With 2010 coming to an end, a lot of people are starting to come up with their New Year resolutions. Ever since high school I’ve kept the same resolution year after year that my basketball coach told me we should focus on each ball season, “Have more wins than losses than the previous year”. I can honestly say in 2010 I kept this resolution, and by keeping it I’ve learned four things that can be applied to life career anything.

1. Step Out if You’ve Never Flown

There is a saying that goes, “You never know unless you try”, I think it could be said, “Step out if you’ve never flown”. I used to work for a non-profit in Kansas City doing anything and everything they asked me to do. Most of it was writing grants, organizing fundraisers and updating the website. After a few years of this I knew I wanted something else. So close to the end of 2009 I started to prepare myself to leave the company to “attempt to fly”. And after a month I did, but I didn’t really get tested until the beginning of 2010 when I would finally get the job I was seeking. I learned a lot from that time in my life:

  • Plan (and backup plan) before leaping
  • Go above 100% when you do
  • Accept the fact you are outside your comfort zone, and enjoy it

2. Speak Up if You Want to Get Fed

Is this different from the previous section? Um, yes. It is. Moping and complaining to yourself doesn’t do anything. If you want something and you let others know you do, things might happen if you’re willing to do what’s in the previous section. But if you do so in a whiney manner, that won’t help your cause either. I hate reading blog posts, tweets, status updates that are nothing more than a self-pity party. I love reading blog posts, tweets, status updates about someone’s problems when they also include how I can help and what they are also doing to help themselves. This continues even after you get where you want to be at. Instead of complaining to yourself about needing a new batter for your company laptop, make it known. Basic point, perhaps, but a lot of people do not do this. Where did I learn this from? Truth be told, I started to complain about not having the job I wanted quite a bit when my mentor looked at me one day and said, “Josh, stop complaining and tell me how I can help you and what you’re doing to help yourself.”

3. Trust is Never the Same Once it’s Lost

I really don’t want to write this section, but I would be lying to myself if I didn’t. This last year I greatly damaged a close relationship. I’m not proud of it, this person has forgiven me, we’ve talked about it and are moving forward. Having said that I know the trust that was once there will never be at the same level it once was. Even if we both live another 50 years from now, that one instance of distrust will forever be embedded in both our minds. Does it mean this person won’t trust me again? No. Does it mean the amount of trust has changed? Yes. What can I do from now on? Be overtly honest with this person. It’s the only way.

4. It’s Who and How People Know You that Matters

I don’t like ending my blog post on a down note, so I’m ending with this last lesson. I hate hearing the saying, “It’s who you know”. Because honestly in the grand scheme of things “who you know” will only get you so far if anywhere. How people know you will make the difference. You can know the CEO of a major company, but if he only knows you as someone with a poor disposition what good does that connection do you? I guess this last section is about your reputation. Who cares who you know, it’s how you’re known.

Comments (2)

  1. Josh,
    I wanted to expand on #4 – “How people know you.” I never thought of it this way, but it is so true on the professional level. I have a lot of very old friends. They all say that I develop websites. They introduce me as “website developer” to their friends. I have not seriously developed websites for 5 years. That’s not what I do. Yet, that is how my friends perceive what I do.

    Partly, it is my fault. I never set the record straight, never burden my friends with lengthy explanations of what an SEO is. But maybe I should. Good food for thought. Thanks for sharing.

  2. It’s bad that I didn’t see these advices in the beginning of the year. But, it’s not too late. I am going to replan everything keeping your advices in mind.