Don’t Take the Job that Holds You Back

When you are a contractor, freelancer or consultant – there is always an enticement to take the job that will pay well but stifle any form of creativity, learning and accomplishment that you can bring to the project.

If you need a paycheck, take it.

But don’t take it forever, don’t be the one to hold yourself back.

Remember that you got into this so you could learn more, develop more and grow to be the best version of yourself.

So if you need to take the job that is going to stunt your growth, take it for a short period of time so the effects aren’t permanent.

Better yet, avoid it altogether.

The Back To School Reset

As the commercial says, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

As our children grow older and more is expected of them in school, that last night of freedom before the year begins is spent thinking about what the year will bring.

What will they aim to achieve?

What teams do they want to try out for?

How much effort are they willing to put in?

Of course mixed in with other questions as well…

What will I wear?

Who will I sit next to on the bus?

But those first 3 questions, those are the questions and answers that will chart the course for the year.

As adults, we work all year long (with the exception of vacations where we might consider those questions a little more). ¬†We don’t get the benefit of that long break to re-evaluate where and what we want to achieve.

But perhaps we should force ourselves to have one and lay the course.

The Break-Out Strategy

You’ll hear this from coaches a lot.

“What’s our break-out?”

“How do we get the – (whatever sport it is we’re playing) – out of our zone and into theirs?”

The same goes for your career.

Do you have a break-out strategy for taking that next step in your career?

Do you know where you want to go next?

Do you know who you need help from?

Do you know what you need to get there?

It’s not complicated, draw a box on a piece of paper, make 4 squares within it and map it out.

From there draw arrows between the boxes.

Now you have a break-out strategy.

When all They want is Yes

Whether it’s the project status report, your list of bugs, tasks being completed, work in the queue, the success of that last campaign or “fill in task related to your job here”.

And all they want to hear is some combination of…

Yes, we are on time.
Yes, it’s done.
Yes, there are no issues.
Yes, we can do more in less time.

When all these Yeses go against what you know is wrong, it’s time to re-evaluate whether you should be saying Yes to the job you are in.

Fear the Title

I’ve always been amazed at the emotions conjured up when people talking about doing large presentations to a group of people and instead of referring to them by name, refer to them as their titles.

Or if they have to have a on-one-on with someone in the position of authority over their job refers to them solely as a title.

When we do this, we are granting this person the persona of Wizard of Oz, whether they want it or not.

Most times they don’t want it, most times they simply want to have a straightforward conversation, rooted in honesty, respect and the shared passion for making something happen.