Denver I came across an article this weekend, “The 10 Best and Worst Cities for Workers,” and I am giddy thinking to myself how well Denver will fare until I click the link and discover….WHAT?…Denver is on the WORST list.

It can’t be true. I love my job. I think others in my circle love their jobs here in Denver. What is going on here? Well, not to worry, I had two hours sitting my daughter’s gymnastics private lesson to ponder it and I think I may have some idea how we might move from this list to the best list.

In the article, published by Business News Daily, “Factors that ranked high across all of the happiest cities were the opportunities for growth and the relationship employees had with their co-workers. In contrast, CareerBliss found that the rewards employees’ received and the support they got were lowest in cities that were the unhappiest. In addition, a common factor that affected unhappy cities was a lower ranking in overall work environment.”

So, let’s dive in and fix it; remove ourselves from the worst list. It first begins with some individual accountability. I believe we have to move out of the blame game. IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU!!


And if you aren’t, what are YOU going to do about it?

Take out a sheet of paper and when you see a question with the question mark icon, write down your own reflection.

Step 1

Reflect on your own career. What is holding you back from getting things done at work? What makes work difficult? What habit have you developed over the years that inhibits your effectiveness? We would call this a career-limiting behavior. Accept responsibility for your career-limiting behavior. Identify this behavior and determine what you want it to look like in the future.

  • What is one habit you know you have that might limit your potential at work? 

“A recent study by VitalSmarts, shows 97% of employees have at least one career-limiting habit— an ingrained behavior that keeps them from achieving their potential for work.”

This survey found the most common career-limiting habits are:

  1. Unreliability
  2. “It’s not my job” attitude
  3. Procrastination
  4. Resistance to change
  5. Negativity and cynicism

We tend to beat ourselves up about our career-limiting habit or try to point fingers in the direction of others. Instead, try this:

Take some time to reflect on yours and take some simple steps to eliminate it.

Step 2

“New habits almost always require new skills,” (Training, January/February, 2014).

  • What skills do you need to improve or eliminate this behavior?  How can you get these skills?

Go and find a coach, a mentor, an online resource, and/or a training class to gain these skills.  Or call us at ZPS J

Step 3

“Others don’t simply encourage bad habits— they enable them as well,” (Training, January/February, 2014). Surround yourself with others who have this skill. Be honest with them and ask them to help hold you accountable. When they see you letting that old habit creep in, ask them to call you on it.

  • Who does this skill well? Who can I ask to hold me accountable?

Step 4

“We respond far more too immediate incentives than long term ones—a proclivity know as time sensitive demand,” (Training, January/February, 2014). Evaluate the cost of the short term to fix this behavior. For example, consider the cost to take a class that helps you look at your behaviors and interactions with others, such as Introduction to Social Styles, or Situational Self Leadership, but evaluate the cost savings in the long term, when you have eliminated the habit and begin to interact with others more efficiently.

Create short term achievable goals and tie them to modest rewards for yourself.

  • What is your goal? What can you commit to THIS MONTH?
  • What will you do to reward yourself when you achieve it?

Step 5

Is your environment contributing to your enabling behavior? Are the tools you use, the way in which you work, the location in which you work, or systems you use enabling you to have this behavior? For example, does email make it easier for you to display this behavior?

  • What tools, work environment or location, or systems might be enabling your behavior? 

For me, we can blame our managers, we can blame the organization, we can blame the world around us, but that is victim thinking. I challenge you to take control of your career and create the environment you want. This is the grass-roots movement that will change organizations.

What will you do in 2014 to change a career-limiting habit to a strength that propels you as a person and an employee?