The Three Questions

You have the right to create work you love, -- work that is fun, work that is meaningful, work that allows you to develop your talents, and work that is rewarding (and I mean financially).

That is your right.
That is your responsibility.
That is your privilege.

But how? How do you “create work?” What does that really mean?

If you are like most of us, you were taught to search for the perfect job or project by going out into the marketplace and looking for what is available. You seek out the “box.” And, then you try to find ways to fit yourself into that predefined box.

This is a reactive process. Reactive in the sense that you are responding or reacting to work that is out there and that has been predefined by someone else. It’s hard to create meaningful, fun, fulfilling work that way when it’s someone else’s box of things to do.

Creating work is a proactive process. You don’t start by seeing how you can fit yourself into a box. (Ha ha… If you are anything like me, you don’t fit in a box!)

Don’t start by looking into the job market to see what role you can fill. Begin by looking within yourself. Start with you and figure out what you have to offer.

In order to create work effectively, you must be able to answer these three questions:

1. Who am I and what do I have to offer the marketplace?

Think of your talents, your gifts, and your abilities, all those things you do well and that come naturally to you. You can add in your skills and experience and weave together what I call a "value proposition." Specifically and literally, how are you proposing to add value to a company, a team, an organization? What do you really have to offer and what makes you unique and different from everyone else?

2. What results do I bring and why does this matter?

What happens when you bring your "value proposition" to a company? What kind of impact do you have? How is it relevant? Think of your past. What contributions have you made? Where have you made a difference? What proof do you have that your value proposition is actually valuable? Make a case for where you have added value in the past and quantify it.

3. Who needs what I have? Who can I help?

Once you have determined what you can do and where you can really make an impact, you’ll want to think about who you can help. Who needs what you’ve got? What kind of company, team, or industry will benefit from what you have to give? When you have this figured out, reach out to them.

How did you do with these questions? Great! Now you are ready to go out into the marketplace and make a case for who you are and what you have to offer. You are going to become an advocate for your "value proposition." You are going to seek out those who need what you have. And that, my friend, is how you create work!

If you have had some trouble answering these questions…and some of them are hard…reach out to me here.

(PS. I am going to begin working with small groups…and may start a small coaching group at the end of June. Will keep you posted. Let me know if you are interested. In the meantime, have fun creating! And, let me know how you are doing…)

What I Believe About You

You were born with a unique set of gifts,
talents and abilities and your “job”
is to figure out them out so that you
can make your unique contribution to
the world and be richly rewarded for it.

You are free to do work you love.
Forget what you learned about work having to be “labor, drudgery and toil” and insist on your right to be happy at work. Yes, most of us have to work in order to be responsible adults, but no one said that you have to suffer for it. Work can be fun. Work can be fulfilling. Work can be meaningful. Don’t settle for less.

RECOMMENDATION: If you are in a soul-sucking job, make plans to move. You don’t have to leave right away. You just need to make a plan and take steps towards your goal. And, it’s never too soon to start. BOTTOMLINE: Be proactive, get out there and create work that works for you.

You are free to choose how to use your talents in the world.
If you were like me, you were told to develop skills so that you would be employable. But, if you want to be truly irreplaceable at work, you will learn how to discover and use your talents. Skills can be taught; talents are innate, inborn and cannot be easily replicated. Talents are what you do well, what comes so naturally to you that it doesn’t feel like work. Find opportunities where you can refine your talents, express your talents, and appreciate your talents.

RECOMMENDATION: Don’t stay in a job that won’t allow you to use your gifts for they will wither if unused. Find a company, a partner, a client that will appreciate your gifts. Please try to do more than use your skills. If you weave your skills and experience together with your talents, not only will you be unstoppable, you will be memorable and make that contribution which you seek. You will also be better paid.

You are free to ask to be paid fairly for the value you provide.
It’s only right that you are paid fairly for your contribution. There is (almost) nothing worse than going “over and above” and giving your company your all, while they are paying you dirt. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you are worth. And, if they won’t pay, move on.

RECOMMENDATION: If you are underpaid, you have several choices. You can quit (not always the best option, but sometimes necessary). Stay in place until you find something else. Or, stay at your job, but stop giving 110%. Do what they ask. Perform your skill. Work within traditional office hours. Leave your job at the office when you go home. They are not paying you enough to improve things, to invest your intellectual capital, or think about the office on your own time. Do a good job, but no more than is expected of you. Give them what they are paying for. That’s it. Use your free time to do what you love. That time is for you.