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. 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.” He thought he was making a terrific Ivy League hire. He was not.
He did make a great hire, only from UCSB, not Harvard.
Far more important, for me, was that he was illustrating that dumb luck can be a huge factor in one’s career path (or squiggly line).
Dumb luck, however, is not a reliable and repeatable strategy for success. A far better strategy for career success, I learned, can be obtained is focusing on these three activities.
- 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. Get in the game by showing up every day, ready to play. Have your game face on. Start right now with the job/role/company you are in today. There is no telling where it may lead.
- Focus on the quality of your work. Doing high quality work almost always trumps everything else. You will do more for your career by doing a great job – regardless of what it is. Great work will not only 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. Work is not the only thing. You also need to be happy. Happiness often comes from the broader tapestry of life that includes family, friends, health, travel, hobbies, and the passage of time. Having the right perspective on your role can change the job game from misery to gratitude. Remember, perspective can change everything, without changing a thing.
I have also learned that sleep, exercise, and better nutrition can influence my perceptions. Paying attention to those factors can also yield double rewards. If I am rested and fit, I feel better and perform at a higher level. When I’m doing well, I feel better, and I’m easier to work with.
In conclusion, if I show up every workday with a great attitude focusing on doing the best work I can in whatever role I’m in, everything over time will sort itself out. I’ll find I’ll be happier on that squiggly line to success.
It turns out that first job I got through dumb luck was a perfect one for me. I Iearned and grew so much while there. I had fun.
In fact, I’ve continued to grow and have fun through all my other jobs. So, I can see, with a little perspective, that because all my jobs have got me to where I am now, a happy place, they’ve all been the perfect job!
And guess what, I no longer have to work most evenings and weekends!