This month we celebrate Earth Day and our thoughts turn to keeping our planet healthy, but it’s also a great time to give careers a healthy boost, too. A healthy career is one that is challenging, enriching and offers plenty of opportunity for growth. In a way, developing a healthy career parallels the efforts we employ when protecting our planet Earth.
If you’re looking to develop a healthy career for yourself and those around you, here are a few strategies to employ.
Seek Alternative Energy. Whether your day is spent juggling a growing family or strategizing in boardroom, work is where we spend most of our waking energy. When you feel your batteries start to drain, turn to alternative energy sources. Identify what makes you happy and what little elements you could incorporate into your day that will provide empowerment. Whether it’s lunch with a friend, a decadent snack, a quiet moment in the garden or even a cat nap, the time away from the task at hand can be very re-energizing.
Protect the Most Valuable Resource. Work, family and other obligations, leaves little time to take care of ourselves, so fitness routines and nurturing diets may be put aside. But in order for your career to thrive, you –the most valuable resource –must thrive. Make a healthy lifestyle a priority with small manageable steps. Choose restaurants that offer healthier fares or opt to pack a balanced lunch and stash nutritious, low-calorie snacks in your desk drawer, purse and car. At work, ask about corporate wellness programs and local gym discounts and while there, take the stairs instead of the elevator. At home actively play with the kids and the pets in the backyard or find a fitness buddy who will keep you motivated.
Keep it Clean. Every career has its unwelcomed challenges. When confronted with a problem, take a beat to reflect on your initial, instinctual reaction and determine whether it is really the best course of “reaction.” After removing the emotional quotient, find a resourceful way to turn the challenge into an opportunity for learning and growth. Don’t allow workplace conflict, toxic employees or inappropriate verbal or written communications bring your career to a screeching halt. Instead, develop strategic solutions, then consult with a supervisor, mediator, expert or mentor and explore how you can turn a potential deterrent into an occasion for you to shine.
Preserve Habitats: The relationships that help you grow, provide you with guidance and keep you and your career strong should always be preserved. This group –or habitat – in which you thrive should be cared for by you, as well. Take time to listen, offer support, provide business leads and routinely ask your family, friends and individuals in your professional network how you may be of help to them. By ensuring your relationships are mutually beneficial, they will survive any climate change.
Nurture Growth. Take time regularly to reflect on your strengths. Identify what makes you great at what you do, what it is that people turn to you for help with, and more importantly what activities you excel at. A career founded on strengths is a healthy one that should be nurtured. Attending professional development opportunities, networking groups and building your knowledge base through education, reading and research provide opportunities to grow your strengths base. Moreover, volunteering is a great way to demonstrate and share your strengths with those in need.
This guest blog was contributed by Kim Monaghan, published author, creative and corporate writer. Learn more about her books and works at www.KBMWriting.com