Some days you hit a wall. Or as Martha Coakley tells it, “I was marked present today. You will have days like that. Then move on.”
Coakley shared this takeaway in her talk, “Ten Not-So-Secret Tips to Make Life and Work Work for You,” at the Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Network Breakfast. The breakfast came on the heels of Boston Financial’s Managers Meeting, where our leadership team talked candidly and openly about how they integrate life and work. Both meetings sparked lively conversations on managing your work, career, and life in general.Here are just a few of the takeaways from Coakley’s talk and our leadership team:
1. Always learn, challenge yourself with new skills, take on new challenges, keep growing, and be prepared for lifelong learning. If you feel that you are ever stagnant or stalled, create a plan and find a way to move forward. Robert Kiyosaki said that “The most successful people in life are the ones who ask questions. They are always learning. They are always growing. They are always pushing.”
2. If you don’t get into the game you can’t win. Taking chances and risks is the best way to reach your goals professionally and personally. Throughout the year, you should periodically take time to review progress toward the completion of your goals. Each goal should be set using the SMART method. Ask yourself if your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound.
3. Learn to negotiate in ALL aspects of your life. Negotiating isn’t limited to raises and promotions. Coakley advises negotiating with yourself to find out what is important to you. Doing this will also help you integrate work and life better. We should also be negotiating in our personal life – with our spouses and partners to find the middle ground. Bottom line: know your worth and leverage.
4. Confidence comes from experience. Do stuff, just do it. You will learn what you don’t like, not everything will be perfect. Roll with it. Lead the way. At Boston Financial, our organization is full of tenured associates with loads of expertise. Look to those within your organization, within your team, who have tacit knowledge; leverage them to learn more. Encourage the possibilities of the future by stepping outside your comfort zone and asking for stretch goals. You’ll never know what you like until you try, and you might have fun along the way.
5. Define yourself, don’t let others define you. Be yourself, be authentic. Life isn’t a dress rehearsal, you don’t get another chance. Work life balance is part of defining who you are and your capability to contribute to your colleagues and your organization to the best of your ability. Prioritize what is important to you so you can ultimately define who you are, both for yourself and your organization.
At Boston Financial, we continue to motivate and drive each other to be the best we can be, achieve our goals (both personal and corporate), and attain a work life balance. But we also recognize that having fun is paramount. And after hearing Coakley speak, we know she would agree. What is your experience when it comes to work life balance?
Julie Cadogan, who also attended the Martha Coakley session and Boston Financial’s Managers Meeting, contributed to this post. Some background on Julie:
Julie, a Senior Human Resources Consultant, joined Boston Financial in 2009. She works on a variety of human resource initiatives supporting the finance, business technology solutions, and financial control divisions at Boston Financial. Her background includes workforce planning, compensation, recruiting, and employee relations.