Zen is you – Be.

Learn Something New …..

Posted in development, satisfaction by dave225 on January 26, 2009

“If you’re done learning, you’re done.”  I think it was Ben Franklin.  Maybe it was someone else who originally said that… But it’s true, nonetheless.

A few years ago, I absolutely hated my job.  Although I worked for a great company, I didn’t feel as though I was being used to my full potential.  Until that happened, I guess I had been fortunate in my career that I’d always been able to find the niche that kept me growing (or knew when to leave before things got stale.)  I was beginning to strategize my exit plan.  I needed a career boost.  Let me back up;  I had tried to get help with career counseling in my company and wasn’t satisfied with the options.  So I began to study.  I invested my own time and my own money (a considerable amount of each) to elevate my skill levels in preparation for a job search.  And I had some offers.  Some really good offers.

Maybe it was just luck, but as offers were coming in, possibilities opened up at my current job too.  But I believe you can make your own luck.  I never had to give my boss an ultimatum or hope for a counter offer.  An offer to advance from my current job came to me – or rather, it came near me and I grabbed it.

Oh, I think I’ve read the “invest in yourself” advice plenty of times before, so I won’t make a point of that as if it’s a new idea.  And it’s probably not a new idea that continuous learning keeps you sharp and on top of your game.  And yet, I continue to come across people who don’t seem to be interested in development – for professional reasons or self-development reasons.  Or else they’re waiting and wondering why their employers won’t develop them.  So I just want to reiterate that you can make your own luck sometimes.  Because luck isn’t luck.  Luck is options.

Last week, at Ignite! Columbus, Joshua Scott talked about knowing when to move on.  I wish I had his slides at the moment – and his content.. scurve2but if I can paraphrase, he said you have to have the courage to leave something that’s going well so that you can continue in an upward direction.  This picture is the closest I could find to describe what that means:

The idea is that you leave thing #1 before it reaches the decline and move on to thing #2.  That can be a business, a career, a job, a skillset.

You never know when your luck will change – when your curve will start to decline.  I watched a disheartening story this evening about DHL leaving Wilmington, OH and leaving 10,000 people without jobs.  I don’t mean to imply that those 10,000 people should have moved on before DHL pulled out of the community.  It’s just a devastating example of how quickly things can change.  So what I’m trying to say is, be ready.  Learn something new.

Learn something new to get ahead.  Learn something new to be better at what you do.  Learn something new to feel better about the things you do.

Learn something new to be ready.

Or learn something new just ‘cuz.  And then do it again.  Don’t stop.  Luck isn’t luck.  Luck is options.

2 Responses

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  1. Lucia said, on January 26, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    My family lives in Wilmington. I worked at DHL (then it was called Airborn) for a few months while I was going to college. I have known many people who make working in a factory a career. The pay is decent the benefits are excellent, the overtime is plentiful…but when that company packs up and leaves you are screwed if you have not trained and educated yourself for something else. My sister in law has worked for a factory since she was 18 (she is 37 now). She makes almost $30 an hour—and she is worried to death that she will be laid off any minute now! Wilmington is suffering right now and I feel very bad for the people who live there. They will have to go to Columbus, Cincinnati, and Dayton for jobs. Let’s hope that this crisis inspires people to get training and education for the future.

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