Building a Career on Steroids

My entire day yesterday consisted of work and class work.  That being said, it was an incredible, rejuvenating Wednesday.  I hope yours was the same.

I’ll get to my work, but I want to start with classes.  My e-Marketing class completed the Clifton StrengthsFinder® and spent about 90 minutes exploring the meaning behind our own given strengths.  If you’re dying to know, in order mine are: Command, Strategic, Learner, Input, and Individuality.  For those of you unfamiliar with this – strengths are defined as unwavering accurate performance in areas that leave you energized and content.  They’re activities that you excel in naturally and are probably so innate that you don’t even realize they’re strengths because you assume everyone else does the exact same thing.

When a person can recognize and capitalize on his or her individual strengths, not only will the person become a better leader, team member, (fill in whatever blank you’d like here __), but also live a happier and more fulfilled life.  

Might seem like quite a large premise if you take the time to consider the applications of this. Don’t the majority of us grow up constantly rebuked for the areas we’re weakest in?  If our performance suffers in a specific area, don’t we notice those negatives slightly more?  Sometimes we work with bosses who demand our weakest areas to be the most worked on, perhaps with the declaration that it will build a well-rounded team and benefit the company.  So if we focus on what we’re already good at, how does that lead to life fulfillment?

How many people love going to work on Monday morning?  How many people absolutely thrive at work, feeling fulfilled and significant?  Marcus Buckingham says 2 out of 10.  There are roughly 20,000 students at JCCC using education to get a job, improve their job, or maybe even for the enjoyment of learning.  Hopefully we can all do the math here, so 16,000 of us will spend our hard-earned money just to end up in a job that we hate.  Wow that sounds like such a great investment.

What is the motivation behind building a career?  Is it simply money, or is it the audacity to make a global impact?  Small tangent: 100 years ago Rockefeller was the richest man in the United States, whose wealth would be the equivalent of about $200 billion, roughly 4 times the wealth of Bill Gates.  Would you go back to 1914 to “be” Rockefeller? (Just ignore all the other hypotheticals that this brings up and please don’t start mentioning bringing down Hitler).  I mean, think about it!  With 8 billion dollars in 1914 you could essentially maintain your own environment of wonderfulness right?!

Except, I guess, that women wouldn’t have any rights.  Medical technology sucks.  I don’t even know how many tons of horse manure is dumped in New York streets every day.  It’ll take you maybe 6 weeks to get to Europe, and that’s if you get there. Tuberculosis all over the place.  No phone, no internet, no tv, no ac, no antibiotics.  I haven’t even mentioned historical events that you’d get to live through.  The conclusion seems to be that many people would prefer our standard of living today to the richest man in America’s 100 years ago.  Isn’t this profound?!  So maybe, for some of us, money isn’t everything.

We live in a nation and era that allows us to design whatever kind of life we desire! I absolutely know, without a shadow of a doubt, that we can each become millionaires if we so choose, and we all have the opportunity to work in a job that polishes our greatest strengths, pairs us with team members that complement our weakness, and honors our unique capacities with fulfillment.  I know this because I’ve seen it, and businesses prove it over and over again faithfully.

I love the quote from Einstein:

“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”

Note: this is also a great quote to remember the difference between “its” and “it’s.” 

Ok, maybe that was rude of me :).  But also, Hope Solo’s words:

“If you truly expect to realize your dreams, abandon the need for blanket approval.  If conforming to everyone’s expectations is the number one goal, you have sacrificed your uniqueness, and therefore your excellence.”

If you have any thoughts on this, please do comment!  I love exchanging views!

Happy Thursday, all!

Ashley

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