Thursday, February 5, 2015

Before The Torch Burns Out

For at least 10 years we have been stereotyping generations in the workplace. There are those looking up at irrelevance and those looking down upon it. In reality, our need to categorize one another by our date of birth is intended to create a system of assigned relevance. We are given to believe that at certain milestones in our life certain goals should be accomplished. Life is messy so we seldom achieve all that we desire. Our natural reaction to time passed with our goals incomplete is to hold our seniority over the young. Which is why Baby Boomers created the term Millennial in the first place.

I'm fortunate enough to coach grade schoolers, to mentor high schoolers, to help College men find jobs and to provide career guidance to those new to the workforce. I cherish the act of helping young people because engaging their perspective helps me stay relevant. 

... In the end, we all just want to remain relevant!

Don't Let The Past Define You
We all want to make a great first impression so we practice hard, show up to work ready to take on any task and do what it takes to catch the herd. Our on-boarding process always includes a state of the union from the self-elected Mayor of Discontent. The aforementioned Mayor has been in the same position for 10+ years and is intent on telling you how things are done around your new company. This is a person who's torch has burnt out and because he/she has nothing to contribute they will do what it takes to diminish your flame. 

Ignore those who do not have your best interest in mind. No achievement is possible without besting what was.

Find Informal Advisors
So you get to your new company and your ambition becomes the envy of those who tried, failed and gave up. Take to social media, strike up a conversation at your kid's soccer game, find a bartender who is a good conversationalist, call an old friend, or search the company directory. Your next mentor does not need to be assigned by your company and he/she may not walk into your life with open arms. I've been mentored by people I've never met in person and some I've never talked to. 

Great advise is everywhere. If you wait to be inspired by your office mates, you might end up like Ron Swanson.

Don't Destroy The Magic By Worrying About The Color of the Rabbit in the Hat
People hate over-analysis. Keep your initial conversations high level. Ease your way in. Trust is built by earning one's comfort. Let them engage you instead of pretending to know everything and making sure everyone knows it.

One Certainty: Hard Work!
More than your level of education, the credentials you have amassed or the trophies on your desk; hard work matters most. 

If you show up first and leave last, success is immanent. Work ethic is the one skill that everyone can learn and is completely within the individuals control.

Be Humble In Victory & Accountable In Defeat
When you win, act like you've been there before. The only thing worse than showing off in the shadow of victory is complaining when you lose. Don't point fingers, those who have fucked up know it and they do not need to be reminded of their failures.

Find Your Beach
I've never had the patience to stop and watch the sunset. But, knowing that it is there keeps me moving toward it.

Don't Forget to Remember!


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