I didn’t exactly enjoy my first job out of college. To be frank, I hated it. That didn’t stop me from doing a good job. Off the clock I was studying everything I could to learn more about the industry, I would conduct informational interviews with contacts that were higher up all the while taking notes on best practices. On the sales floor I was trying to serve everybody. I was on it! One of my old bosses used to say we should always get caught doing good. That was my goal at work: get caught doing good and get promoted. A lot of my coworkers in my age range seemed to be fine watching the clock and just passing the time.
I wasn’t in that position for very long when I was offered my first promotion. It was a position I knew very little about. I knew it wasn’t my dream job at that time, but it was a step in the right direction. We all have people at work that we may confide in or vent to about work frustrations. You know the work husband, work wife, work mom, work bestie, etc. In my excitement I went to my work bestie to share my good news. She had held this particular management role before and she said, “I don’t think you should take it. I don’t think you’ll like it. That’s not what you want to do.”
You cannot tell everyone your business: your dreams, your plans, your vision, your frustrations, your relationship issues. It just is not a good practice. I think about the story of Joseph in the Bible. Genesis chapter 37 to be specific. He told his brothers about a dream he had and they hated him for it. Now I’m not saying that all of your peers are haters. They are not. They just are not equipped to deal with your vision. They won’t know how to handle it because it wasn’t given to them.
She wasn’t completely wrong. I already knew that the role wasn’t what I really wanted, but I looked her dead in the face and said, “I’m going to take it anyway.” I knew it would help get me to the role I really wanted. I also knew it would be better than the position I held at that time. At the very least it would offer a different experience and an increase in pay. When you’re starting off at the bottom with hopes of climbing the ladder that is more than enough.
When I was first coming up with blog themes I shared them with another friend and she said, “That’s stupid.” I’ll admit my original idea wasn’t the best, but I’ve never mentioned the idea of this blog to her since. Criticism is helpful, but it needs to be constructive. I knew then that this person had nothing good to offer me in the way of advice on this topic. She knew nothing about blogging. I cut that conversation short and moved on.
You know your friends and family. You know who is scary or negative or fearful. In some cases it might even be you. You can’t share everything with those people. If you are the one that is the fearful one, then you especially should seek out wise counsel. Someone in your tribe that you can talk to who will offer sound advice, good insight and constructive criticism. Be open to receiving wisdom. Be weary of people who want to push you off course. There will be some people with good intent, and some with ill intent, who distract you in the name of good advice. Everyone who has achieved success in his own eyes isn’t wise. Discern the difference.
When we participate in our own unfolding and are brave enough to ask for what we want God and the universe conspire to fulfill our needs. It happens in ways that you won’t expect and sometimes don’t understand. Friends and family won’t always understand it either. That’s ok. Keep pressing towards the mark.
Be brave. Be open. Share with your tribe. Glean what you can. Do your work, mind your business and watch your mouth.