Career progress is an interesting thing. We all want to advance ourselves professionally: to make a few more bucks, to learn, to lead, to be part of something bigger. Unfortunately, our metrics for progress are often skewed. Very few companies have well defined progress planning. It seems developed mentoring programs are a means to pacify ambition not encourage it. Far too many leaders fail to pass the torch for fear of losing their sphere of influence.
We tend to get ourselves caught up in the task list for advancement without clearly defining our personal vision for professional progress.
Do you want to progress because you believe in what you are doing or are you simply charting the next 'logical' step? Do you seek advice from your 'superiors' because you genuinely respect them or because you are looking for shoulders to stand upon? Is the advice you are afforded in-sync with your personal professional vision?
Based on the success of my father, I took to Corporate America with the intent of climbing the Corporate Ladder. Without personal purpose in my intent, I sought promotions and advancement as validation for my hard work. I was told that in order to make it on the 'fast track' I should do the following:
* Perform to my revenue goal
* Be willing to relocate
* Find a leader on the 'fast track' and attach myself to him/her
I didn't care about the company I worked for at that time. I didn't know what achieving my quota was doing for the world. Relocation was not a means to make the company better, it was a test of commitment. I certainly didn't respect the 'leaders' who gave this advice. I thought I wanted to be a Manager because it was a perceived vertical move.
I pondered the aforementioned advice, quit the job, and came up with my own metrics for success:
* Have the freedom to interpret my job as applicable to the world around me
* Join an organization that trusted me
* Find a role with flexibility
Moving, making more money, taking on more responsibility, and influencing others to fall in line was replaced by one mission:
Allow me to live my job by my own motivation!
I had been dishonest in my pursuit of what didn't matter to me, and so, I vowed to be honest in the pursuit of what did.
At some point in your career, you will discover the following:
Honest Matters Most
You Must Find Purpose in Every Task
Certain things are unavoidable....give them your least attention
Consider Your Sphere of Influence
In sales, you are generally asked to create recommendations to your customers and prospective customers. Sometimes this is your chance to showcase your expertise. Other times this is the measure by which your BS barometer is put to the test.
We face loaded questions from Managers and Customers alike. We often are not prepared for this pre-framed nonsense and this is where we get caught up.
A customer cannot trust you to be an expert if you haven't considered all the angles
Your boss will not be willing to leave you alone if you haven't proven your ability to self-regulate
Make it Matter
If you are waiting for the perfect job you will forever spend your life in the waiting room.
Fact: There are great people and terrible people in every organization
Fact: A good or bad Boss can make any job good or bad
Fact: Only YOU can determine how the aforementioned factors effect your genuine motivation
Learn to be Ignorant!
I am a hard working man who is fiercely competitive. As such, I tend to freak out when I do my part and others do not. These actions, to my own detriment, reveal my insecurity and work against my effort.
The best advice I have received is to ignore that which is out of my control. It was impossible to accept this passive resistance at first. My mind frame of mutual accountability forcing me to believe that my effort needed to be met and replicated.
Then, something annoying happened and I chose not to give it the power of my influence. Strangely enough, life went on....over time I learned to give little (or no) attention to mundane distractions. And Life goes on.....
If you develop the ability to know where to put your energy (almost) every thing you do has a motivation driven by positive results! Hard to believe, but undoubtedly true. You should give it a try.
I am carried away by Martin Luther King and his words of Freedom. The times in which he spoke were loaded with turmoil. If America emerged from the standoff of civil rights a bolder and better nation, why can't you choose to work the way you like?
YOU choose what fuels your day!
YOU have the ability give attention to what matters!
YOU have the choice to empower or deter the naysayers!
YOU make a masterpiece or trash heap of every given day!
YOU can be FREE!
...and so our task is simple....
Ignore what distracts and empower what motivates!
Don't Forget to Remember!