"If (you) wait for a job to be good enough to deserve (your) best shot, it's unlikely (you'll) ever have that job." - Seth Godin, Linchpin
I struggle with this.
I struggle with this because so many of jobs - this one included - seem precisely opposite of this. The world so often seems opposite of this. The sense that no matter what I do my effort does not matter - in fact, it is eaten up and dispersed into a nether region of space. I hear the tramp of "responsibility" and "authority" tramp down the halls with no relation to any sort of goal or reward.
What would my best shot look like? That is the part that both concerns me and makes me wonder. What would unbridled effort at being the best at my job truly look like? And would it be recognized as such? Or would it just fade into the background noise of what is expected from everyone, leaving me that much farther behind the curve?
Or is my focus all wrong?
Perhaps it is what it does to us that is the real point of the exercise. Ultimately the job has multiple factors which we cannot control: financing, management, failed projects, acquisitions, layoffs. It is what we become in spite of these things that is the true benefit of giving our best effort. If I think about it, I am forced to admit that I have seldom carried a job out with me. What I have carried out is myself and everything I did and became during that time.
If self development is the goal and the path to getting to job we ultimately want, why are we not giving more of our best effort - not for the job, but for ourselves?