There’s a very real community of people choosing to rewrite the rules of their professional and personal lives. For some that means leaving the corporation to design their own lifestyle. For others it’s about evolving a way of being that allows them to thrive in employed roles.
If you’ve been reading this series, you’ll know I call this community The New Work Pioneers.
But what really, really sets successful New Work Pioneers apart from those who’d aspire to this path, but fall short?
Successful New Work Pioneers see themselves as powerful agents in setting and steering the course of their own lives.
In psychology the jargon is that they have an internal locus of control. This means that on balance they attribute their successes to their own effort, and failures to more variable, often external factors. Which allows them to keep moving forward self-assuredly.
Adrian Swinscoe wrote earlier this week about optimism. People who are successful in carving out different ways of working and living tend to adopt a positive lens in looking at the world.
They’re no Pollyannas. Nor do they feel the need to adopt any inauthentic persona of the always upbeat person.
They have a realistic view of the world. And it’s one that sees the good; the possibilities and opportunities in each situation.
Goals give shape, purpose and direction to life. Successful New Work Pioneers set themselves life goals which they actively pursue. If they’re in a committed relationship, they’ll often set these goals jointly with their partners.
Interestingly, while their goals are often explicit about the material and practical things they want from life, the goals to which they give most attention are those they can imbue with meaning and purpose. For example, they may think of how their work ambitions foster the positive development of their target market; or of how their desire for children will enrich their experience of family.
The deep sense of positive emotional engagement they make with these goals gives them an energy that sustains them.
Even if goals create a map, the terrain once you reach it can look quite different. Successful New Work Pioneers understand this and are not too wedded to a fixed sense of themselves, or of the world. They take bumps in the road as experiences they can learn from.
They don’t allow themselves to be so controlling about things that they get stuck in their own minutiae.
Smart New Work Pioneers have clocked the importance of understanding themselves. They tend to be committed to their own personal development, seeing it as a life-long pursuit.
Many of them will have an intimate awareness of their personal values and will see how putting them positively into practice not only makes them happy, but gets them great results.
And they’ll unfathom any limiting beliefs they’re holding onto that may threaten to derail them.
Engaging with others
Successful off-piste career folks take satisfaction in good connections with others. Whether it’s in the context of a special love-relationship; with children; with family and friends; or with colleagues, they value the sense of themselves they get from being intimately engaged. The energy they get from this boosts them and supports their onward journey. Particularly if those relationships are mutually respectful and supportive.
Meaning at work
The happiest New Work Pioneers are those who find flow experiences in work. Of course, it helps if they naturally love what they do. But for many that’s not where they’re at. At least not yet.
Still, successful ones will find meaning in whatever form of work they’re doing. Contributing to something that’s bigger than them. Giving something back. Making a difference.
With a felt-sense of purpose, work can feel inspiring, which in turn can fuel the New Work Pioneers endeavours.
Making the most of most things
Sometimes times are good. Sometimes they’re bad. Sometimes just so. Being a New Work Pioneer isn’t a recipe for an incident-free life. Still, the successful ones are those who tend to take life as it comes and make the most of all situations. This equanimity; the finding of satisfaction in what is, allows them just to be.
And just being is in essence what they are seeking to achieve.
So, does this resonate with you? What strategies do you adopt to keep yourself on a different path?
Finally, thanks to the community of readers that has been reading these posts each week over the last couple of months. I really appreciate your having stuck with the series. Now for the task of turning it all into an eBook!If you don’t want to miss out, subscribe for regular updates here!