Archives for posts with tag: career

                   

It always sucks to be the new guy – in any career field or job. It was especially hard for me because I’m so impatient by nature. I remember being mad that I wasn’t old enough to enter my field. And when I finally did, I was always in awe of my mentors stories, resumes, and accomplishments. 

Even people I knew who didn’t have formal educations had so much work experience, and life experience for that matter! That had real world expertise doing all the things I couldn’t wait to do – things that I dreamt of having the opportunity to do. 

Recently I was gathering some paperwork for some possible new ventures and had to gather my resume and transcripts. And I have to say it was a little ego boost. Not because I wanted to run through the streets bragging about anything but because I sat there and looked at classes I had taken, awards I had received, and it all led to different professional milestones in my life. 

After looking over everything I was very proud of myself for chasing my dream. I was the architect of my life. But not everything was perfect. I found “F’s” in some classes and old applications for jobs I didn’t get. But it made me smile to know that I tried and didn’t have to wonder what might have been. 

Don’t ever hesitate to chase your dreams. Go after what you want – because you want it. Don’t follow a path that someone else wants you to or deny yourself your dream because someone else thinks it won’t be good for you. You need to be the architect of your life, chase your dreams, and be able to look back and smile at all that you achieve. 

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I think it’s everyone’s ideal plan to find meaningful and satisfying work. Not everyone is driving to their dream job every morning, but I think most people mostly enjoy what they do. (If not I hope those people seek change fast!) but what about your non-working hours? You should enjoy your job and it will somewhat define you, but you have to have a personal life too.

More and more people I talk to do not know what they enjoy doing in their free time. I’m both baffled by this and yet not surprised. Once you update your status, put the kids to sleep, and get to your “me time”, what fills your head?

The possibilities are endless. And you have to have something to go to when you need to clear your mind or just simply seek pleasure.

Some of mine include cooking, motorcycles, trying new restaurants, watching football, running, being outdoors, and traveling. And that really is only the tip of the iceberg for me. So it seems hard to believe that someone wouldn’t know what they enjoy doing. Yet, so many people have not taken time to discover themselves or simply don’t pursue their interests.

It’s these interests that will define you outside of work. It’s these interests that will keep you sane when work gets rough (and it will). And it’s these interests that can be the foundation of a job that is truly one of your dream jobs.

Don’t be the person seeking every hour of overtime the boss offers. Spend time with your kids. Make plans with your significant other. And if you are without either of those – go make some friends and enjoy everything this world has to offer. Otherwise, you might need to ask yourself what you are working for in the first place …

Everyone has some slumps they go through with relationships, their jobs, and life in general. But it’s important to stop and realize the signs that the world gives to you to make sure you are grateful for where you are and where you have come from.

Last night we made impromptu plans to go to dinner. We randomly decided we would go out for a local all you can eat crab leg dinner. Without much thinking we jumped in the car, went and enjoyed dinner, and even gambled on some roulette and slot machines (no we didn’t win). But it wasn’t until we were leaving and walking to the car when I got my sign. I saw an entry-level worker (in my field) going about his job in the parking lot. His job is one that most people don’t respect, don’t look up to, and usually never want. It was then that I remembered how at one point I would have done just about anything for his job. I would have been more than proud to be at work every day doing exactly what he was doing.

Fourteen years ago I embarked on my lifelong dream career. I was amazed at the opportunity that I found and the job turned out to be everything I loved and more. But after 3 years I wanted even more. I wanted to relocate and try a larger urban area. I figured if it was this good at home, just think of the potential somewhere else. So I up and moved across the country.

I thought I had a plan. I had a job set up, a place to live, and was ready for the adventure to begin. And did it ever! When I got all moved into my new place and ready to start work I was told the offer had fallen through. No job, but I was now committed to a lease and numerous other bills that I had no idea how I was going to pay. Family offered to send money but it wasn’t their problem to fix. Nor did they know the extent of help I really needed. My former employer kept asking me to come back and even offered me a promotion. But I owed it to myself to not return with my tail between my legs.

I played it off as best as possible. I had some (very little) money saved. I applied other places and kept hoping…. and hoping… and hoping. I had reached my end. I had $32 left to my name. The bills were paid for the month, but after that I was done, I was tapped out.

