Lately, I have been writing less. With the economy picking up, our marketing and sales recruiters are busier. I’ve also come to learn that in business sometimes it’s strategically (and monetarily) beneficial to remain under the radar. As I sat down to write, I began looking over interviewing and career articles that I’ve written in the past as well as some content that was written by others. Both fail to mention some very pertinent career truths or distort reality. Here are 7 that pieces of career truths that you don’t normally read about.
1. Money may not buy happiness, but it relieves stress and makes for a more comfortable life – Countless books and articles will tell you otherwise. There is an underlying reason for this. First, saying otherwise would hurt book sales and authorship reading. Most people wouldn’t buy a book telling them that money will make their life easier and that it’s very important because sometimes the truth doesn’t sell. I know some very wealthy individuals and some not so wealthy people. While all human beings are prone to some sort of depression and worry, it is a lot easier to worry about if your kids will get into the right private school when compared with being concerned with paying rent and living expenses for the month. The truth of the matter is that in a sense, money does buy happiness. It affords one the ability to worry about lesser threats to their everyday life, take family vacations to interesting destinations and live in a nicer environment.
2. Competitiveness is healthy, but only when you compete with yourself – I read a great quote a while back that said (paraphrasing) there will never be a person to walk this earth again that is 100% like you. We are all unique. We all have strong points and we all have weaknesses. To attempt to compare yourself to others and gauge your success by comparison is a surefire way to be unhappy. Some people will always have more than you. Some people will always have less than you. Focus less on external forces and more on beating your past performances and your outcome will yield more efficient results.
3. You are who you surround yourself with – Be careful whom you associate with. Choose colleagues and friends carefully. Surround yourself with sincere, honest, optimistic, kind, resilient and hard working people. Your potential will far exceed that of someone who associates themselves with highly controlling, jealous and pessimistic individuals.
4. Everyone makes the same mistake twice – I don’t subscribe to the theory that you should never make the same mistake twice. Anyone who says that is overly cliche on their writing and isn’t assessing their own bad habits enough. You’re going to make the same mistake twice. You’re going to make the same mistake thrice. Though, it’s what you do and how you act after the defeat that either makes you more prone to success or failure.
5. The answer won’t always be there and it won’t be black and white – Sometimes in your career, you will find that you don’t have the answer you are looking for. It’s at this point where you can step away from work and have faith that the answer will eventually come or try to force a solution that can lead to more problems. I love marketing. With some help from an outside agency, I programmed, wrote and designed our corporate site myself. It is about 400 pages in a few different languages (.php to WordPress). At a point, I kept changing the website and rewording the writing. Regardless of how much money the firm was making, I wanted it to be better, have higher conversion rates and become more appealing. I thought that the answer was to continue to write. Day and night, I’d hack away at the keyboard and tweak code. About three months later, I compared the before and after. The before was much more preferable.
6. Spend your money wisely and always pay your taxes – When I began making money, I started spending on luxuries. Monetarily, I could afford them. Realistically, I didn’t need $400 Burberry shirts. The same year, I was sloppy with my taxes and wrote too much off. About a month after filing taxes, I got a letter in the mail telling me that if I didn’t pay the government a substantial amount of money, they would take my house. Let’s put it this way, I would rather owe the mafia a lot of money than the government. Mess with Uncle Sam and he will disturb your sense of well-being every which way they can.
7. You have to learn to smile – I look back and I spent the first 7 – 8 years of my business stressed out. I rarely smiled. I never stepped back to enjoy the full journey. I didn’t spend enough time with my family. Since that time, I’ve learned two truths. Smiling will strengthen your optimism. It will also prevent early aging and frown lines.