What brings you energy at work?

It seems like a simple question, but many of us don’t reflect on it very often: what brings you energy at work?

We accept positions that align with the challenges we want to tackle, the impact we want to have, our values, our interests, our purpose/why, our needs, etc. Sometimes those positions live up to what we hoped. Sometimes they don’t. In taking ownership of our careers, it’s important to reflect on our positions regularly to understand what aspects bring us energy and which ones drain us the most.

What elements of your job excite you?

What elements of your job bring you into a state of flow when time seems to disappear, and we are excited to share what we did that day? Maybe it’s the meeting with your executive team? Dig deeper.

What is it about those meetings bringing the energy? Is it the influence you have on the strategy? Facilitating the ideas of your peers?

Get clear on what the aspect that brings you energy rather than staying at the top level. 

What elements drain you?

What elements of your job take more energy than they give? What percentage of your time is spent doing these activities? Should you be doing these activities, or are you owning some activities that aren’t yours? Are they short-term due to a deadline, or are they consistently part of your week? 

If the answers aren’t coming readily to you, take two weeks and notice. Each day, reflect on the activities that brought you energy and those that depleted you. You might even start with an overall grade of how you feel at the end of the day, full of energy, depleted, or somewhere in the middle.

That may give you a good starting point to dig in further.

Reflect on the energy you give and receive

It’s important to do this reflection regularly so you can ensure you are adding value to the organization in ways that also feed you and are in your strengths. Knowing this information can also help prevent burnout.

A lot of times, we don’t stop and reflect until the pain is pretty evident. Having regular intervals to do this reflection will allow you to ask yourself questions, reflect on it, and have the necessary conversations about what may need to shift before your energy is depleted on a regular basis.