Where is your career sweet spot? A career sweet spot can be found in the places in our professional life that require the least amount of energy, where you excel and where you find flow. In positive psychology, flow is the mental state in which we are fully immersed in a state of energized focus, full involvement and enjoyment in the process. By focusing our minds on those places we can find more satisfaction at work and in our professional lives.
According to Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, a positive psychologist, who has written extensively on flow, there are ten factors that accompany the experience of flow.
It is not necessary to experience all of them for flow to occur:
There are clear goals that, while challenging, are still attainable.
You can maintain strong concentration and focused attention.
The activity is intrinsically rewarding.
You feel serenity; a loss of feelings of self-consciousness.
There is an experience of timelessness; a distorted sense of time; feeling so focused on the present that you lose track of time passing.
You get immediate feedback.
You know that the task is doable; it is a balance between skill level and the challenge presented.
You feel a sense of personal control over the situation and the outcome.
You have a lack of awareness of physical needs.
The complete focus is on the activity itself.
When you review the difficult aspects of work that don’t feel like you are in flow, consider issues like:
Can I improve the flow?
Am I in a professional situation where I will most likely not find my sweet spot?
Why I am agreeing to remain in a place, a role, or task that takes a great deal from me?
What is it giving me?
Are the positive experiences something that I can get from another place where I would have flow?
What’s preventing me from taking the next steps?
How can I contend with those obstacles and get into a place of flow?
Finding your career flow may take some effort to reflect on your process at work, but taking a step back to assess where you are is usually never a waste of time.