We all have skills and tools that we use to further our careers. Studying to get additional degrees or working extra hours to get a promotion are just two of the many ways that are proven to help create career advancement and success. However, there is another tool that is overlooked, undervalued and sometimes flat-out rejected in a work setting: intuition.
Men and women (especially women) are taught to ignore the irrational and unpredictable world of feelings in order to compete in the workplace. We are told that business and emotions don't mix, and in some cases that is very true. There is a time and a place for emoting, and very rarely is that moment in a presentation, interview or company meeting. However, the problem is that most people, while striving to maintain professionalism, shut all of their emotional antennas down – including the deeply powerful tool of intuition. And when this happens, they miss out on the ability to use their gift of intuition to elevate their careers and propel them forward.
Photo Courtesy of The Balance
You see, emotions are inextricably attached to intuition. Our empathic abilities are directly related to our openness to emotional energy. I am not suggesting that we all drop our defenses and cry or rage spontaneously in the workplace; instead, I am suggesting that we intentionally begin to have more of an internal awareness of our emotions throughout the day or in special circumstances. Would you even consider turning off your spellcheck feature before you turn in that important proposal or brief? Then why would you not check in with your gut during a job interview or during an important pitch to a client?
If you are more mindful about listening to your intuition in key moments, you can jump ahead or avoid a pitfall more easily than your colleagues. Giving your intuition a "seat at the table" in your decision making doesn't just happen. It requires intention, mindfulness and a willingness to be still enough to get in touch with your emotions in a work setting. Add checking in with your intuition to your to-do list around any work activity, and you are guaranteed to create better results in your career.
Here are my top five workplace moments where I suggest tapping into your intuition:
1. Job interviews
Don’t just try to impress; notice how you feel the minute you walk through the door. Is it warm and inviting, or cold and quiet? Sometimes we are so preoccupied with winning the "dream job" that we aren't noticing our gut sending signals. How you physically and emotionally felt in an interview or a potential workspace should weigh just as heavily in your decision-making process as what is in the offer letter.
2. Choosing your workplace confidants
We all need to pick our mentors, work friends and coaches to thrive in any organization. Just because someone is in a position of authority above you or says they are going to help you doesn't mean you should trust them with your career path. Check in with yourself. How does each of your colleagues make you feel? Sometimes it's the demure, 25-year-old veteran administrative assistant who really knows who to trust and who really has the respect of the C-suite.
3. Pitching that important client
You have finally landed a meeting with that huge potential client, and you’re willing to go to any length to show her that you are the right person for the business. Preparation is important. Research is important. But when you are delivering that perfect pitch, are you simultaneously listening to your intuition? How do you feel in the meeting? Is she responding warmly or staring through you? As you present, are you feeling closer to her relationally or further away? Don't drone on in the wrong direction. Use your emotional radar to quickly course correct a disastrous presentation or to keep on track and knock it out of the park!
Photo Courtesy of Hello Beautiful
4. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
As you grow into positions of authority, the decision-making gets tougher and tougher. When you are the boss, by the time a problem hits your desk there are likely few choices left in terms of how to handle the issue. If you've weighed the pros and cons for each answer and there is no clear winner, go to your intuition. Close your eyes and imagine you have made one of the choices. Now notice how you feel in that scenario. You will always feel a little better or calmer with the right choice. The right choice never makes you feel worse.
5. Should I stay or should I go?
You finally called that bothersome recruiter back. He is painting the most glorious picture of an opportunity he wants you to consider. If you actually get to the job interview phase of this process. If you are not even sure that you want to leave your company...stop. Check in with your intuition. Why are you even considering leaving? There is an explanation. Are you not being challenged? Are you not getting along with your boss or a coworker?
If there is not a glaring reason, it could be something that you are in denial about in your current situation. You could be pushing through an underlying situation that needs to be addressed so it doesn't get worse. In other words, unconsciously ignoring your intuition. Notice your actions and look at what your emotional gut is trying to tell you. Your intuition can help you to address a problem so you can be happier at a great job, or finally, come out of denial to realize you are wasting time in your current position.
It isn't always easy to stay on top of your finances, especially when you have developed unhealthy spending habits over the years. However, as you begin to realize the many benefits of having healthy finances, it can become something you want to make a conscious effort to improve. When your finances are in a good place, you often have access to better opportunities whether it be a mortgage loan, greater credit line or business loan. On that note, here is how you can become an expert at managing your finances in case you need a few tips.
Learn to Use Technology
The good thing about managing finances in the technological age is that you don't have to do it alone. There are so many apps available that will help you pay bills on time and track your expenses. For instance, some apps force you to live within your actual income and tell you what to do when you need to balance your budget.
If you need an app that will help you get better at saving, then some will set aside your spare change for you. Also, don't be afraid to use more simple tools such as your smartphone calendar to set reminders about payments if you don't automate them.
Seek Legal Advice
Sometimes, being an expert at something means understanding that you can't possibly know it all. This is why you have professionals around you that can help fill in the gaps where you're lacking. Consider hiring a legal firm to help with any challenges that are beyond you. Lexington Law is a good firm as they could help remove negative items from your credit report. Read this Lexington Law Review (Our #1 Credit Repair Service of 2019) to find out more about how they could help improve your finances.
You can't do better than what you know when it comes to managing finances. You should, therefore, invest your time in learning more about finances and how to manage them. Think about what your goals for your finances are and what knowledge gaps you need to fill.
For example, if you want to invest in the stock market so that you can improve your net worth, then you may need to learn more about investing to do so successfully. To boost your knowledge, try reading articles on credible blogs that share finance information from professionals. Also, be weary of content from finance-driven companies as it could be biased.
Work on Growing Your Income
As a self-proclaimed finance guru, you know that the more sources of income that you have, the better. Work on increasing your streams of income so that you have more money to meet your targets whether it's to save for a property or put larger sums towards retirement. One way to do so would be by getting extra income by doing social media marketing for businesses or creating tutorials on YouTube. If you own a property, renting out rooms is a great way to make passive income.
Live Within Your Means
It can be difficult to live within your means when you live in a society that is always presenting you with things to buy. However, being more conscious about the things that you purchase could help you realize that most are wants rather than needs. To live within your means, always take time to think about a purchase as opposed to impulse spending. You should always get good at bargain hunting as many times you can find items of similar quality at a cheaper price.
Learn How to Manage Debt
Debt doesn't have to be a bad thing if you understand how it works and how to manage it. It can be a tool for credit building when you understand the fundamentals. For instance, if you take out a loan or credit card, always be mindful of your interest rates.
By paying the amount of money you borrowed back in full before the due date, you won't have to pay interest on what you borrowed. If you can't pay back in full, paying more than the minimum payment will ensure you incur less interest. For the most part, the secret to good debt management is never spending more than you can afford to pay back.
Managing finances is a life skill that can help improve your quality of life. By following the mentioned tips and taking your finances more seriously, you're more likely to master the art of healthy finances.