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Creating Successful Leaders

I read an article titled “10 Tips for Feeling Less Trapped at Work” in the Pioneer Press that aligns perfectly with many of the things I speak about and share with clients. The article’s author, Amy Lindgren, made the great observation that, due to the sluggish—if not non-existent at times—job market, “people feel trapped by the position or company they are currently employed by.”

I agree with the Lindgren’s claim that people feel trapped due to their limited employment options. But I’d like to take Lindgren’s idea one step further: Not is the job market slow, but employers are also struggling to figure out how to keep people engaged and excited about their positions at a time they can’t expand, offer the opportunities they previously offered, or challenge people in the ways they had hoped. In the work I do with companies and their employees, we seek to keep people energized and working on self-improvement so that they’re ready for the opportunities when they arise.

Lindgren supports her claim by urging readers to “make the best of the situation while you are waiting for the tide to turn.”

Her 10 Tips Include:

1. Go Deeper or Get More Shallow: If you are just barely there mentally, getting more deeply involved might engage more of your skills and increase your sense of satisfaction.

2. Seek Balance and Variety: While jobs that are the same every day can be comforting, they can also be numbing. Can you switch some duties with a co-worker to provide more balance in your day?

3. Take Your Breaks: Always take your lunch breaks, a short walk in the morning or afternoon, or any other opportunity to clear your mind, change our perspective, get re-energized, and increase your heart rate. Stepping away from your desk gets blood flowing to your brain and keeps your energy up. Americans are known for sitting long hours, skipping breaks and eating lunch at their desks.

4. Shake Up Your Routine: Instead of eating a sandwich at your desk, eat it while taking a walk outdoors. Maybe you can start a lunch club with co-workers or a Friday potluck.

5. Build Work Relationships: We’re all in this together, after all. Why not do something as a group once a month?

6. Go Home on Time at Least 3 Days a Week: If you can’t get all your work done, there’s either too much work on your plate or you’re using time inefficiently. Whether it’s too much work, or not working the right way, solve the problem.

7. Do Something Outside of Work: Look for something to do that is just for you, such as a good work out—perhaps yoga?

8. Solve a Different Problem: If your work issues seem intractable, turn your attention to other problems that need resolution in your life. How long are you willing to put those things on hold while you wait for work to improve?

9. Start Your Career Exploration Process: If you’ve been itching to move on, this can be within your company or outside of it. It’s never too early to start the networking, planning, and exposure necessary to make a new calling a reality. If you wait, you may be slowing down your progress when the time is right.

10. Prepare Your Resume: Having your resume ready will increase your sense of empowerment and help make all of your accomplishments more obvious to you. This is surely a way to feel less trapped.

Read all of the details of Amy’s comments at:


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