Simpler Days

There was a period in my past when I ardently desired a job that would grant me the luxury of having “most evenings and weekends off.” That, to me, was the epitome of the perfect job!

Back then, I was grappling with the consequences of some misguided decisions I had made in my early life. I was juggling multiple jobs, working at all hours, and barely earning enough to make ends meet. My future seemed dreary and unpromising.

Fast-forward to the present day. I now hold an exceptional position within a stellar organization. True to my dreams, I have most evenings and weekends to myself!

Better still, I share my life with a wonderful wife, a delightful son, and two adorable dogs, all in our cozy home in Granite Bay, CA. This enriches my existence and gives it deeper meaning.

The journey from that past to my present seems simple when mapped out. A popular and apt illustration of “what success looks like” serves as the ideal reference.

How I arrived here  

My first real taste of professional life, as I found out later, was courtesy of a misunderstanding. The manager who hired me, originally from Japan, had mistakenly associated my “Harbor College” with the illustrious “Harvard College.” He had assumed he was making an impressive Ivy League hire, which wasn’t quite the case.

Instead, he ended up hiring a capable graduate from UCSB, not Harvard.

This anecdote emphasizes how blind luck can play an unpredictable and massive role in one’s career path, much like the zigzagging line in the illustration.

However, luck isn’t a dependable or replicable strategy for achieving success, so I developed a more reliable plan for career prosperity, honing in on three main activities.

Three Steps to the Perfect Job

  1. Showing up: Turning up every day with a positive attitude and an unwavering focus on performing your job to the best of your abilities is simple in theory, but not easy in practice. Everything starts from this point. Engage fully in your work by showing up daily, perhaps even a little early, and be prepared to give it your all. Ensure you bring your ‘A-game’. Initiate this with your current job/role/company. There’s no telling how far a dependable and consistent performer can advance.
  2. Prioritize the quality of your work: Superior work quality outshines everything else in most situations. You can propel your career forward significantly by doing a fantastic job, regardless of what it entails. Stellar performance will not only make a favorable impression on your employer but also instill in you a sense of accomplishment and pride for a job well executed.
  3. Keep things in perspective: Work is crucial. It makes so many aspects of life possible and meaningful. However, work isn’t everything. Happiness is equally important, and often it’s derived from the broader tapestry of life – family, friends, health, travel, hobbies, achievements. Understanding the role work plays in this larger context can shift your perspective on your job, transforming it from a burden to a source of gratitude. Remember, the right mindset can change your entire outlook without altering a single thing.

Additional Insights

I’ve also come to realize that sleep, physical exercise, and a healthier diet are within my control and significantly impact my work. When I am well-rested and fit, I not only feel better but also tend to perform at a higher level. Moreover, feeling good about my work performance improves my self-esteem and makes me a more amicable colleague. It’s a win-win!

Interestingly, that initial job I landed purely out of sheer luck turned out to be an ideal one for me. Primarily because it taught me the importance of being present, delivering high-quality work, and maintaining a positive attitude. This focus provided the impetus I needed to persist through the inevitable trials and tribulations that accompany any job or role. Best of all, the perspective I gained was transferrable and beneficial in all my subsequent roles.

In conclusion, while dumb luck can occasionally play a part, it isn’t a sustainable strategy for a thriving career. A more effective approach is to show up to work every day with a positive attitude, concentrating on doing the best work possible, regardless of the role you’re currently in. Over time, the “perfect” job will naturally materialize as you find yourself increasingly content in your current role. That’s the zigzagging line to success.

And who knows, if you’re fortunat

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