With one eye on deadlines and bottom-lines, and the other on client and customer relations, it’s easy to lost sight of professional goals. And, to maintain a palpable level of on-the-job inspiration.
Some days you feel at the top of your game, full of energy and vision. Others, it’s high anxiety, frustration, failure or an overall sense of defeat. You start sweating about your ideas, your integrity… ugly self-talk that sucks the wind out of your sails and incites fantasies of sudden illness and several days in bed so you can recharge.
When motivation and professional satisfaction walk out on you, getting back in your groove can happen two ways: You can hand in your resignation (this, I don’t recommend), or you can, “Try looking at it another way,” as suggested in the movie “James and the Giant Peach”.
Ask yourself tough questions and start to whittle down the reason you took the job (or started the business) in the first place:
- What excited you, and what squelched that excitement?
- What skills and talents did you have that you may have pushed further down in the toolbox, and that could be called back into duty?
- Are you speaking up for yourself/your ideas enough?
- Are you giving your ideas/labor out too freely, and feeling devalued?
You might also look at the culture of your industry as a whole; is it positive, supportive, gender neutral? Or, do your peers struggle with stereotypes, and clients/customers complain unfairly?
This list surely could go on, but the point is, you have to first understand where you are in order to figure out where to go next—and how to get there.
Again, this is not the time to sulk. Rather, it’s time to grab your Kindle or iPad, or that dusty library card, and start reading.
There are reams of inspiration waiting for the chance to connect with someone like you and to reignite your professional fire. Let’s face it, “Work” is work, and we all feel like quitting every now and again.—me included.
Lucky for you, I started my down-cycle first and went on a mad hunt for inspirational tomes. I tagged my hunt, “for women,” but feel free to share with your male co-workers and significant other. Who knows, it might improve interoffice relationships and that is one easy way to start making things feel better at the office.
With no further ado… 21 Women Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Favorite Business Books (you’ll be surprised by a couple of the titles) and 13 Must Read Business Books to Kick-start your 2013
I’d love to hear if you have already read any of these, and if so, would you recommend. And, to hear your suggestions for those not listed here.