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Dr. Shirley Says...

Steps to Professional Success: It’s Up to You

"If you don’t try out some new ideas, you will never realize how good you are or how enjoyable your job and life can be."

In today’s economy, everyone who is working—everyone who has a job—should feel fortunate. Particularly, when we pick up the newspaper everyday and read about the large numbers of workers being laid off, the company mergers and acquisitions, and so on.

Consider yourself blessed and be appreciative. Thank the good Lord for shining his light upon you.

Now, I can hear some of you saying, "Yeah, I have a job, but I haven’t received a raise in two years. I’m dissatisfied with what I’m doing. I’m having to do the job of two people now because of company downsizing. Promotions are frozen. When it comes to putting employees first, developing employees for increased productivity, management talks the talk, but doesn’t always walk the walk. Why should I be thankful?"

Before you think another thought, go get yourself a pencil and piece of paper. You’re going to sit back down, take a few minutes and complete a self-evaluation relative to our position in the workplace.

As far as your job situation is concerned, don’t worry about things you can’t change. Concentrate on the areas over which you as an individual do have control, and answer the following questions "yes" or "no."

Consider your current skills. Are they better, faster, more reliable? Are you doing more in less time? Are you working smarter instead of harder? If not, you need to upgrade—refresh, reinforce and refine.

Have you learned any new skills lately? For example, mastering a new procedure, learning how to operate a new piece of technology, learning new techniques that will enhance your skills and make your job more effective?

Have you varied the pattern of a routine task in the past six months? Have you looked for ways to simplify tasks so that you can devote more time to those responsibilities you really enjoy doing? (If there are no duties you enjoy, you are in deep trouble. Perhaps it’s time to seek a new job.)

Have you made changes in your surroundings to perk yourself up? Modifications such as adding a new picture, plant, wall hanging or desk ornament can add a completely new dimension to your work environment. Make a change!

Can your skills in communicating with people be improved? Are you doing your best to give and get cooperation? Establish trust?

What about your knowledge of the organization or industry in which you work? Do you better understand how the business operates; how your particular position, department or agency functions; and what the latest trends are?

Now look at your answers. If you have answered "no" more times than "yes," no wonder you’re dissatisfied, no wonder you’re not appreciative.

Why not tap that powerful source of energy that’s lying dormant within you and set some goals! Develop a plan of action and go for it. If you don’t try out some new ideas, you will never realize how good you are or how enjoyable you job can be.

Expect more from yourself. You might be surprised at what and how much you can accomplish.

Be committed. Commitment gives you new power. For no matter what comes your way, you never turn your eye from the goal. Commitment guarantees victory. It’s hard to keep committed people from achieving success. Place stumbling blocks in their way and they take them for stepping-stones. If difficulties are thrust in front of them, they go around, under or through them.

To reach your goals, you must be totally committed and do what it takes to accomplish them. When you’re striving to attain your goals, develop a self-talk vocabulary and keep in mind the words of Linda E. Knight:

Begin each day by focusing on all that is good.
You’ll be in a position to handle whatever comes along.
Take responsibility for your actions; never make excuses
for not being the best you can be.
If you should slip, be comforted by the thought
that we all do at times.
Determine your tomorrow by the choices you make today.
And, above all, remember,
it’s all up to you!

Available now: Inspirational Moments on CD


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