These two lessons are true for every person who wants a long, happy, and satisfying career.
But it’s very hard to put that advice into practice. It took me the first six years of my career to figure that out. And I still have to remind myself that life is bigger than work.
Almost everywhere that I’ve worked in the past, there was a “perception is reality” culture.
That means looks are more important than reality. In other words: The person who’s in the office the longest appears to be the hardest worker. Now, that may be true.
Do you ever feel that business as a whole can be hostile? Maybe you have a boss that doesn’t appreciate you. Or a client that treats you like dirt.
No matter what your place is on the career ladder, I bet you’ve felt misunderstood somewhere in your career. Every day people feel left out, unappreciated, and mistreated at work. And consequently, they suffer.
Let’s face it. Business is not always fun. And sure, it’s business.
But I think we can easily improve the business landscape by getting better at one thing: Emotional Intelligence.
Everyone has heard of it. But what is it? How do you get better at it? And how can you use it to get better at business?
Emotional intelligence (EI) is a term that’s been popularized by John Mayer, from the University of New Hampshire, and Yale’s Peter Salovey.
Do you ever think, “who cares about anything that I have to say?”
Every time you have a similar thought like that, you’re developing imposter syndrome. There are many ways imposter syndrome expresses itself in your mind:
- “If I fail this, I will lose everything.”
- “What if people call me out?”
“I feel like a fake. I’m not the right person to talk about this.”
After these type of thoughts, we often try to downplay the effects:
- “It’s not a big deal.”
- “No one cares anyway.”
- “It’s a matter of luck, anyway.”
Those secondary thoughts are just a defense mechanism. We try to convince ourselves that our work isn’t important and that no one cares. We experience imposter syndrome when we have to lead people, share our ideas, give advice, etc.
Do you know that feeling of waking up tired? Or coming home from a day’s work completely paralyzed by fatigue? Sometimes you just feel like doing nothing, right?
- “I don’t feel like working.”
- “I don’t feel like doing groceries.”
- “I don’t feel like going to the gym.”
- “I don’t feel like taking public transportation.”
I feel you. I’ve been there. And now and then, I’m still there. But what if I told you that you’re wasting your life with that attitude?
Have you ever been let down by a colleague who you thought was a friend? Or how about getting drunk at the office party? If so, you’re not alone.
But here’s the thing: You can’t mix your professional and personal life. And that’s not a great thing to hear, right? We all desperately want to have a great time at work. And I get it.
You spend more time at work than any other place in your life, so it’s important to enjoy what you do. But doing what you love and workplace rules are two different things.
That took me a long time to understand. Granted, I’m a stubborn idiot who has to learn things the hard way. But one thing I’ve learned about the workplace is this: Things are not what they seem.