Last week I had the chance to unwind and reflect on the beaches of South Florida and catch up with co-workers and colleagues that I have not seen in a while. Regardless of how each conversation started they all seemed to end up on the same topics – how much we would despise our work if we weren’t actually contributing to making a difference.
Many of us spend 4-5 years of our lives laboring away one step at a time into early hours of the mornings through some sort of secondary form of education. I’ve written about the values of getting a degree that actually provides a valued ROI here. After graduating we all enter into the “real world” where our careers and professional lives begin, many of us enter into what we initially envision as exciting and rewarding jobs full of future potential and open doors to allow us to climb higher and higher up the ladder of life.
It occurred to me a while back that there are people that seem unhappy or unsatisfied with their lives / work… some seemed to always include various forms of disgruntled feelings and emotions surrounding circumstances at work and within careers that were responsible for trapping them and leaving no valuable options for real success and progress. While I hold true to my beliefs that many people make unwise decisions about their fields of study and make false assumptions on the value of one degree vs. another, I don’t think that these ideas are solely to blame for breakdowns and failures of ones career.
There are many common denominators among the worlds most successful people – the one that strikes me as being the most important however is that of being able to do things differently and makes changes. How many of us are wasting our lives working jobs and utilizing skills in a manner that is no more different than the guy in the cubicle across the hall? Are we actually making any changes in the way that our organizations do business? Without the ability to do something different and without the ability to make real measurable changes not only within our fields but also in society as a whole, then how can we expect to be considered of any real value? If we are doing the same things the exact same way as everyone else then there is absolutely no way doors will open up down the road, and there is absolutely no way that you will ever be considered of higher value than anyone else who performs the same job and same function as you do.
Doing things differently and being able to initiate real changes and big changes are the keys to success – sitting back and “just doing the job” ultimately closes all doors to success in the future and the end result will always be the same.
Do you do your job any differently than anyone else? What kinds of changes are you capable of making? The world is full of status quo and Average Joe – none of them have found success, happiness or content. I can guarantee it.