3 Work Life Conversations to Have

Do not let yourself become frustrated at work because you did not get the promotion you thought you would get, the deal you worked tooth and nail for or the type of employer you thought you were getting when you interviewed for the job. Step back and have some conversations to help you put things in perspective. Some things will not change immediately but the exchanges may help you come up with a plan to approach your work life with energy, guts and determination. So,

1. Do Some Soul Searching
Ask yourself, “Am I growing? Also ask yourself if you are responsible for every aspect of your life and have become better in certain areas of your character. Have you learned from any choices that you may have made and was there some improvement. If yes, as an individual this is appositive thing. If this growth has translated into a change in personal responsibilities and more confidence then you should not let frustration bog you down.

Look at how much you have under your control and how much of your life you are responsible for now. You are paying your own way and are not depending on other people; this is a good thing. With or without the promotion, with or without the deal and with or without the ideal boss; you have grown.

BTW if you have grown, consider whether or not the friends you socialize with are on par with your own strengths and personal attributes. If not, think about how you can either change the situation or sever ties and find company within which your personal strengths will be more aligned with your ambitions and values.

2. Speak to Your Boss
You may have ambitions but does your boss know these ambitions? Staying quiet about work where you’re never challenged or given an opportunity to prove yourself is never a good idea. Have a conversation with your boss and ask whether your areas of responsibility can be expanded or even ask why they are not being expanded.

Ask for feedback on your strengths and weaknesses and what you can do to expand your assigned responsibilities. Ask what skills you are lacking and what short- and long-term steps you can take to develop them?

Make it known to your boss that you would like to go beyond what is expected so that you can contribute to the organization’s larger goals and meet your own ambitions.

3. Have a Candid Conversation With Your Co-workers or Clients
When was the last time you asked your colleagues or a client for feedback? About how you behave, how you work and if you are delivering on promises and meeting expectations.

Have a conversation with colleagues about you. About how well you are tackling your work. Ask if you are demonstrating a breadth and depth of knowledge in the work place that is expected of you.

Converse with your clients once in a while to get their opinion and feedback; ask them if there are things you can do to work better, smarter or faster.

Remember many things that seem to be frustrating and unchangeable may turn out to be satisfying and changeable with some candid conversations that put things into perspective.

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Kwachalelo, be successful, be well.

About Balekile Gausi

A prolific writer covering work, money and lifestyle that passed through university coming away with a very good grasp of public administration, money and banking, international relations. She was a civil servant that quickly opted for self-employment. And as a trained and published writer she has been freelance feature writing for several decades but has also published fiction in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine. Now settled and living in Lusaka after many years of living in several cities in Africa and Europe; Balekile is also an avid bird watcher, is married with 3 adult children and has an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( the Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list!)

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