Let’s talk about you for a second. Let’s not make small talk or dig into things I really can’t relate to because I don’t know you – your friends, your family, your fantasy football league – whatever.
Instead, let’s talk about your career. How’s THAT Going?
For some of you, it’s going great. Others have careers that are a dumpster fire floating down a makeshift creek in a flood zone. For most of you, my question is met with the following quote or something like it:
A lot of you are flat in your careers. Some of you are fine with where you’re at and at peace with generally being unexcited. Some of you want more. This post is for those of you that think you want more.
IF YOU’RE NOT
CREATING, YOU’RE WAITING
I didn’t come up with that quote –it’s widely attributed to character actor Kevin Pollack, and I heard it from him on a podcast this week. The meaning is pretty simple – if you’re not willing to create things, you’re always subject to waiting. The types of waiting you’ll experience in your career include the following:
1–Waiting on someone to recognize your contributions.
2–Waiting on your circumstances to change.
3–Waiting for your big moment.
4–Waiting to be told what to do.
The cynics among you should have already started calling bullshit on this post. I get it, and I can hear the jaded reactions, they go a little something like this:
“KD, not everyone is born to be out front. Not everyone wants to be a thought leader, whatever the #### that is.”
You’re 100% right. But this post isn’t about people like me who are wired a certain way. This post is actually about people in the guts of corporate America at all levels. If you’re in a job, with no desire to ramp up a Twitter account, write for a site like FOT, download a Gary V. podcast, or whatever you think the bullshit I’m selling is, guess what?
THIS STILL APPLIES TO YOU – IF YOU’RE NOT CREATING, YOU’RE WAITING
You want more from your career but you’re going through a flat period. Here are some ways you should be
- —Always have one big project in play. The average people aren’t working on anything that’s not in their job description. You have to create some value to differentiate yourself from the sheep. What’s the one thing you’re working on?
- —You have to be willing to take some of your you/family time to create the value in question. Do you have passion about what you do? If not, you didn’t make it to this point in the post. If you’re still reading, just know that #1 on this list probably requires some effort outside of normal working hours.
- —Don’t be afraid to chase something so hard at work for a few months that some other areas of your work may drop off a bit. Great work can’t come without keen focus. Sometimes you gotta let go of small things and chase big things. You likely can get away with that for a few weeks or a month or two, just be sure what you’re working on will have an impact on those that matter.
- —When you fail to get the results you want (and that will happen), close down the value play in question. Then repeat steps #1 through #3.
If you want more, you’ve got to chase value the people above you don’t expect. Do that often enough and they start to expect it from you, which is when you’ll get the career results you want.
I can’t tell you where the value
I can only tell you if you’re not creating, you’re waiting. Go get it, or be happy with average results. #CampSuckItUp
Kris Dunn is a Partner and CHRO at Kinetix, a national RPO firm for growth companies headquartered in Atlanta. He’s also the founder Fistful of Talent (founded in 2008) and The HR Capitalist (2007) – and has written over 70 feature columns at Workforce Management magazine. Prior to his investment at Kinetix, Kris served in HR leadership roles at DAXKO, Charter and Cingular. In his spare time, KD hits the road as a speaker and gives the world what it needs – pop culture references linked to Human Capital street smarts.