Articles posted by Sabrina Ali

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5 Things People Who Enjoy Their Work Do Differently

1.   They don’t try to make themselves do things that they might be good at, but don’t genuinely enjoy (or hate).

This means that, from the start, you are more discerning about what you want at work or to do for work and find a way to make that happen as much as you can as often as you can. This saves time and energy in the end. You’re way better at what you genuinely enjoy anyhow. So be prepared to like work!

2.  They don’t try to be a different person in different settings.

The old ways of thinking and being made work and home seem separate – almost as though they required two different personalities from one person. Those aren’t the values of younger generations and older generations seem to see the wisdom in a life without separation. It was (get this!) “too much work!” The older you get, the harder it is to maintain different ways of being that feel too different from how you actually are. Save your health, relationships and time by finding work and ways to be yourself more often.

3.  They know how to say “no.” Only don’t make it sound like you’ve said “no.”

Yes, this one sounds completely unbelievable. But consider this: most people don’t really understand or know what they’re wanting when they come to you. They just need someone to tell their problem to. And you’re assuming that you know what they want because all you want is for their bad feelings to go away. Because you want to help. Of course.

First things first to conserve your precious energy – help that someone asking for your help discern what they want and then let them know what their options are. Let them choose and/or help them choose by offering a suggestion or recommendation. Do this first to see how they respond before you go to all the trouble of doing something that won’t actually resolve their feelings. But don’t choose for them. You’re going to stop that now. Aren’t you?

4.  They have interests and pursuits outside of work that make them happier about being at work.

Funny how it works that the more meaningful other aspects of your life are, the more meaningful the time you spend at work feels. Don’t be one of those people that tries to make your paid hours the absolute and most meaningful thing ever. No one thing in life can give you that and if it does, it won’t be long until it doesn’t and you’re feeling frustrated again. Life is diverse and always changing. Just like you.

5.  They laugh and because they do, it feels good to be around them.

People are drawn to people that they like to be around. Smart as you may be, it doesn’t help if you’re not likable. Not that you need to change yourself to be likable.  In fact, please don’t. Others can’t really be happy if you’re not happy. No one wants that for you and you don’t want that for you, nor from anyone else. The goal here: Find somewhere to work that brings out your unique style of likability. Everyone has some. You just need to be in the right environment – for you.


Where is your integrity murky? And why that matters to your career

When your integrity wavers, you’re flaking out – or as a client of mine with British roots calls it – “you’re pfaffing!”

It can wreck your career + personal reputation … even if you think everyone’s fine with it.

Trust me they’re not.

Accepting “what is” means accepting when you don’t want to. And not using flakey language to get yourself out of feeling bad.

You free yourself when you speak with integrity.

The truth can be spoken with the utmost of compassion for you + the other.

It requires being real.

(Yes, you can be brutal with your kindness. Emphasis on kindness.)

Trust me, I speak from experience.

So, Before You…

Commit to something out of guilt and obligation … before you ask for advice that you have no intention of taking … before you decide to do something that you can’t really afford … before you apply for a job posting just to see what happens … before you ask for an information interview or a networking meeting attached to a job and not the process of creating a real human relationship … before you find a loophole in the fine print or argue semantics of what you “thought was happening” … before you make your inability to be impeccable with your word someone else’s problem and burden (thinking that they “should” understand and it’s their problem if they can’t or don’t) … or even before letting yourself down by not keeping your exercise date/play date/coffee date/reading date/be by yourself date … be here now.

No matter what the circumstance, flaking out makes everyone feel bad.

And then you have to do something with the bad feelings. Push them away. Stuff them down. Ignore (more stuffing). Avoid (more pushing away).

Please look and see what you’re really doing:

You think you don’t matter when in fact you do.

If you must, give yourself permission to show up tired, show up scared, show up because you said you would, show up authentically. No one expects you to be perfect. Do this until … you get better at knowing yourself.

And try what I do:

Under-schedule yourself

Owl flying

I’m the worst for having time fantasies about how much time and energy I have – so I know this works great. I want to do it all. My ego thinks I can. But I know my ego.

Under-scheduling allows for space in my life to say ‘yes’ spontaneously. The other part of my strategy is to be honest with myself about what isn’t going to be possible.

When you keep your promises to yourself, you keep your promises to others. Automatically. Magically.

Just think of all the happy endings awaiting you when you give your word and mean it.  

So, tell me… what are you going to decline like you mean it? And what are you going to accept like you mean it?

Managing Your Expectations During Career Change

One thing that people do to really discourage themselves during a career change is this:

Expecting the career change to happen quicker than it actually does.  

The scenario goes a little something like this:

You lined up your steps and had a solid plan to make career change happen.


The problem?

You’re rigid in your expectations and finding out the hard way that there’s no breathing room in your plan – even if you planned for breathing room (and money). You not only planned out the steps, but also when things would happen, exactly how things should all unfold, and who would be the ones to deliver.


How about this: While yes, you control a lot of things, you don’t control everything. Wisdom is knowing when which is the case.

So, why all the rigmarole? Kerfuffle? Inner chaos?

Simply: Rigid ways of being are hard on you because they oppose what is actually happening. And this resistance is your ego’s way of hiding something from you about yourself.

Namely that you’re human.

And that like all humans, sometimes you suffer from bouts of low self-respect, self-love, and self-worth.

Whether you want to admit it or not. Like it or not.

And you’re especially vulnerable to this during times of career change.

It feels almost doubtful that this is the case because you know that you have something to contribute. This doesn’t mean that your self-esteem can handle the transition though because it feels like your contribution is on hold. A part of you frets: “How can I contribute if no one is letting me?”

But you forget contribution occurs from giving yourself permission to contribute. It doesn’t come from having a job. You can contribute whether you have a job or not. And believing otherwise is the folly of valuing your worth only in terms of paid work.

This is why having your job as your identity is so hard on you.

Truth: You don’t and won’t always have a job. And before you ever got a job for the first time, you were contributing to the world around you through being you. Add to that that you don’t love and accept other people based on the fact that they earn money, so (really) why would you treat yourself like that?

All the planning and preparation for how life will unfold can’t protect you from your own hidden, secret mean talk to yourself about yourself.

This is noteworthy since a lack of self-acceptance will subtly or overtly perfume all your interactions – and not in a good way while you are looking for work. This makes the process feel even slower and more painful than it needs to be. For you and everyone else involved. (Ugh. I know.)

But there is a solution:

While you’re planning your career change, plan too to create a positive experience of yourself as a human being with or without a job, however long things take to happen and however they happen.  

How? Date, woo, and court yourself before, during and after your career changes. In fact, never stop taking yourself for granted. Love you no matter what is going on around you. Always.

Even if things take awhile – and big things do take time until the tipping point happens, you never want to feel like you were waiting for something when you could have been enjoying the process.

Because when you do get what you want (and you will), you won’t enjoy it. And what’s the point of that?