Recently, I heard a relatively new entrepreneur state, “I just can’t believe I’m not rich yet!” I understand that they were just expressing frustration about their circumstances, but I couldn’t help but think that was the silliest statement I have ever heard. Your business, or your career, shouldn’t be looked at as a get-rich-quick scheme. If you’re only focused on the big picture, long term goals, you won’t be able to build a foundation.
What do you want out of your job? Money? Acknowledgement? Stability? Fulfillment? These are all buzz words that we use on a daily basis to describe the satisfaction that we hope our career will give us. The problem is, those words are vague to the tenth degree. If you want money, how much is enough for you? Does stability mean a healthy balance of work and travel, or does it mean being able to retire by a certain age? Goals are good things, unless you fail to define the short-term steps that will get you to the big picture.
The millennial generation is notoriously bad at waiting. I say that with confidence because I am a part of that group. We have been raised in a world that gives everyone a trophy, with technology that delivers the most recent news in a fraction of a second. It’s crazy how little patience we have and how that trait plays out in the workplace.
Once upon a time, people stayed in the same job for life. They started out in the mailroom and worked up to a corner office. Getting a raise or a promotion wasn’t implied; it was something for which you worked tirelessly. Now, if we don’t feel fulfilled, or if we feel too “controlled” by our job, it’s common to leave and search for something that is more true to our passions.
Here’s the thing – I’m all for chasing your dreams and pursuing something that inspires you. However, we have to stop ditching patience in the name of passion.
So, instead of complaining about how unfulfilled you are in your job, take the time to outline what fulfillment means to you. Can you carve a pathway in your current career to get you there, or is it time to start looking for another job? Too often, we don’t take the time to define how to get to where we want to go, and we spend our workday grumbling and being selfish. If you’re doing business without any patience, you probably struggle to be a team player and constantly ask why your job isn’t serving you. It might be difficult to see beyond the stress of the next week or two and look towards the long term plan that you are forming.
Patience in business (and life) often means having a lot of small-scale, short-term goals. These goals might include saving, baby steps, and a plan of action to get to your bigger dreams. Ultimately, you are in your career for the long haul, so practice being consistent, and keep your eye on the prize.