A career happens the day we learn how to make a dollar for ourselves, which can come at almost any age when you count lawn mowing, babysitting, paper route type jobs. If you take the traditional route – graduate college, then work – you can get fooled into thinking your career is outside of your control until one day you wake up (again, this can come at any age) and realize you are in more control of your life and happiness than previously thought.
You could be in a dead-end corporate job, but you have control to clean up your career and focus on getting a new and better job. You could be in an unhappy marriage, but you can change that up too. Speak the truth about what you want – good chance your spouse will support you. If not, change yourself into what you are aiming for. You could have a business about to go bankrupt with bad people. You can control that too. You could be in a profession that you do not enjoy. You can control that too.
You can change with a vengeance like you are going to give everyone around you payback and put all your energy into being the VP or CEO, or make millions of dollars in whatever business so you can prove your old boss or co-workers wrong. That is change for vengeance’s sake. Deep down inside you are mad, unhappy and changing for the wrong reasons…
Do this instead. Clean up your own house before you look outside. Transform yourself and do not look at your old boss or co-workers. Just focus on the transformation of yourself. Do this a little bit each day…
Are you bad at staying organized? Do something small, like organize your desk. It will take 20 minutes but make you feel more organized. Are you bad at making phone calls? Call someone you can trust, like your Mom, Dad, lover/spouse or friend. Then call that tough business prospect. Are you afraid to ask for money from a customer? Ask for their phone number and offer to help them solve something – for free. This will open the door to ask for some money in the form of a proposal. You will also find out exactly how you can help them.
Changing is hard. Things fall apart, but do not blame others. Instead, clean up your situation and untangle your past. This will make you stronger than ever before. It will not happen overnight but rather over days, to months to years. Pay attention to how you started your career. Go all the way back to the jobs you had when you were 12 years of age or older. What do you see?
Don’t get me wrong – your past is probably good and also hard-earned – the good and the bad. I know mine is. Now take control of it and clean up your life. Transform yourself and your career will follow. That is disruption.
Ben Martinez – family guy, coffee critic, planker, and HR & Recruiting journeyman. He has successfully worked in HR leadership roles around the US and Mexico for Fortune 500 companies (Pepsi, Honeywell, and Energizer). Most recently he was the VP of People & Culture for HireVue, where he hired 400+ people in almost five years using video, social media, and created the employment brand, VueNation in partnership with HireVue.
Ben now runs his own consulting company, Ramp Talent, where they ramp recruiting and HR for startups. From recruiting ready-to-go talent to implementing ongoing best practices to preventing legal headaches, we build the first HR and recruiting systems for fast-growing startups.
PS – coffee is for closers – Ben founded an e-commerce subscription coffee company focused on re-imagining coffee in the workplace and home – Sumato Coffee Co. They only roast your beans within 48 hours of your order.
Ben lives in the SLC, Utah area.