Career Suicide by Procrastination
I have always been ambitious. But by my own admission inadvertently found myself procrastinating my own career despite being anything but a procrastinator.
When growing up you’ll find countless examples of people who showed signs galore of future success. Despite being young they had a plan, support and drive abound. But most people’s stories, including my own, do not read so inspiringly.
The Predictable Career options
As a kid I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do for a career. Actually, what am I saying? Career? I didn’t even know what that was. All of the predictable career moves where either not even on my radar or, if they were, did not interest me at all.
A doctor? Spending most of your day looking at old people’s feet and checking people’s blood pressure. Yawn!
A fireman? Rescuing cats up trees? I was scared of heights and still aren’t fond of them now. Plus jumping into burning buildings I am sure sounds great but the appeal would soon wear off.
The truth is most people either don’t pursue their ideal career because the reality is far less appealing than the vision when they seriously consider it or they simply can’t find something that they actually want to do for a career.
Therefore one way or another most people find a career niche. Generally that career niche is something that only a few years previously they’d never have given a second thought to. But here they are.
I found myself in this position. I suffer inadvertent procrastination. And I did it in two different career roles.
In both industries I wanted to be a manager. And when I got to being a manager, I wanted to move up the management ranks. This sounds ambitious, right? It sure did to me. On paper it sounds the right thing to do. Career progression; that’s the way forward.
But before I knew it I felt held back. I felt that I was ready to take the next step up. To show this I excelled in my current desired results. I went for it breaking records and pushing myself to really show how good I was. The objective was to show those making the decisions that they should reward me with progression.
The input does not always equal the output
What happened though? Nothing. I could push myself, I could break records and I could set benchmarks. Yet, still nothing. Well, nothing meaningful anyway. It is all very well getting a pat on the back, but I wanted something substantial. I wanted progression and I wasn’t getting it. Months went by, which turned into years. Quickly though it became apparent that progression wasn’t going to happen on my input, but instead by what suited those making the decisions.
The Trap of career procrastination
There is a trap that I fell into. The same trap that most people fall into. And career procrastination is easy to fall into.
We look for examples of what those around us do when faced with the same problem. What solution did they take? And sadly most people end up coming to the conclusion that they’re destiny isn’t in their own hands. So why bother doing more if it won’t make any difference anyway? The conclusion all to often is “Do your bit and nothing more”.
Sadly, the working landscape is littered with people who had so much potential and it has been withered away by corporate politics, inflexible old boy network hierarchies and mediocrity being accepted into their corporate culture.
I was lucky
Fortunately, I had the nerve to stick two fingers up metaphorically speaking and take control before it consumed me. And the crazy thing is this experience had such a profound experience on me that I am obsessed with our company never ever allowing us to fall into that trap. It frightens the life out of me how easy it is for a company to slide down the path of facilitating career procrastination.
But what I find even more ridiculous is the idea that people think the only way of taking control of your own destiny is by starting your own business. Despite having done it myself, the truth is, it is a pain in the backside. I have two kids and trying to build a business in my opinion is harder. After 4 years I can palm my kids off to the education system for the day. But business is 24/7. And it’s got much more chance of not living to it’s 5th birthday than children in the UK.
And the only reason I started my own company was because I could not find one to work for that suited someone like me.
What most people want
Most people want to feel at home in a work environment, but we’ve become so accustomed to having to be one person at work and one at home that it’s almost a given that this is not the case. We all want to feel valued, recognized, trusted, believed in and to enjoy what we do.
The issue for me is that most companies are setup with profit and revenue first and then job satisfaction and people second. Why? If you’ve got a good business model, you’re well organized and you can acquire customers willing to buy your products or services why the need to focus on revenue and profit first?
Get the right people first, because this is where they really want to be. Not just for now, but for the long term. Then when you’ve got the right people put them in the right seats and get to work with them to get where you’re going. Then watch the results. You’ll fly!
That’s all I wanted when I was looking for a company to work for and I couldn’t find it. But that’s what we’ve created.
So if you want to hire staff and prefer to use recruiters who are the right people get in touch.
Likewise if you want to work somewhere like this and are a recruiter yourself, also, get in touch.