I don’t know if you can relate with me, but ever since I stepped into university, I have dreamt of changing the world (I think most people do). The naïve me thought that the world would be my playground as soon as I graduated from one of the best universities, and then I would be on the path of achieving great things (including working in a Fortune 500 company!)
Things, however, did not turn out to be as I expected. Once I was out of the cocoon, reality hit hard. Companies weren’t that eager to hire me, the job market was tough, there was a lot of competition and I could see my dreams shattering in front of my eyes.
It is difficult to stay motivated when things don’t go your way especially when you are unemployed and you have to pay the bills at the end of the month. So, I thought of just taking up any job that came my way regardless of whether or not it was a part of that Fortune list or related to the field I wanted to go to. (Bad idea. Don’t even think about it)
Thankfully though, after an excruciatingly long wait, I did get an offer from a well-reputed organization, and the work was also related to what I wanted to pursue (remotely, but something is better than nothing, right?). So I jumped at the opportunity.
I was pretty excited to start. However, my excitement couldn’t live for long. I am one of those people who live to tackle challenges because routine bores them. And soon after I started working, things started to seem mundane because of the small learning curve. I wanted to learn more and contribute more, and I kept feeling like I was underutilized.
To Quit Or Not To Quit?
When you don’t like your job, each day feels like a drag and you hate waking up in the morning to go through the same routine again. My first instinct was to quit and look for greener pastures, but this is one decision that you can’t just take spontaneously. Some people do that, but in my case, I still remembered that agonizing long wait and ever growing pile of bills.
So, I turned towards self-help books to dig some hope and motivation for continuing my job. I have always been a fan of Robin Sharma and his books. I have learned some great lessons from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The 5 am Club.
I then came across this book, The Leader Who Had No Title and it completely changed my perspective towards my job.
Leadership Is Your Birthright
Contrary to the popular belief that leadership is meant for a few chosen people, this book pitches the idea: everyone is a leader, regardless of what their job role is in an organization. In this business fable, a retired veteran, who is trying to search for a purpose in his life and work; talks to four people, who are not considered to be in leadership positions as per the norm. But they are happy with their work and they believe that they play an important role in their respective organizations.
This book challenged my perspective i.e. a mundane job is not meaningful. The four leaders that the veteran met, had ordinary jobs that of a librarian and a waitress. And our usual perspective is that the success of an organization doesn’t lie in such jobs, which are easy to replace. But the book breaks the stereotype and shine light towards a fresh perspective; which is, when people are good at their jobs, they automatically become a pivot of an organization and success flows through them.
“What I’ve learned about leadership is that leaders are those individuals, who do the things that failures aren’t willing to do—even though they might not like doing them either. They have the discipline to do what they know to be important—and right—versus what’s easy and fun.”
Patience Is Virtue
I will be honest, I have been told many times that I am not a patient person and perseverance is the key to success in life. I will admit that I need to work on that weakness of mine. After completing this book, I realized the fact that my job, no matter how mundane or boring it may seem to me, has a role to play in the organization. And that was the reason I was hired and all I have to do is to give it my 100 percent. Also, I need to be the best at it and prove that I am worthy of more responsibility.
“The farmer has patience and trusts the process. He just has the faith and deep understanding that through his daily efforts, the harvest will come. And then one day, almost out of nowhere, it does.”
Stop Comparing Yourself
One of the biggest reasons for my disappointment was, perhaps, seeing my batch mates in higher positions with fancy titles while I was stuck in a not-so-impressive place. Comparison is like a vortex that sucks you in and robs you out of joy. It is a natural reaction, considering that the availability of internet, smartphones and our constant use of social media makes us compare our lives with others. But you need to realize that your journey is different from others and not having a flashy title doesn’t mean that you will not be successful in the long run.
Hang in there!
The crux of my entire experience is that taking spontaneous decisions without giving them a second thought is not the answer to your problems. The answer is to be the best at what you do, persevere and then let success find you.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.