Returning to work after vacation is typically NOT the most enjoyable transition. It is like re-entering an orbit that we were (hopefully) able to completely escape, for a temporary period of time. It’s not that we don’t enjoy our work (well, some may not). It is more that we have to shift gears to jump back into the cadence of our vocation. And, with any “change” there is some level of pain; be it real or imagined.
I was having a conversation about this with one of my sons today, who mentioned how the experience has caused him to ask: “Do I REALLY want to do this [his current job] for the rest of my life?”
The reality is that NO-ONE “has” to do ANYTHING for the rest of their lives: unless they choose to do so (which may be a perfectly good option for some).
He confirmed that he loves what he is currently doing, but would like to earn more and isn’t clear he can do so in his current role.
He is precisely where many of us (with big ambitions) were, early on in our career. We considered our current role, the income it generated, our expenses vs. our dreams of where we wanted to be. And, we’d ask ourselves: “How on earth am I going to bridge the chasm between where I am now and where I want to be – with this income?”
The most challenging part of that equation is that we all want it (the fulfillment of our dreams) RIGHT NOW! The reality is, however, it takes time: time every single day putting in place the building blocks to bridge the chasm.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- Doing more than we are paid for at our current job
- Investing in ourselves via:
- Training and education paid for by our employer as well as out of our own pocket
- Listening to positive / instructive audio programs during our daily commute
- Reading constructive / educational materials at least 30-minutes every day
- Maintaining a work/life balance
- Staying healthy by eating right, exercising and getting enough rest (essentially, moderation in all things)
- Saving and investing wisely
Earlier today I stumbled across a great article titled: 20 Things the Rich Do Every Day. The article reinforces the fact that there is no silver bullet to achieving the success we seek. It is all about disciplined action – on a DAILY basis.
Today’s conversation with my son brought me back to my first full-time job out of college. I had just earned a degree in computer programming, yet my job was that of a data-entry clerk. This was NOT where I wanted to be long-term, but it was a foot in the door.
I’d walk just over a mile to and from work in the rain, sleet and snow frequently asking: Do I REALLY want to do this for the rest of my life? Well, of course not. But, the alternative would have been to quit my job and move back home with my parents. To be clear, I love my parents, but it was time for me to be on my own!
So, I got to work and worked hard.
Before long, more interesting and rewarding rungs on the ladder of my career path began to appear and I ascended: quite rapidly I might add 🙂
This ascension wasn’t a result of dumb luck, or who I knew. It was the result of doing what is outlined above (and elsewhere on this blog). And, as I told my son earlier today, by relentlessly putting in place those building blocks on a daily basis, you will wake-up (before you know it) and be exactly where you always wanted to be.
We must simply never settle, or coast along in our current situation, unless and of course that is all we are striving for in life.
All the best!
It can be a challenge at times, when you are hustling to achieve something at work, when you run into someone I refer to as a “passive resistor”. This type of person, just sort of exists; a coaster. It’s someone that really does not openly resist what your trying to accomplish – it’s just that they do absolutely nothing to help you move things along. I took one of these folks out to dinner one time to have a friendly chat with him. During the conversation, I suggested to him that “he appears to have lost all the sparkle in his ginger ale”. I wanted him to know that I knew – he was not giving it his all. I don’t know if it ever made a difference in his attitude or work habits, but it made me feel better!
I much prefer the attitude of a guy who I once worked with. He told me that when I give him an assignment, he will get it done, no matter what the obstacle. He said he would go over it, under it, around it, or straight through it – it will get done! You cannot ask for more than that – but there are damn few who have that kind of get up and go.
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I recently went to see my doctor for the annual wellness visit. I was checked in at 7:10 AM, by a young RN, who had the most pleasant personality. I commented on how early she gets to work, and asked her what time she gets done each day. She said she works a 10 hour day, 4 days a week……on this job. She also has another job. She said nobody told her how hard it would be to pay off her education loan. She’s out there woking two jobs, getting ahead, one week at a time. Impressive.