Some jobs suck. They just do. Your manager is a jerk, the work isn’t fulfilling. I’ve been there. That’s not one of those “yeah, I’ve been there.” I’ve ACTUALLY been there. I’ve been a cog in the wheel of the industrial complex, spinning freely and ineffectually through space. I’ve had jobs where there’s been NO clear business plan other than “we should sell things and make money” and even worse, I’ve worked for the government where they don’t actually sell things AND they don’t make money. But there’s something that I’ve done at every single job I’ve ever had that has made the difference in my ability to show up and do the work every day; own something.
You may or may not know that I’m a big football fan. I played in high school and before I blew my knee out, I was pretty sure I was going to play college football. I’ve always loved football movies. Everything from Rudy to The Program to Friday Night Lights. But one of my all time faves is still Any Given Sunday. I love Al Pacino and this is one of my favorite performances of his. There is one particular line in the movie that I love and that I have a tendency to hang my hat on.
I love shopping at Sobeys. My local store knows me and my kids by name, they know about what we’re up to. They give us stickers and balloons and hugs and everything that really brings the experience up a notch. The food is great. The staff is friendly and all is well. Except those stupid self-service machines.
Now you might ask, “if you hate the machines so much, and you love the people so much, why do you use the machines?” It’s simple. I have kids. I’m in a rush. I need to get in and get out and nothing allows you to do that like the self-serve kiosk. NOW, there are a couple of superstar cashiers that I will ALWAYS go to because they’re quick, but if you have kids, you know that you need to get in and get out. Now, back to these machines.
It’s been a long night. This afternoon, I sat at my son’s gymnastics class and came up with 28 ideas for blog posts. Except for the occasional inspirational moment, this is how I usually come up with ideas. I write down everything I’ve been thinking about over the past few weeks and I figure out what it all means. It’s a pretty wonderful experience. Today, I thought a little bit about length. And I realized that I write some really long pieces.
I was chatting today with a friend about a recent site launch for her company. I helped walk her through some of the difficulties surrounding a very adventurous development plan including working with two different developers for front end vs back end. Upon launch, there were a few things that I suggested should be changed from a user experience standpoint and she told me she was contacting the developers to have them fix it. She said that, “she hoped they would even see the email.” I asked her if hearing back from them had been an issue and she said that that was the case with them and several others. I have but one question; what in the hell is wrong with people?
My son has a girlfriend at school. This doesn’t seem that unreasonable. Except that my son is 4.5 years old and is in preschool. His girlfriend is a lovely little girl and each Monday and Wednesday when I pick them up from school, he waits for her while she gets her jacket on and then the two of them hold hands adorably and walk through the preschool and down the stairs. He holds the door open for her and they make their way to “the ramp”, a winding accessible ramp that goes from the bottom of the stairs to the front entrance. I say ready, set, go and then the two of them run down the ramp laughing the whole way.
I recently shared a story about my mom (a gas station manager) and this incredible young employee she has. The kid is 16, saved up and bought his own truck, and is now working at the gas station, and another job, while going to school. It’s impressive. It’s a lot of work for a young kid, but he seems to be taking it very well. He makes smart decisions and most importantly, he does what’s right for people. So the question is, where did he learn that?
When’s the last time you saw or heard an ad for something and then bought it. If you don’t include events, something that literally requires very specific advertising, when is the last time you started up YouTube and thought “that’s a hell of an idea, I think I’ll buy that?” When is the last time you were watching TV (is that even still a thing) and thought “I think I’ll stop watching NCIS: Los Angeles and go buy that thing?” The answer is, you haven’t. Ever.
Quit your job. It’s what all the cool kids are doing. WAIT. KEEP READING. I’m not suggesting that everyone quit their job. Jobs are for some people. Lots of people. Jobs are NOT inherently bad. Many jobs are really, really great. But jobs are not for everyone and there are some really good reasons to leave some jobs and really perfect times to leave good jobs. First let’s talk about some reason to (and not to) leave your job.
There’s a catch phrase these days that I’d like to talk about. It’s a phrase that permeates education, personal development, professional growth and career goal building. Everyone states that they possess this particular trait, this ideology. Everyone says that they’re a “life long learner”. The fact of that matter is that many of these people gave up thinking a very long time ago.