Government work is extremely rewarding–we all know that–but it’s also hard work. Staying motivated through tough times and advancing your career can sometimes be challenging. I know there have been several times in my professional life when things took an unexpected direction and I felt like success was out of reach. But, I got back on track by paving my personal pathway to success. How did I do that? With POWER.
POWER is showing persistence, exploring opportunity, exhibiting warmth, electrifying others, and being a rejoicer. I have found by embracing these qualities that no road is too tough to travel and success can be within reach.
Persistence. Sometimes at work you feel like you’re swimming in oatmeal. You’re trying to make progress on a project or implement a new new idea, but it’s just not working. It’s real easy to give up. Keep in mind that not succeeding in something as planned is not failure –it’s a learning opportunity. Reflect on the experience, adjust your mindset to focus on the things you can control, and push through and persist.
Opportunity: Sometimes we inadvertently close the door to a new opportunity because we tell ourselves we aren’t qualified or that we might fail. Stop those voices! Challenge your perception of who you are and what you can do by asking yourself, “Why not me?” The easiest way to open yourself to opportunity is to widen your professional network and explore new avenues.
Warmth: When experiencing an unexpected roadblock at work, it’s easy to get caught up in your own problems and ignore what’s going on around you. Shift your focus to those around you and exhibit warmth and sincerity. This means that you take time to ‘get out of your head’ for a while and let your heart lead by showing compassion and understanding to others who may also be struggling. Being an example of goodness, fairness, and warmth not only changes your attitude–but the attitude of those with whom you work
Electrify: “To cause (someone) to feel great excitement,“ is how Merriam-Webster defines ‘electrify.” When you electrify, you have emotional energy–an aliveness of the mind, a happiness of the heart, and a spirit ﬁlled with hope. Like warmth, these characteristics are contagious and not only helps with self-motivation but will energize those around you. When you electrify others, you and your colleagues can ride out any storm together with grace and willpower.
Rejoicer: Be a rejoicer by celebrating everyday achievements. Did you complete a big report ahead of schedule? Did you have a successful meeting with a vendor? These ‘small wins’ matter and recognizing your daily accomplishments shifts your mind away from what you haven’t done to what you have done. It’s OK to give yourself a pat on the back and share your accomplishments with others as your journey through a tough week. So, rejoice!
I have consistently used the POWER approach in challenging times and have found that it makes work more enjoyable and difficult times manageable. It also shifts my mind to the things I love about my work and makes me realize how grateful I am. As Richard St. John, a renowned expert on success advises, “Don’t be a workaholic, be a work a FROLIC!” What that means is you shouldn’t be addicted to the work itself, rather work extremely hard because you are driven by an inner passion for the work you are doing. The purposes of government work–to serve and help citizens–is easy to be passionate about. So, focus on igniting that passion as you go down the road of your career and use POWER to meet detours along the way.
Tricia S. Nolfi is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.