Smart Cuts

First read this book by Shane Snow. Shane will teach you how to use “lateral thinking” to rethink the archaic idea of “paying dues”. He tells stories of how a few people are able to

“achieve incredible things in implausibly short time frames”

I found this thought incredibly useful, specifically when used in my career.

There was point early in my career where I felt idle. I had rapidly educated myself in order to work in the modern economy but quickly felt my skills less and less valuable.

I needed to make a change. I started to think of ways to not only learn new, valuable skills but also double my salary within the next year. I wanted to see how quickly I could achieve this.

I broke it down into three categories. I wrote the following in a journal…

Recalibrating Satisfaction - the idea that we need to become less satisfied with our current situation. This means attaching an emotion to our work again. At first, we are okay with getting payed less for the ability to “learn on the job”. After a while, you’ll need to take what you’ve learned and see it’s value.

At which point have you simply “learned enough”? It’s important to understand and question - “Am I satisfied?”. If this sounds like you, then you are most likely on the side of the majority and it’s time to look else where for motivation.

Questioning Loyalty - There are folks that are loyal to a fault. Think of the Husband or Wife that relentlessly sticks by their spouse even if they have blatantly abandoned their marriage vows. Or the manager that decides to disregard the employee that shares proprietary trade secretes with a competitor. What about the employee who mindlessly comes into work, does her job well year in and year out but fails to ask for a raise.

When loyalty no longer helps your bottom line, it’s time to look elsewhere. Comfort is the enemy in these situations and you’ll need to be OK with disrupting the satisfaction you get from feeling comfortable.

Looking for Greener Pastures - Some folks see change as scary. They dislike the abruptness and discomfort from changing career paths or, more commonly, getting a new job within the same career category. They see stability as something worth holding onto. They don’t believe the saying “the only constant is change”. They are loyal to a fault.

What I learned is that it’s best to explore different paths when you are young. Stop thinking of your current path as static. Meander a bit and the amount of growth you will see is enormous. Some paths will lead to quick dead ends and you will most likely question your choice. The best thing to do here is learn from your mistakes, comprehend what you have learned and move on. Don’t feel tempted to get back on the old path, instead brush yourself off and jump on a new one.