By Hannah Untereiner, Lidl
On November 16, 20 attendees gathered at ULI Headquarters to discuss career fulfillment during WLI’s “Satisfied at Work? A Career Happiness Workshop to Help You Dig Deeper for Greater Impact & Personal Fulfillment.” Denise Riebman, Career Happiness Coach and Director of Career Development & Alumni Services at the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University, led an engaging four-hour workshop on strength building, values assessment, and purpose exploration.
Denise kicked off the workshop with mindful breathing, and emphasized the importance of counteracting our negativity bias with moments of “positivity priming” activities or rewards that set you up for success and reward accomplishments or endurance through stressful situations. The group discussed how factors such as imposter syndrome, high salary/stock options, and age can contribute to a feeling of “career stickiness.” When burdened by these obstacles, we do not “lean OUT” to push for promotions, seek new responsibilities at work, or pivot to a new area of work entirely.
First, we must identify personal strengths, and ensure that our work environment and manager allow our strengths to flourish and “show up in the balcony instead of the basement.” If strengths have fallen into the basement, employees should make “micro shifts” to improve their connection with work. According to Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, when successful, we achieve moments of flow “when the challenge of an activity is perfectly matched to the ability of the participant.” Values are also important to consider – especially in determining why and how we prioritize flexibility in working from home and job stability, for example, as we shift between stages of life and personal responsibilities.
Like a hermit crab that has outgrown its shell and seeks a bigger home, we all endure transitions that render us vulnerable but lead to ultimate growth. Denise concluded that we must embrace the following steps: (1) Goals – establish realistic and intrinsic goals, (2) Pathways to Action – establish an action plan and anticipate obstacles, and (3) Agency – believe in yourself. We must ask ourselves, “If my life was a movie, would the audience be cheering for the decisions I make?”
For another way to engage, we invite you to attend ULI Washington’s “WLI Presents: Annual Holiday Lunch with Dr. Rachel Brem” on Monday, December 4. You can register using the following link: https://washington.uli.org/event/uli-washington-wli-presents-annual-holiday-lunch-dr-rachel-brem/.