Every now and again, I like to bring you interviews to give you a new perspective on work happiness. During my study of work happiness I have found that there are many paths to the same goal. Some people believe that loving what you do is a must, while other people believe that relationships are vital to enjoying the work that we do. Interviews are a great way to get out of your own perspective and see what other people are doing to develop their superpowers and live their passions.
Alexandra is a career expert, published author, and blogger. She gives career advice that is honest and interesting. One of my favorite posts was How to Launch Your Own Business. Your options are limitless if you follow our passions.
Alexandra was kind enough to give me an interview. Enjoy!
Karl: Do you believe that you must love what you do to be successful? Why?
Alexandra Levit: No, I don't, and this is a trap a lot of people fall into. They're good at something, so they think they should stay in it, even if they hate it.
Karl’s note: Many experts believe that you need to focus only on your strengths.This is a terrible idea. Only focusing on strengths doesn’t take emotional connections into account. You may be a good writer, but you won’t become great if you don’t love it.
What was the most difficult part about building your brand?
Standing out in what has become a very crowded career advice marketplace. Also, not focusing too narrowly but not trying to be all things to all people either.
Karl’s note: Pick your niche, run with it, master it, then expand out into new areas. If you aren’t known for one thing in the beginning of your career no one will remember you.
If you could go back to the beginning what is one thing you would do differently?
I wouldn't put so much pressure on myself to have my whole life figured out right away. I would take more time to travel, to explore, to work on acquiring skills in my twenties rather than climbing the ladder.
How do you cultivate work happiness in your career?
I try to keep my personal and professional lives balanced, and I complete work tasks in a way that works for me. For example, I know that struggling to meet a deadline at the last minute stresses me out, and I plan carefully and spread things out so I don't have to do this.
What do you do to help yourself stay motivated and productive?
I break complex tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks and I reward myself after starting a task I've been procrastinating.
How do you maintain harmony between your working and non-working life?
I have a flexible job and a supportive spouse.
If you are feeling down, what do you do to lift your spirits?
I leave the house - either have dinner out with friends or hit the gym.
Karl’s note: Good friends are always a great remedy for a bad mood.
What is your biggest detriment to work happiness? How do you deal with this issue?
I tend to achieve a goal and then immediately move onto the next thing without celebrating the accomplishment. Also, my temperament is naturally to focus on the more negative occurrences in my day and overlook the positive ones. I'm working on this by being conscious of the thoughts coming into my head and rationalizing why they may not be the most accurate.
Karl’s note: Celebrating your wins is vital to keeping your motivation and productivity at a high level.
If you could give work happiness advice to someone just starting their own business in 140 characters or less (Twitter style) what would it be?
Don't expect overnight success. Build your business a little at a time and think about keeping your day job while you're doing it.
Check out Alexandra’s blog Water Cooler Wisdom and learn a few new tricks to boost your career.
* Are you on Twitter? Then join over 3,500 people who get my stress relief tips, happiness ideas, and thought provoking quotes - @workhappynow
* Random Acts of Kindness is sweeping the nation and Tess of The Bold Life has a great post inspired by Lori of Jane Be Nimble. They both performed 40 acts of kindness for Lori's birthday.
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