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On the positive side, Uncle Louie did have some solid old fashioned wisdom to pass along. He would always tell me that nobody was going to care as much about my career as me. He was right. Louie also said never to let anyone define me or I would end up like him. His eyes looked sad whenever he said that. I think that’s why he was teaching me to drive, well kind of, so I would learn early on how to navigate my own way.
As I adjusted my bottle bottom glasses, I asked him how a kid like me with a potbelly and comb over could ever amount to anything? He just smiled and explained life would be filled with open doors that just needed hard work and determination to walk through.
Then, his face grew very serious and almost pained when he explained life was also filled with doors that were shut tight to people without the proper connections. He admonished me that when I would eventually face a shut door I must promise never to give up. If I loved what I did and had passion for it, Louie told me no one would be able to keep me down very long. That's wisdom.
Let’s put it this way, if you’re waiting for the kindness of a benefactor to give you that long overdue promotion it’s going to take a very, very long time. In fact, if it happens at all, you just might get the call as they hand you the night-time meds at the nursing home while they wheel you back to your room.
As a side note, just in case that happens you should know that orderly’s love candy bars and if you don’t hide them in your socks in the bottom drawer of your two-drawer government mandated assisted living cabinet they just might disappear. Hope that helps—learned that one from my Uncle Louie too.
A famous magazine reported that one of the most common complaints from people regardless of what field they are employed is they feel powerless over their career growth and frustrated by the glass ceiling of the status quo. Well, as Uncle Louie would say—“get over it kid.”
Instead of giving up or acting out in negative ways that display passive agressive control issues, I’m advising you to simply be thankful for any job you have in this current global economy and work harder to promote yourself. That’s right—clear your mind and stay positive so you can navigate.
You say you work hard so work even harder. Learn, learn and then learn some more. Most people stop learning and get complacent—that my friend is your tactical advantage. The best way to beat the buddy system is by growing your marketable skill set through hard work and unbending determination.
Frustration and playing the blame game saps precious energy and creativity. Empty yourself and focus on what's important. While you are doing this, get your work online to glean insights from other people as to the current status of your abilities. Then, refine your skill set and refine some more—this is where you need to spend your energy reserves.
Listen to the positive as well as the negative critiques—the most important ones point out your weak areas. Most people and even companies tend to ignore their weak areas only delaying the inevitable consequences while the successful ones see them as areas of future growth potential. I personally like to grow because I like nice cars.
Back in the day, a guy once told me I was lousy with magic markers. I didn’t get mad—well actually I did—but then I realized refining my skill set could actually increase my work flow so I decided to strategically grow that specific technique. Today, digital markers are one of my main styles in toy design and ideation. In fact, my marker technique has been used for global toy and film concept presentations. Get the point?
What may be your weakness today may actually be your strength tomorrow if and only if—you honestly access your personal skills for what they really are and work hard to improve them exponentially. Don't waste time getting mad at your situation or frustrated over the advatages other people were born with—the battle is really against yourself.
Continued In Part 3 . . .