Joe Szynkowski: The 4th principle: My goals are aggressive, and my work ethic is relentless
Column | WorkHappy

Joe Szynkowski: The 4th principle: My goals are aggressive, and my work ethic is relentless

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A few weeks back, we introduced the first of seven main principles of our WorkHappy Manifesto, a philosophy we created to inspire and equip workers everywhere to better enjoy their professional lives.

In case you missed it, here’s the full list.

  • No. 1: I work happy because I deserve to.
  • No. 2: My career does not define me; I define my career.
  • No. 3: My networking strategy starts with face-to-face, not email-to-email.
  • No. 4: My goals are aggressive, and my work ethic is relentless.
  • No. 5: I surround myself with positive people who have pure motives.
  • No. 6: I go out of my way to mentor, coach, motivate, grow, advance, mobilize, challenge and inspire others.
  • No. 7: I turn down opportunities from companies misaligned with my moral compass.

Each week, we will drill down into one of the principles to give you more context about some of the truths and myths associated with each one.

So, without further ado, let’s jump right in.

No. 4: My goals are aggressive, and my work ethic is relentless.

As we officially enter the summer months, professionals everywhere are re-evaluating their career goals and achievements – hopefully with toes in the sand and a drink in hand. Summer is actually a great time for a status check and an honest conversation with yourself.

And while we hope you are enjoying backyard barbecues and pool dates with friends, we urge you to put some urgency around the types of goals you are setting for your career.

Don’t forget to 'stretch'

I once worked with an executive client who told me, “I set my goals high so I actually have to stretch to reach them.” A simple statement with some profound challenge to it.

How many times do we set a “layup” goal that we know we’ll hit just so we can feel good about our efforts? As time goes by, we become conditioned to stop “stretching” and we give into contentment. Before you know it, you’re stuck in the same job for multiple years with no clear path for advancement or new opportunities.

There’s nothing wrong with being content in a role if you are truly happy with your position. But with only 54% of employees reporting satisfaction with their jobs, there is room for improvement. The Conference Board’s annual study on employee satisfaction validates this fact, finding that the potential for future growth matters most to professionals.

Find positive mentors

One of the best things you can do to improve your goal-setting abilities and work ethic is to interact with people who are doing the same thing. Rather than being jealous of peers who are receiving promotions at work, learn from their actions and try to replicate them in your own professional life.

When it comes to networking, don’t be bashful about using LinkedIn to reach out to professionals in your field. I’ve found that most people who are active on social media are willing to respond to emails, especially if you’re genuinely picking their brain about their tips for career success. Spending time with ambitious, goal-oriented leaders — whether in-person or online — can fuel your fire and keep you on the road to work happiness.

We’ll dive deeper into positive mentors next time when we tackle No. 5 on our WorkHappy Manifesto list: I surround myself with positive people who have pure motives.

Stay tuned!

Joe Szynkowski is a Sr. Director for NuVinAir Global, a Dallas-based company disrupting the automotive industry. Thanks to technology, he does so happily from his home east of Marion. Email Joe@TheUpWriteGroup.com for more guidance on work happiness.

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