Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Follow your desire

How can you know where you're going if you don't know where you've been?

When looking for a new job or attempting to justify the raise you believe you deserve or simply doing an annual performance review, there are certain things that must happen in order to make these things successful.  I'm referring to the fact that with any of the items above, documentation of what you have been doing is needed.  

Sometimes that is the easy part, sometimes its the hard part.  In any job that we do, certain expectations are placed on us - we will complete certain tasks and we will get paid to do a job for 40 hours a week.  We will be rated on our performance and we will compete with our peers for raises, promotions and bonuses.  How well we do in our positions is completely up to us.  If we follow only the black and white and nothing beyond that, then we meet minimum requirements.  If we color outside the lines in how we approach our job, we risk doing the wrong things.  The beauty in coloring outside the lines is that sometimes it is purely magical and we create more than our bosses could have ever imagined.

So where am I going with all this....I'd like to say a job should be fun - it shouldn't be "work."  Reality is, in many cases, it is just WORK...just where we go for 8 hours a day and there is no passion for what we do.  I've heard many people talk about their job in such a disgruntled way.  They are in a rut.  They want more money.  They have too much to do.  They feel under appreciated.  I could go on, but in the end it comes down to what do THEY want out of it?  Do they even know?

Some people can tell you exactly what they want, but most cannot, which is the reason why they are unhappy.  One thing I've learned throughout  my journey is that without knowing what you want, you will always have unfulfilled desires.  It's easy to get stuck in ruts when this is you...I know, its been me too.  I do a little of this and maybe a little of that and think I'll just hang out *here* until I figure out what I want to do when I'm really not happy being *here.*  

So how do we fix this?  Well it isn't hard, but that doesn't mean it is a quick fix either.  Find out what you want and make a plan to get there.  Start with what you want, add in the skills requird to do what you want, then look at the training to make yourself competitive.  Sometimes we already possess the skills and we just need a refresher.  Sometimes we don't know the answer to any of the questions above except what we want to do and in those instances, we can talk to people who do what we want to do and have them provide insight, perhaps even mentorship.

I recently heard a quote in a movie that I have found inspiring...

"What would you do today, if you knew you wouldn't fail?  ...........  Now go out and do it."