It's that special time of the year again when we make a list of resolutions. Then we make a bold attempt to carry them out to grand success. Yeah, whatever.
I'm here to offer my advice and a few tidbits of wisdom. I've survived more than forty years and I've done it well enough to still be married to the same woman and own my home (with a mortgage). I've had more than ten different jobs in my career, but I'm not afraid to accept a new challenge. Take my advice for what its worth, but it has worked for me.
1. Take whatever job is available even if you are sure it is beneath you.
There is great respect in work, and I have always found that hard work pays off in opportunity. I was laid off from a lucrative job as a headhunter. I took a job as a cashier at a drug store chain. Two months later I was promoted to shift manager and now I am looking at Assistant Store Manager. The income is no where near what I made as a recruiter, but I like the work and it pays the bills. My goal is to be a technical writer and creative writer and this store job affords me the time to write every day. The truth is that taking a lowly job as a cashier allowed me the freedom to shoot for my true passion to be a writer.
2. Accept what life has dropped on you and move on.
I start everyday with a paraphrase of a Steve Jobs quote. "If this were my last year alive, would I do what I am about to do today.” Steve Jobs has a rep as one of the great innovators and CEOs of all time. Steve Jobs is my hero, warts and all. Amidst adversity even when he had nothing, barely a dollar, he found a way to move forward. I write every day, I go to work every day and I spend time with my family very day. Find your passion, do what you can for work and take care of your family.
3. Be nice to people.
Have you ever seen the t-shirt, "Mean people suck". I love that shirt because it is true. I try to be nice to everyone I meet. Les Brown said it so well. "Life is too short to go around homely, tired, and ugly." Times are tough, but you can be a bright face in someone's dark life. I know that might sound hokey, but you might be the only person who is nice to then that day.
Finally, let me tell you how I view the world these days. I got laid off from a great job as a technical recruiter. My wife misses the income and wishes I had a better job. I wish I had that income back. However, I get to write every day and I love it. I've already finished an 80,000 word novel, 72 web content pieces and 17 technical writing pieces. I make a point of making people smile every day and I lost 10 more pounds and helped my daughter get in shape through exercise. Life is good because I smiled and bounced back up.
I sincerely hope 2010 is your best year. What the hell have you got to lose. Go for it. The world is yours. Take what you can get. Ask for what you want and be nice to people. Maybe the one you are nice to will be your next boss.