Do you ever find it hard to tell if you’re pushing yourself too much at your career or not enough?
I do, and I’m not certain if that makes me compulsive or lazy or just plain confused.
Let’s leave aside for the moment the question of whether or not I, or anyone else who struggles with the same issues, am doing the right things to advance my professional career.
It’s clear that charging off in the wrong direction won’t get you where you want to go, no matter how hard you try.
The question I’d like to deal with here is “How hard should you try?”
These days, with the Internet, smart phones, texting and more, our career sensors could easily be locked into the “Always On” position.
And it’s tempting to think that’s the way to go. After all, there’s so much competition, and times are tough… Sometimes it feels like you should be researching companies, writing e-mails and networking a literal 24/7.
But that’s probably not a good way to go. No one looks their best without sleep, and that could hurt you in an interview. Furthermore, we really do benefit from rest, relaxation and recharging our batteries.
The trick is being able to tell whether you’re stopping because it’s a good idea or because you’re wussing out.
I’ve decided to look to the practice of stretching for guidance. When you make stretching part of your physical fitness activities, you need to go beyond what’s comfortable, or easy. But you don’t want to push too hard, because you could make your muscles tighten in response or hurt yourself.
When you’re stretching properly, you find your edge and stay there. A good stretch lets you know you’re working, but it’s not excruciating, either. It’s a position you can hold, and hold consciously, paying attention to how much effort you’re expending and the feedback you’re getting as a result. You can breathe through it and use your breath to keep relaxed, engaged and focused with gentle, sustained pressure.
Doesn’t that sound like good advice to follow in your working days, or with your job hunt?
Find your edge and work there, with gentle, sustained pressure. That’s the goal I’m shooting for in my work/life practice. What about you?
by Danielle Dresden