in the same direction.
We, as humans, are built to grow...built to make a difference...it is in our DNA. Humans can find happiness, even in the most routine work, as long as we can make enough to survive, connect with others, and grow. It is that simple.
Making a change to leave your job can be scary.
How many people stay in jobs where they feel miserable and are too scared to leave? I see this all of the time. They are so beaten down by a bad boss or a dreary culture, often drowning in work. Their health, their partnerships, and even their families' well-being can take a toll. Making that change can sometimes mean stepping over to laterally over to the same role in a different company until you mentally get into a better place to move up again.
Happiness in your work starts with a certain mindset.
Henry Ford once said, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right," and this quote has always stuck with me. If we believe in ourselves and push forward through adversity and fear instead of hiding behind it, we can come out on the other side and make a positive impact in ways we can't even yet imagine. Our loved ones, our colleagues, and our planet need that from you.
But if we wait for someone else to save us from our own unhappiness, to professionally develop us, and take us into greatness, we will most likely have a subpar life that falls short of our hopes and dreams. It ALL has to do with our mindset... a choice every day to take control of our own lives... to choose happiness... to be of value... to even sometimes fail so that ultimately we can grow. It is what Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote about in his book, "Man's [or woman's] Search for Meaning."
Carve meaning into your work. It can be a lifesaver.
Life can be over in a blink of an eye. I know because I lost my husband to suicide unexpectedly in my mid-30s. It was work that took him down. He owned a company that was caught in an economic downturn. Companies did not pay him. He could not pay his employees. He lost sight of his mission... and ultimately his own value. He lost hope. It's tragically sad. He was here one moment and gone the next.
Remember- there is ALWAYS hope no matter how far you fall or how bad things get.
Suicide is on the rise with older and younger male adults today, and I believe losing sight of a personal mission and not feeling empowered both play a part in this. It's what gives us a reason to get out of bed every day. It's what keeps us going and connected to others in this messy thing called "life".
Are you a driver or a passenger in your career and life?
We have a choice every day to let happenstance take over our work and home lives or to drive it with meaning and intention. Being the driver of your career means to treat it like a business and use a consultative approach... give it a mission... think "YOU, Inc."... be more than just a person who gets a paycheck every week- be a consultant.
Consultants do this:
Take their top strengths/abilities-> align them to the needs of a role or company ->map out a strategy to bring value -> get compensated fairly for their work
Think like a consultant at work from this point forward.
When you're the driver of your career and thinking like a consultant, you are looking at your employer as a partner, and your job it is to help them grow their business. And in exchange, this experience helps grow your abilities, proven track record, salary, and ultimately your career. That's when true synergy happens. That's when any job aligned to your top strengths is your "dream job". That's also when you can become an intrapreneur at work.
Intrapreneurs have more fun...and also make a much greater salary.
It's extremely hard to start your own business in today's world. You need to raise capital quickly and competition is fierce. Companies expand and contract so much faster. Enjoy the fact that you can be an intraprenuer, which means to look for new ways to generate money or new lines of business for the company to expand its growth. Start thinking of earning a "value-based" pay, and not just market rate. Intrapreneurs make some great money, bring value, grow personally, and don't have to take home your work every night.
Why not build your value, take on an intrapreneurial mindset, tap into those inner drives and strengths, and just blaze a trail of positive impact at a company where you can get behind their mission, help them expand on it, and possibly even make a substantial amount of money in the process?
Your CEO might need a hug.
CEOs get tired too - the pressure is enormous, and sometimes they forget why they even started their companies. Remind them what's important on this planet... to use their company resources to build an impactful legacy, and if you just can't seem to align your mission with theirs, go find a company where you can. Employees have the power now to make positive changes at work. A company can only move so far with unmotivated employees.
If you are not happy at your job and there is no possible resolution...leave.
Start your exit plan NOW. Don't wait another week, month, year, etc. People don't leave companies. They leave their leadership. Sometimes it is necessary if you can not make change.
Do it now. If you are in your job-we have expedited ways to get you out even if you don't have time. You will never regret it. Spend the money, get the professional help you need, and get out of there. People transform into new roles ALL of the time. I know it is one of your largest anchors in life and it feels terrifying, but we are here to support you on your journey and it is so much easier than you think.
You have NOTHING to lose by investing in your growth and taking the chance to become the absolute best version of yourself.... and you have EVERYTHING to lose by doing nothing.
We want you to become the best version of yourself. No regrets! All you have to do is BELIEVE in YOURSELF and to BE YOU in the process. You've got this!
I wish you the best,