The Cognitive Career Triad

When I assist people in their professional lives, I often “borrow” the methodologies of clinical psychology to demonstrate some key areas for awareness and self development to invite the delegates to view their career from a different perspective.

The internal dialogue and beliefs that are being deployed by individuals I work with can often be somewhat distorted.

To borrow the work of Aaron Beck and his infamous cognitive triad, I would like to invite you to consider three key areas that may help you or give you some inspiration to help others, such as colleagues or friends.

Self – How do you perceive yourself in the work place? What value are you bringing every day? “What am I prepared to do?”

Environment – How do you perceive the environment in which you conduct your day to day activities (including co-workers, managers..etc)? “What would I change?”

The Future – What is your perception of what the future holds for you in the role that you do and in your place of work? “What do I want to happen?”

If any of the above have been ‘distorted’ by what we tell ourselves …or what others have told us, it can seriously affect our productivity and well being in the work place, not to mention inhibit our ability to progress in our careers (and our lives).

Neuro Image

To counter negative thoughts and distorted beliefs, my suggestion is to conduct the following:
1. Draft a ‘Success Chart’ with all of the areas/projects where you have been involved. Include your contributions (both direct and in-direct), who was involved, challenges overcome, ultimate outcomes and, if appropriate, bottom line revenue contribution.
2. Draft a list of the things that you would like to change about your work environment. Split the list into two categories: (a) things I can affect/control/change and (b) things that are outside of my control. This now leaves you with a course of action: make an impact on what you can, change your attitude towards what you can NOT impact.
3. Visualise a future of your choice. Start with ‘lottery’ winner mentality and then decide on the areas that you are prepared to compromise on.
4. Decide whether it is time to change jobs or simply change your attitude towards your job.

Often things are no where near as bad as they seem when you break them down rationally. It merely needs a change of thoughts….. or a change. Both of which we can control.

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