Two days before my birthday I received a call and was offered a job back in my dream career. Like any other job, it has it downfalls and I have my bad days. But after 14 years I have had the chance to lead in my field, teach in field, and advance into areas I never would have imagined. I continue to find more doors opening up to me and am literally addicted to learning new aspects of my profession every day.

I don’t like to say you really “make it” because you should always be seeking improvement. But it’s a good idea to pause every once in a while and turn around to see the ground you have covered. The journey to get there is the best part of the trip – even with its pitfalls.

Finding out who you are, what your likes and dislikes are, and what holds your passions might be one of life’s best adventures – and sadly tons of people never take the ride.

Too many people live their lives based on what someone else think is best for them or to please some one besides themselves. Sometimes that may work out but often times people settle for less than their own wants.

You get to decide what makes you happy. You get to decide how you will spend your work week, who you will hang out with, and what you will do in your free time.

Some people find their answers later than others but at least they are looking. You should never settle for less than what makes you happy. Sure, compromise will come into play throughout life, but part of compromise is still walking away satisfied. If you aren’t satisfied then you have given up too much.

Find yourself, find what makes you happy, chase it, capture it, and indulge in it. Don’t be a nomadic soul.

Don’t be the guy that lives in a box; one that only does what he’s told to do, only what he is assigned, just the bare minimum.

Life doesn’t occur in a box with set parameters. Sometimes you will have to stay late. Sometimes you will have to do more than your fair share. Sometimes you will find yourself doing things that “aren’t in your job description.”

Have a work ethic to get the job done. Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond. Take some personal leadership and do what you do well.

We all have a guy we work with who doesn’t carry his own weight, never can stay late, and is incredibly mediocre. Don’t be that guy.

Anyone can be a robot and complete tasks as they are dished out, but few people can be the go-to-guy where people know the job will get done and get done well.

Almost everything we do revolves around money somehow. So the topic of money creeps up on us without us even knowing it. We can help but think about it. Sometimes we cant even help to talk about it. But where do we draw the line on details?

I grew up with very tight small circle of friends from a very young age, both boys and girls. Growing up we knew that some of us came from more money than others but it was never a big deal to us. We were happy on our bikes, playing in the woods, and sharing whatever toys we had with everyone we knew. But I saw a distinct swing as we got older…

The same group went through high school together, then on to college, and then on to life. We all followed our respective dreams and professions. Some move to other cities far away, some had kids… some even had to experience divorce. It was only then that the topic of money began to come up. Sometimes in conversation but probably more often in thought.

Different paths in different lives tend to cost more than others. People begin to have different responsibilities in life, some other than their own depending on their relationships.

As a group, we realized that we needed to be cognizant of the fact that we may all be at different financial points in our lives. When we were younger, a couple of us would make last minute crazy spring break plans, or spring for the latest concert tickets before they sold out. And anyone who didn’t join in was harped on by everyone until they gave in, so basically – resistance was futile!

But, as we grew up we have realized not everyone can make purchases on a whim. We have no doubt they would love to, if they could, but for some reason or another, they may not be able to.

We also realized that as exciting as it was to all be searching for our summer jobs in school, and then our career spots after school, it used to be cool and fun to talk about what pay we wanted or secured, and what crazy perks came with the job. But now thats not the fun part. We may have a beneficial perk handed to us while someone else struggles with a payment or other money burden.

We still enjoy each other’s company more than anything. We still make plans together. Sometimes they are to go out and sometimes its to cook at home. Either way we always have fun. We just make sure to be respectful of everyones situation and we never hesitate to help each other out however we can… but some details are better left unsaid.

Change change change….

Change is good. Yet most of us are scared of it. We get comfortable where we are and what we are doing in a multitude of scenarios. We know we have to “let things play” and we are told that “nothing is perfect” so when things aren’t good we accept it as gospel. But we have to embrace change. For one, it will always happen, like it or not, you will never be able to avoid it.

You will grow up. Your skills will change. Some will improve, others will go away altogether. Your interests will change, or they should. You don’t ever have to lose your old interests but you should be going out and exploring the world. It would be hard to imagine anyone not finding anything else that interests him or her besides what they already know.

