Joie de vivre in French means joy of living! OED defines it as a feeling of healthy enjoyment of life; exuberance, high spirits! Why a blog on this topic so foreign to so many who work for a living? In my coaching practice I believe that this feeling of joie de vivre comes not from having a utopian life or career, but from conquering the battles that you find are beyond your reach or capacity!
Prospects and clients who come to me mostly start their engagement with me in a state opposite of the meaning and the spirit of this French phrase. Although I am not a therapist, I often act like one. Most of the woes that afflict professionals who initially come to me directly link their plight to their job or to their career and to factors directly related to these. So, how, those who come from a state of hopelessness, despair, confusion, and frustration transform their outlook on their own? Here are some hacks that Ive found to provide enough relief for those who practice these simplebut not so easysuggestions; many often graduating to even experience this joie de vivre that is otherwise so elusive to them, on their own:
- Most of our discord in life comes from lack of alignment with the things we do. So, recognize this and make a prioritized list of these factors that create this discord. Starting with your career, job, boss, colleagues, and other factors, including your commute, work hours, etc. Most professionals do not do this exercise as a systematic and comprehensive audit of their own woes. Many of these conflicts reside within ourselves and our inability to deal with them.
- Once you prioritize this list start taking each factor from the top and then breaking it down with the reason(s) for your discord factor-by-factor. Let us take your career, as an example. If you are not growing and if you cannot foresee how your rsum is going to look a year or two from now differently from it does now, you have lost control over your career. Identify the factors that will free you from career stagnation and develop a plan to improve your career growth. Remember, to grow your career you need career momentum. If you have enough career momentum you can achieve enough escape velocity to change your orbit.
- If you have a list of five top factors and then a more detailed list of each of the five factors broken down into their own sub factors you have a change roadmap that will allow you to plan for how youll implement that change. Do some research on what tools and resources are available to equip you with the skills you need to deal with these challenges.
- Most clients I deal with suffer from their fear to openly and clearly communicate their needs to others, especially to their boss and to their colleagues. They suffer in silence because they do not have the skills to define the problem, articulate that problem by presenting it to the person who is causing them this grief, and then working with them to mend their relationship(s).
- The single most critical factor on which people often come short is their inability to communicate with those who matter to them and the way they deliver that message. Learn how to speak and write well and leverage that improved ability to express yourself to re-build relationships with those who matter to your joy. There are many tools available to improve communication, both oral and written. For example, Toastmasters International provides opportunities for anyone to improve their confidence in speaking and in presentation skills. Get the skills you need to communicate effectively and see how much difference it makes in your own self-confidence and your ability to improve your relationships with your boss and others.
Most of my clients come to me about problems they have managing their relationships with their boss, their colleagues, and others in their ecosystem. Their main problem is their inability to frame their problem that is affecting each relationship and their inability to hold a constructive dialog with the person they want to continue to work with in productive ways.
Recently, a senior executive client who felt that he was shortchanged in his Annual Performance Review (APR) with his new compensation package and how it was structured. Distraught over how this was handled and how his boss treated him, he called me all roiled up and upset about the unfair treatment he felt that he received, despite his rock-star performance throughout the year. He was all ready to quit and look for another job, where he felt that he would be treated more equitably and fairly. His problem was his inability to confront his boss and to make his case for a fair and equitable adjustment to his compensation package. So, I suggested to him an alternative to his quitting and then building his skillset to deal with any such indignity in the future, instead. He agreed!
After some discussion and going through a logical process of how to present this argument to his boss we developed a script and practiced it where my client felt comfortable confronting his boss to make his case. When the client was able to have this meeting and when the boss told him that this should not have happened and that he would correct the error with a new compensation package, my clients attitude suddenly shifted from resignation and despair to confidence and hope.
I now saw a new energy with which this person, who was about to walk away from this job suddenly have a different view about how he could re-engage, now that his grievance got a hearing with a resolution in his favor. He felt rewarded for not just getting what he deserved in the first place, but more importantly, he felt galvanized with a new force that would serve him throughout his life. He was transformed!
Such wins can change how you look at the same situation in a very different light. This is what joie de vivre is about. So, to create this win for yourself conquering your battles on your job and your career front you must first learn to empower yourself to take control of your life and your career using the tools listed above. That is where joie de vivre begins and continues to flow to energize your life and in all that you do!
Dilip has distinguished himself as LinkedIn’s #1 career coach from among a global pool of over 1,000 peers ever since LinkedIn started ranking them professionally (LinkedIn selected 23 categories of professionals for this ranking and published this ranking from 2006 until 2012). Having worked with over 6,000 clients from all walks of professions and having worked with nearly the entire spectrum of age groups—from high-school graduates about to enter college to those in their 70s, not knowing what to do with their retirement—Dilip has developed a unique approach to bringing meaning to their professional and personal lives. Dilip’s professional success lies in his ability to codify what he has learned in his own varied life (he has changed careers four times and is currently in his fifth) and from those of his clients, and to apply the essence of that learning to each coaching situation.
After getting his B.Tech. (Honors) from IIT-Bombay and Master’s in electrical engineering(MSEE) from Stanford University, Dilip worked at various organizations, starting as an individual contributor and then progressing to head an engineering organization of a division of a high-tech company, with $2B in sales, in California’s Silicon Valley. His current interest in coaching resulted from his career experiences spanning nearly four decades, at four very diverse organizations–and industries, including a major conglomerate in India, and from what it takes to re-invent oneself time and again, especially after a lay-off and with constraints that are beyond your control.
During the 45-plus years since his graduation, Dilip has reinvented himself time and again to explore new career horizons. When he left the corporate world, as head of engineering of a technology company, he started his own technology consulting business, helping high-tech and biotech companies streamline their product development processes. Dilip’s third career was working as a marketing consultant helping Fortune-500 companies dramatically improve their sales, based on a novel concept. It is during this work that Dilip realized that the greatest challenge most corporations face is available leadership resources and effectiveness; too many followers looking up to rudderless leadership.
Dilip then decided to work with corporations helping them understand the leadership process and how to increase leadership effectiveness at every level. Soon afterwards, when the job-market tanked in Silicon Valley in 2001, Dilip changed his career track yet again and decided to work initially with many high-tech refugees, who wanted expert guidance in their reinvention and reemployment. Quickly, Dilip expanded his practice to help professionals from all walks of life.
Now in his fifth career, Dilip works with professionals in the Silicon Valley and around the world helping with reinvention to get their dream jobs or vocations. As a career counselor and life coach, Dilip’s focus has been career transitions for professionals at all levels and engaging them in a purposeful pursuit. Working with them, he has developed many groundbreaking approaches to career transition that are now published in five books, his weekly blogs, and hundreds of articles. He has worked with those looking for a change in their careers–re-invention–and jobs at levels ranging from CEOs to hospital orderlies. He has developed numerous seminars and workshops to complement his individual coaching for helping others with making career and life transitions.
Dilip’s central theme in his practice is to help clients discover their latent genius and then build a value proposition around it to articulate a strong verbal brand.
Throughout this journey, Dilip has come up with many groundbreaking practices such as an Inductive Résumé and the Genius Extraction Tool. Dilip owns two patents, has two publications in the Harvard Business Review and has led a CEO roundtable for Chief Executive on Customer Loyalty. Both Amazon and B&N list numerous reviews on his five books. Dilip is also listed in Who’s Who, has appeared several times on CNN Headline News/Comcast Local Edition, as well as in the San Francisco Chronicle in its career columns. Dilip is a contributing writer to several publications. Dilip is a sought-after speaker at public and private forums on jobs, careers, leadership challenges, and how to be an effective leader.
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