Somewhere in 1996, I woke up for the first time. I realized that I was responsible for my life, and that if I didn’t drive change, no one else would. That’s when I realized that my supervisors at work didn’t really care about my career. That’s when I realized that no one was coming to knock on my door and change my life. It’s when I realized that the person responsible for bringing greatness to my life was me. Only me. And that’s when things started getting good. Within a year, I’d left my role at the phone company, moved into a wireless company, and started a rocket path up towards where I am today. All under my own steam.
Here are some things for YOU to think about, if you’re still wondering why no one’s handed you the dream career, the chance of a lifetime, or some other excuses for why you’re not the rockstar of your own domain.
You are Your HR Department
No one in your company cares about your career. They have a passing interest insofar as it hooks to their success, but otherwise, it’s not like someone’s really burning a lot of calories thinking about how to make you a star. Instead, YOU are the person in charge. To that end, start learning.
- Learn about things not related to your business.
- Learn about things that will empower you.
- Give yourself tools to succeed, like great blogs and books.
- Look outside your organization for a path up the ladder, not just within.
- Example: UC Berkeley put their lectures on YouTube. Watch some. (Source: Scobleizer).
If you work as a software developer, decide whether or not that’s your view of yourself. Nothing wrong with being a software developer, but if you’re sitting there longing for something more, redefine yourself, and then reinforce the path you want to take. Meaning, don’t let your skill set label yourself.
- Kill your resume and build something that DESCRIBES you. (Example, Bryper’s Social Media Resume).
- Make your own business cards with your NEW, self-proclaimed job title. Swing over to Overnight Prints or VistaPrint to order your own.
- Find role models outside your organization, maybe even outside your field, and follow their lead.
- Get bold and ask brief, specific questions to people you admire about their own rise to greatness, and then see if you can recreate it.
For every person out there taking charge of their lives, there are tons of people still saying “They didn’t let me take the course.” The truth is this: THEY doesn’t exist. They is an excuse we give ourselves when we’re feeling weak and unmotivated. Because THEY are the same people who don’t step up when there’s injustice in the world. THEY are the people who keep you working for the same company your entire life. Here are some ways to catch “THEY” and fire them.
- They don’t control your training budget. You do. If not on company time, on your own time. It’s an investment.
- They aren’t buying your media because you’re not selling to the right people, or you’re not selling at all. (Hint: they won’t just show up, be amazed by your content, and offer to cut you a check).
- They probably don’t put as much effort into looking at what you’re doing as you do. So if you still think They is holding you down, check yourself.
- They have their own lives to worry about. Let them. Worry harder about yours.
What’s Holding You Back?
Did you see anything in this post that reflected your situation in life? Did you find little echoes of yourself, past or present, that relate to your questioning of your lot in life? If so, did I give you suggestions to move forward? If not, tell me now. Let’s get into what’s keeping you locked up, and let’s free you.
The easy truth of the matter is this: the more superheroes I surround myself with, the more likely I’ll have a rockstar life and do amazing things. I’m counting on the folks who come here to dig in to their own lives, find their groove, and rocket up into the stratosphere of your own new potential.
Are you on that ride? Have you seen enough to clear the launch pad at least? And if not, let’s talk about it. What’s holding you down?
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