Monday, December 22, 2008

Getting What You Can From What You've Got

My friend, Lon, sent me an article from the Financial Times last week regarding employee satisfaction. For most of us, we can forget it for the near-term. Either we're being let go or our friends are. Either we're dumping all of our work on the people left standing at our companies or we're the ones left standing doing the work of three other people. It doesn't feel good to be on either end of this stick. There aren't any winners in the job satisfaction game these days. 

So what are we to do? Hide under our desks or under our beds and wait for sunnier skies? It's tempting but I wouldn't recommend that. If you have your job, and even if you hate, there's a way to make the best of what you've got. My friend, Kelly, came in to town recently and I was talking to her about this subject. No matter how nutsy her job gets, she always has a positive perspective. It's a little sickening actually. She was my friend in graduate school who could listen to the most obnoxious student go on and on about nothing and be searching for what she could learn while the rest of us were banging our heads against the wall out of frustration. 

How does she do that?? How does she always see the best in her job situation, even though her company, and every company for that matter, is going through tough times? This isn't the end game for her and she knows that. Her real passion is education, but she wanted big company experience first so she could bring something to the education party that would be beneficial. Consequently, she takes in all of this good learning she has all around her, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and is able to distance herself emotionally because she knows these crazy times will inform her education career when she's ready to make that change. Brilliant, huh?

So while having a drink last night with my friend, Linda, I was talking over this POV. I'm 32 now. Where do I want to be when I'm 35 and how about when I'm 40? And if what I'm doing right now isn't what I want to be doing then, how can I utilize the experience I'm getting now to inform my future? And what other skills can I pick up from where I am right now to help me on my journey? Lord knows there is plenty to do these days at work, not enough people to do it, and plenty of room to take on more if we so desire. Perspective, and the wise advice of good friends, is worth its weight in gold. 

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