Business

Navigating the Workplace

Despite the fact that many people spend a huge slice of their life in the workplace – it’s a place still evolving and the experiences we have in our various workplaces are all personal to different degrees. Yet, we all seek to unlock the key to happiness and fulfillment in our careers and workplaces.

Here are 3 things that I wish someone had told me more about this connected system called the workplace ; before I dived into it – a few tips on how to make the most early on in this environment you almost call your second home won´t hurt, and better late than never.  I strongly believe these have helped me navigate through…

3 Things I wish someone had shared with me 

  • Experience

It seems pretty ridiculous, but yes, Companies are requesting 2 years plus experience from a pool of fresh graduates for entry positions. It gets you thinking what has changed over the decades…?  However I will not waffle about this…

Let’s bat our eyelids and get down to the word experience itself –  The word experience means engaging in the moment, it requires throwing away the theoretical jargon and learning about the practice  – this allows you to  acquire that valuable knowledge/skill you need.

From time to time – set aside your own “perfect” ideas and engage with your team to hear their experiences

Understand how to fit the right experience puzzle pieces to the perfect collaborative solution towards the toughest issues you tackle in your workplace.

There are things in life you simply have to experience and learn from without trying to solve the moment to fit your idea of a perfect scenario, ( remember its essential to take a step back to get a view of whats at hand during your experience journey ) and by all means don’t forget to ask the right questions while at it. In other words – If Experience is living – make your life learning experience a series of questions that when answered give direction and growth – hence making it a habit to be more curious – while at the same time driving for results.

  • Connect purely

If you have never had a conflict, you have never connected to the level that pushes the strings to a very necessary skill for growth: Connecting. You can’t experience conflict with something you are not connected with. I say connected because I believe this is the result of communication – which when broken down becomes Observing, Listening and speaking – all 3 are skills that can be sharpened with time.

It’s a beautiful thing to connect with people who share different values, beliefs and backgrounds- do that more often!

Constructive dialogue and conflicts take place when we connect purely. One of my favorite business communication coach Ursu Mahler , gave an analog of connecting/communication as daily bank transactions. Keep your bank on check and avoid running on the negatives. Pure connection is driven by the giving principle.

A lot of times in the business arena people`s networking is motivated by identifying something someone has to offer– yet the true value of a network lies in connecting to give value. Connecting in its pure form is being curious about the other person and genuinely wanting to know their journey – the part that’s important is not drawing out things this person can do for you – but seeing opportunity to bring value to them.

 

  • Be aware of your value

Having spoken about connecting to give value, it`s important to know your value… How much are you worth? Let me ask you something – If the price tags you press on to your clothes were shifted on to you – how much would your tag say? Most times you give yourself a figure based on statistics, education, experience etc. Yet the reality is the real value can never have a figure to it. Your well-being can never have a 6 figure tag on it. Its intangible and that is what makes self-awareness of your worth a critical skill in the workplace.

There is no doubt that you should be prepared to know and negotiate a fair salary for yourself based on facts, yet one thing we tend to lack early on in the workplace is perspective. Perspective of what your value means in the long-term, what being whole and treating yourself as well as being treated fairly means. Treating yourself fairly means you are conscious that your value encompasses more than just the work experience and a figure. This perspective gives you confidence and freedom to be simply you and not being driven by storms of unfair treatment or others perception of you.  As a women of color and most times being in a minority group in the workplace has meant standing firm on what I believe, what I represented and not flinching about my self-worth and place in the places I stood.

Being aware of your value means believing in yourself and remembering your bigger goals- It means reminding yourself of what fuels you and your passions. Being aware of your value entails trusting that your presence is intangible and taking care of your complete well-being because that can never be compensated in a pay-check.

What are your 3 essentials to navigate and grow in the workplace?

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