As I write today’s blog, I am reminded of the famous but no-less important question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
In my opinion, this question was meant to spur the thoughts of children into contemplating an important life decision about their future, with the belief that dreams, once perceived, can be achieved.
If you were like me as a child, you probably shifted goal posts every time you interacted with or got to learn of a different profession.
Fast forward to today and you are nowhere close to your childhood proclamations. Personally, I will admit that at one time I admired the noble profession of doctors … that is until my second year in university when I came across the sight of blood and had to quickly reassess my dreams.
Perhaps even after reassessing your dreams and making a rational decision on a career of your choice, it still has not taken off and you are stuck in a less-than-ideal job. What do you do?
First, let’s agree that in an ideal world, we would all have full control of our dreams, careers and professional development. You would have the corner office with a company-maintained car and a great mortgage product. Maybe you would be a full-fledged entrepreneur employing thousands of staff and looking forward to listing your company on the stock market.
But since this is not the case, how do you increase your levels of satisfaction in your situation as it stands today? Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say that we should toss aside our life-long dreams and goals.
Rather, this is to get you thinking about how you can make the most of your current profession in anticipation of achieving your ‘real’ goals.
First, you must always challenge yourself to learn something new every day in your line of work. The truth of the matter is that life is like a puzzle. That new skill that you acquire today might be the missing piece without which your puzzle may not be complete.
Secondly, internalise and exhibit an attitude of ownership. Work with the mind frame of the business owner such that you always look at the implications of your inaction or actions.
I do not say this simply as an employer who can confess to seeing the opposite attitude where people exhibit a don’t-care attitude with regards to company resources as if they were in-exhaustible. No. I say this because an ownership attitude trains your mind and soul, providing the fuel to actualise your own dreams.
Thirdly, always explore the opportunities that exist for growth within your less-than-ideal career. Information is power and if you try out new opportunities, you may discover it to be the one that satisfies a hunger in you. Incidentally, many entrepreneurs have gone on to start successful businesses because they were on the lookout for new ideas and opportunities. Having identified a gap, they made a conscious effort to acquire skills designed to meet the specific market needs.
If the new lead doesn’t generate a tangible opportunity, you still have nothing to lose. You may have acquired information that provides the missing piece of the puzzle that I mentioned earlier.
Obviously, there are many more ways to enhance your levels of satisfaction in the ‘rotten’ job, but I like to keep the lessons sweet and simple so you can retain them much easier.
This lesson cannot be complete however, without my mentioning that you need to keep away from negative energy-consuming habits.
For example, are you the type of person who is forever watching your back because you are convinced that someone will take a stab once you let down your guard? Be careful, you might get a stiff neck (ha ha ha). But seriously, you have no control over what others think or might want to do. Possibly your fears are rational and you may need to do a self-analysis of your own behavior. Do you act that way because you know that in the exact same situation, you would probably be more brutal than them? Think on that.
Let us agree; there is no such thing as a ‘rotten’ job. Let us agree that no matter how difficult the job may seem, there are things within your control that you can do to make it better. Let me also in similar words to those of the good book (remember the parable of the talents), ask why you should get a better job if you have not demonstrated that you can be a good steward of what you have.
You think you are stuck in a rotten job? I urge you to think again.