There was a time many years ago when, more than anything, I wanted a job that would give me “most evenings and weekends off.” That would be my perfect job!
At the time I was reaping the rewards of some horrible choices I had made early in my life. I was working multiple jobs. All hours. Hardly making any money. At the time the future seemed bleak.
Fast forward to today, and I have a fantastic position with an amazing organization. And yes, I do get most evenings and weekends off!
Better yet I have a wife, son, and dog in our house in Granite Bay CA that makes it all incredibly meaningful.
The roadmap from there to here was simple. Just reference this favorite and apt illustration of “what success looks like.”
My first “professional” job – I learned later – was obtained because the Japanese-born manager confused “Harbor College” with “Harvard College” and thought he was making a terrific Ivy League hire. He was not. He was teaching this UCSB graduate that dumb luck can have a huge impact on a career path.
So do these three ingredients:
- Showing up. Showing up every day with a great attitude and a singular focus toward successfully doing your job (not bringing personal business to work) is simple but not easy. It all starts here. One has to get in the game by showing up every day, ready to play starting with the job you are in today.
- Focus on the quality of your work. Doing a great job trumps everything. Doing you best possible work will do more for your career than almost anything else. Not only will great work impress your employer but it will also make you feel good about yourself for “a job well done!”
- Have the proper perspective. Work is important. It makes possible so much of what we value in life. Yet work is not the only thing. It is only part of the broader tapestry of life that includes family, friends, health, and the passage of time. Having a perspective on your job can change the game from misery to gratitude. This point of view also makes you easier to work with.
If I focus on showing up with a great attitude and doing the best work I can everything else sorts itself out. I have also learned that sleep, exercise and practicing better nutrition plays a huge role in my day-to-day job perceptions.
That first job turned out to to be a perfect one for me. In fact, with a little perspective, I realize all my jobs have been perfect – in that, I didn’t have to work most evenings and weekends!
Happy Labor Day!