All progress includes moving forward. Pretty logical right? But most people will stammer and stall and wonder about moving forward. We put a lot of effort into becoming comfortable with what we have. Its never easy to be the new guy in any situation, from a relationship to a new job setting.

You have two choices: 1) you can let the world pass you by and accept what falls into your lap, or 2) you can actively chase what outcomes YOU want. Regardless of the choice you make, the world will continue to spin.

I recently made some forward progress myself. (My apologies because I know it affected my posting) I spent 13 years in a job that was my dream job. It still is. But I felt I was ready for a new challenge. I’m the type of person who likes to have goals and projects that I am working towards. But I fell into a rut over the years. I actually hate to say rut because I excelled in my field and enjoyed being the experienced person who could answer questions and train new people. But ultimately I wanted to do more for me. But I was hesitant to leave my dream job fearing that everything I love about it would be hard to outdo.

With much support and soul searching I took the leap to explore more of my world. I actually stayed in my field, so it’s still very much my dream job. But it’s an entirely different aspect of it. It has only been 2 weeks but I am loving it. I have a lot to learn but have been able to bring my experiences with me.

I always look at our retirement bulletins at work. They always post a condensed version of the persons resume listed the areas they have worked and some of their accomplishments. I always feel sad when I see a person has only done one thing for X amount of years. I get motivated when I see someone who has been all over the company, using all different kinds of skills. Imagine the knowledge and experiences he or she has picked up over the years.

No one would have forced my hand. They wont force yours either. Opportunities will come and go. They will float right past you. Some will be better than others. But ultimately it will be up to you to reach for one of them and take the risk.

We always hear the older and wiser tell us to be careful not to burn our bridges. But as guys we let our egos scream louder and sometimes we think we need to stand our ground and speak our mind. And what do they know anyway?  I think most guys who have some life experience have probably experienced this or saw how close they were to experiencing it, only having avoided it by the luck of timing or choosing their words careful at the last moment.  If you haven’t had the joy of this experience let me illustrate the concept with my own experience that I stumbled upon recently.

When I was in college I amazingly found a job in my dream industry. I was able to get my foot in the door, work midnights, still complete school, and enjoy college life all in one. And it provided me with a full time paycheck when my largest bill was my bar tab.

Looking back it definitely benefited me to have that job. I received great training, met some great people, some of which I am still friends with today, and ultimately set me up to get to where I am today. But it was still a job so I had my own set of complaints about it. However, I’ve been removed from that job for almost ten years. I’ve moved across the country, done well with my career elsewhere and have created a good life for myself. So I look back and reminisce about the good times but don’t give it much thought past that.

Well a couple weeks ago, I attended a reunion of sorts back at college. Part of it included this division of the university having its own reunion because they had employed so many students over the years. I have to say was kind of excited to get back there and see some old faces and laugh about some old times.

I preface it by saying I did have a good time and got to see some old friends. BUT, I can’t count how many people who still work there brought up a bridge I apparently burnt some years back. In fact, I didn’t even remember the incident. But it was clear that many did, and that it made a lasting impression.

After I leave that job and moved away to take another job, I needed some training records from my former employer – in order to advance in my new job. When I contacted them and wasn’t getting the cooperation or answered that I needed I got fired up. (To be honest, I still don’t recall exactly what lit my fuse and I was afraid to ask anyone for more details because I didn’t want to wake a sleeping dragon). What I do remember is that I sent a company wide email. I vented my thoughts about everyone I couldn’t stand who worked there and everything I didn’t like about the company. I was pretty vocal because I was 24 and had nothing to lose.

I could have never imagined that I would continue to have contact with this people and this company throughout my life because of the closeness of my industry. And lucky for me, most of the recipients saw my view and where I was coming from, but I definitely didn’t think the plan through. Also some of my old friends have moved into management positions of that company so by their saving grace I was able to save face.

But you never know whom in your past you will need to contact and for what reason. People and jobs will come and go from your life. You don’t have to agree with all of them. And you don’t have to let anyone walk all over you. But think twice before you speak your mind. Not that you shouldn’t speak it, but think about how you will speak it. Because once it’s spoken, it still may not make a difference. So choose your battles. A true gentleman will smile and walk away.