Finding a Career

This journey to find suitable, long sustaining, rewarding employment has been a very bumpy one. Over the past 2 years I’ve had 7 jobs that most had potential to become careers. But due to my lack of foresight and discipline, all of those opportunities fell on the way side and I found myself at the bottom again, unsure where I could go or what I would do with my life.

I am by no means an unqualified individual. I feel that I am an intelligent individual, although I have had an incredible record of doing stupid things. I am highly skilled in many different areas, I am a quick learner, very resourceful and can adapt to pretty much any situation. It is a natural talent I’ve used all my life. This “Jack-of-all-trades” scenario has however, made it quite difficult to stay interested in a single vocation. Many of my jobs over the past years I gave up to pursue other interests or positions, I had little regard for the trail I left, only focusing on the next big challenge ahead of me. This seemed like a foolproof system. Just like a frog jumping across a river, keep focusing on the next landing point rather then the one you are already on and eventually you will get to where you need to go. But this is not a sustainable practice. Careers are built on stability, not constant change, and the wishy washy attitude I took towards my positions and the companies I worked for eventually bit me in the ass.

When everything fell apart, I had nothing to fall back on. I had burnt every bridge I ever had and even past employers with whom were never related in my wrong doings, were still unapproachable because of my attitude about switching jobs on a whim. I had created an environment where it was very difficult to find a new job let alone a career path.

Of course, one can always find jobs when one needs to as long as you lower your standards enough. To get through some of the hardest times, I took jobs at places I never thought I would ever work at, just to make sure I could live. It was a humbling experience. I always felt ashamed, and embarrassed at the place I was at, unable to relax and just do my job, and constantly focused on my failures.

I thought it would take years upon years to pull myself out of that whole and I although I wasn’t happy with it, it was my reality and I had to live with it.

Hard work and determination pay off though. Although I did have a foolish attitude about career building in my past, I was always a hard worker and would do whatever I could above and beyond my job descriptions to make my positions more interesting.

This eventually rewarded me the opportunity to apply for a position with my current company that actually has some respectability and long term potential. Throughout the entire hiring process I figured I would be rejected because of my past and at one point almost withdrew my application for fear of rejection. However I continued to focus forward and gave the hiring process my full attention and determination. Eventually, I was hired and am now thriving in my new position. I am enjoying myself everyday and seeing the long term path I can create with this company. I still feel a little insecure about my past, but each passing day I feel more and more confident in my role and as a result, I am improving my performance each and every day.

This job has the potential to become a worthwhile career, and although my mind does wander to other ventures and potential vocations, if I ever do decide to switch, it will be a long thought out process with a well built plan. For now, I am happy, and this job brings me self respect and worth. It is helping me achieve my goals and ensuring a fruitful future.

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Forming Good Habits

The last few weeks I’ve been working with the Og Mandino Scrolls, featured in his book “The Greatest Salesman In The World.” The book is designed to teach you lessons that will help you improve your job performance and your life performance as well. It features 10 ancient scrolls that have been passed down from Mentor to Protege over generations helping people improve to eventually become The Greatest Salesman in the World, which is really a metaphor to becoming The Greatest Person You Can Be, sales performance is just a great side effect.

salesman

Anyway, the exercise that is proposed in the book, is to read just one scroll, 3 times a day for an entire month, then when you have mastered that lesson, you can build and move on to the next. The scrolls are full of uplifting messages that should help you stay focused and motivated throughout the day.

The month of November has been the first scroll for me, which is about forming Good Habits and getting rid of bad habits. Reading the scroll itself is the lesson as I have to read it three times a day, which will form a Good Habit for when the other scrolls are read and new lessons to be learned.

I’ve enjoyed the experience and realized that everything I want, needs to be broken down into a habit so I will do it automatically. I want to be able to wake up early every morning, I need to make that a habit, exercising when I start my day, I need to make that a habit, eating better throughout the day, I need to make that a habit, remembering my yearly vision, I need to make that a habit, feeling grateful for my life as it stands, I need to make that a habit, completing my Man 2.0 tasks and even writing regularly, I need to make them a habit.

Habits drive our lives, especially in today’s world when there seems to be so much going on and so much that could distract you from your goals. But the more your actions become habits, the more they will become natural and the better chance you will succeed.

“The victory of success is half won when one gains the habit of setting goals and achieving them. Even the most tedious chore will become endurable as you parade through each day convinced that every task, no matter how menial or boring, brings you closer to achieving your dreams.”  – Og Mandino

Doing It Like Don

Note that this post has a few spoilers from the Season 6 Finale of Mad Men, so read with caution!

I’ve always been a fan of the show Mad Men. The people, the time, the place, the industry, it is everything that I love all wrapped up in to a television show. It is one of the few that I watch these days and although it does focus around everything that I have a passion for, it is ultimately the people that draw me in to the story. Most notably, Don Draper.

Don2I’ve felt connected with this character ever since the first episode, and it’s only gotten stronger as his story, and my life, have unfolded over the past 6 years. I’ve been on a similar story arc as Don, almost to the point where it has been scary. My own character has been developing, for the better and worse, in parallel to Don, battling many of the same demons and facing many of the same consequences.

Tonight, I just finished watching the season finale, and I feel more connected to the character than ever before. Don has been on a downward spiral for several seasons now, his relationships with many different people in his life have become strained, his drinking has gotten out of control, and he seems to have lost all that charm, talent, and charisma that brought him so much success in the past.

