Workplace Poker: Are You Playing or Just Getting Played?
Sometimes navigating your career is similar to playing a game of poker where each player has different goals, cheaters can win, rules are unclear and change is constant. To win at the game and advance your career, consider cultivating a deep understanding of your co-workers, commit to treating others with respect, accept your flaws, and approach each challenge with energy and optimism. As in poker, if the key to winning is the ability to read other people and pick up the subtle cues, how can you learn to win at workplace poker?
Dan Rust, author of Workplace Poker, reveals that workplace poker is more difficult than the card game because the rules aren’t always clear but suggests learning a few new skills to master a strategic approach to your career. Rust says to win at workplace poker, you must maintain four levels of energy including physical, emotional, mental and aspirational. You need stamina to work, fortitude to keep going in the face of negative outcomes, and creativity to overcome standardization and routine which often lead to boredom or burn out. As you improve at this game, you might even come to like it. Rust suggests advancing your career by cultivating and nourishing your energy. Learn to play the game and avoid getting played.
4 Energy Types | Win At Workplace Poker
You need to be physically fit before you can harness the other types of energy. If you sit most of the time, your body adjusts your metabolism accordingly, supplying only enough energy for sitting. If you want your body to supply more energy, place greater demands on it through vigorous exercise. An energy-boosting regimen includes cardiovascular and strength workouts, frequent movement breaks away from your desk and at least seven hours of sleep each night.
You generate emotional energy when you work in an environment in which you feel secure and where you make valuable contributions. Even if your workplace is not ideal, you can take steps to pump up your emotional vitality. Assert your individuality in subtle ways, and buoy the office’s overall well-being by appreciating your colleagues’ work.
When you work long hours, take measures to remain alert and engaged. Customize your work sessions to harmonize with your “natural mental energy cycle.” Most people’s cycles last from 90 to 120 minutes, so work in blocks of that length, followed by 15-minute breaks. Experiencing an energy dip around 4:30 each afternoon is common, so schedule a 20-minute nap around that time. Figure out when during the day you have the greatest energy – for most people it’s the morning – and work on your most challenging projects then.
The mind constantly looks for opportunities to grow. When your career stalls and progress seems remote, you lose aspirational energy. Take time to crystallize your career vision and clarify what you hope to accomplish. Then find ways to feed those aspirations.