Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Stuck in Place?

"If you don't love what you do, you're doing no-one a favor by staying in your present position. Your attitude and morale will be negative, you'll be complaining about everything, and you'll be blaming everyone else and their dog for your unhappiness and inadequacy." - Jeffrey Gitomer

So here's a question: what happens if you are in a position where you don't love what you do?

There are a couple of caveats, of course:

1) Is it the position you don't like, or is it the company itself? (If it's not, could a new position at a different company resolve it?)

2) Is it the industry or business model you don't like? (Again, if this is not the case, a simple change of scenery may work wonders.)

So let's assume that it truly is not the industry, business model, company, and/or position you like (love in Gitomer's words) e.g. you really truly hate where you are, what you do, and what you could do in the industry somehwere else. Where do you go from there?

The reality is that most of us are not independently wealthy and cannot magically just "leave" because we really don't care for where we are (nor is this Gitomer's argument at the link). We convince ourselves that there are simply no other options: if we can't leave, we'll have to stay and suffer in dignity (but hardly silence), sort of like the old man on every block who always grumbles about the leaves in fall is out every morning raking them up, muttering to himself.

But in fact, Gitomer's argument is surprisingly different: "Most salespeople (substitute your industry here) fail to realize that when they become the best they can be, they will attract the right offers rather than seek them." In other words, it's only secondarily about the business or company or position: it's mostly about us and our attitude.

He defines a four part formula:

1) Determine what you love to do.
2) Dedicate yourself to getting the skills you need.
3) Believe in your company, what they do, and yourself.
4) Get - and keep - a great attitude. "If it's not internal it can never be external".

So perhaps (I write this mostly to myself) instead of sitting around and complaining ("rising to the level of mediocrity", as Gitomer says), we need to go through evaluation above.

Exactly how long will we keep ourselves in the personal and career chains of our own making?

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