You can only live a lie for so long.

Don hit rock bottom tonight, and faced many realizations and consequences that were a long time coming. Because of how people perceived him, these consequences were delayed, and because of how he was living, these realizations were left in the dark.

I was a little ahead of Don this year, when I hit rock bottom, when I faced my consequences, and struggled with my realizations. But tonight’s show reminded me that we all can go through rough times, regardless if we brought them upon ourselves or not. That despite how bad things get, we can find hope in even the pieces of shattered life if we look close enough.

It is what we do, once we’ve hit the bottom that defines us. We all slip, but it is what we do after we slip that will determine our success in the future.

The next season of Mad Men won’t return until next spring most likely, and it will be very interesting to see where both Don and I have ended up. We’re both on a journey of realization, rebuilding and redemption. I don’t know if Don will find it, but I damn sure will.

Career Acquired!

This has been an incredibly awesome week and its only Monday! Fresh off the heels of me and my partners publically announcing the launch of our company, I had an interview for a fantastic dream job of mine today. I was excited about it all last week as I prepared myself for this great opportunity. This particular position has everything with it that I could want, and it carries with it a lot of opportunity to grow and meet some amazing people.

I had the interview this morning, and before I could even head out of the city back home, I had a phone call from them offering me the position. They said that my passion overwhelmed them, and I could feel it during the interview. This position feels right. Taking this job and moving forward just feels like the right thing to do. As I move along fixing my mistakes, and start acting true to myself and right to the world, good things keep happening, and this position, this career path, seems like one of those things. I can do well with this new position and there is unlimited direction for me.

I am excited for the future and ready for this next chapter.

Who is Holding You Back?

I had a surprisingly fantastic session with my councillor yesterday morning. With all of the negativity I’ve been experiencing lately, I thought the session would be exceptionally emotional and difficult. I was scared and reluctant to come in because I didn’t want to have to deal with any of it. But that is exactly the reason why I ended up going in anyway, because I have to face my fears and stop ignoring or delaying the things that need to be done.

I talked about in the session and my realization is that no matter what happens in my life, the only person that can ever truly hold me back, is myself. I put myself in the position I am in right now, and it is up to me to get myself out and into a better place. Any time I delay, I am only hurting myself, and it is irrational to cause myself pain and difficulty.

I have my list of what I’d like to accomplish, but I made a mistake in its implementation, I don’t have any plan. I’ve just been moving along with these ideas to improve, but with no plan to succeed. This is a recipe for failure. No wonder I am feeling like nothing is moving forward the way I want them to, I haven’t outlined just how I expect myself to succeed. I think I’ve been avoiding the proper planning because I was scared to see longer term plans. But no more delaying. No more holding myself back.

The plan now is to take my list as it currently stands, and start outlining steps and timelines to help me achieve them. It may take a while to complete some items, but as long as I am following the plan, then I am succeeding.

No more excuses, no more delays. Success will come, I just need to define how. I will no longer hold myself back.

My Future As A Writer

The more I think about it, the more I want to change my direction in life and try to become a professional writer. I’ve been writing for years and feel like it might be my calling. Before you roll your eyes, please know that I’m not one of those bloggers that is just enjoying their writing experience so much that they think they can start making money off of it. This is not the case. I have been writing for years, and have a portfolio of published short stories, poems, and news paper and magazine articles. Like everyone, I have a novel that I have been working on for years, and I hope to finish this novel over the summer, but moving forward, I feel like writing really is the way to go for me and I am now thinking of which career path I might be able to take to allow me to continue writing for a living.

Unless I suddenly become a world famous novelist, journalism or PR seem to be the best options. I’ll certainly need to go back to school for either of them and that excites me. I am very heavily focused in marketing, and PR ties very nicely into that industry so I wouldn’t be starting from scratch in the industry.

I certainly have been enjoying this blog writing process. I’ve always had a blog, but I treated it as a news paper, as an opinion column where I would develop an argument on some topic and try to prove something then promote it so lots of people would read and comment on it. It was difficult to find topics sometimes, and easy to brush off the responsibility to myself to write consistently and I was starting to lose interest in the written word. With this Man 2.0 Project, I am finding that I am once again enjoying the writing process. Most likely  because I am writing from the heart, and not worrying about who will say what about my words. It is very liberating. I will certainly take this experience with Man 2.0 into future writing projects. I feel like my writing has gotten better as a result. I am getting exciting about finishing my novel this summer and already thinking ahead on other stories that I want to write.

Figuring It Out

The more I reflect on the future, the more a “normal” life seems attainable. I’ve always done things differently and never when I’m supposed to, and its brought me to this point where I still feel unsure on what direction I want to take my life. But the fog is starting to clear. Getting a job, paying my bills, having my own place to live, owning a car, saving for the future, and having a fun and fulfilling social life, all seems just around the corner for me. It all makes sense. It seems so easy and I wonder why I’ve had so much trouble getting there after all these years. Such wasted time.

I’m just about to finish paying off my immediate debts, meaning, I can completely focus on my development. I am thinking about going back to school, furthering my education in a field I’m already familiar with, or perhaps something new, I’m not sure yet. In either case, I will become an expert in some field and it will be this field that I will develop my career in.

The springtime is symbolic of the next step of my journey. I was completely torn down to nothing over the winter, my old self dying. I was a barron wasteland of nothingness. Now, as spring arrives, I am truly beginninng the growth stage. A renewal of life. I feel good.