I had a hard time trying to think of what topic to cover in my next blog. I was distracted by a lot of issues at work and couldn’t find myself getting excited to write about any particular topic. Typically when I am trying to come up with a topic to write about, I simply reflect on my work and begin writing about something relevant that’s happening to me in which I feel my readers would benefit. But I didn’t think anyone would want to hear about the woes of Sequestration, or all of the combative emails I’ve been dealing with lately, or a poor showing at an interview event, or the adversarial hiring manager. Big deal, I thought, everyone deals with times like that and nobody wants to hear me complain.
While I was reflecting on that I received an email from my fiance, and in that email she mentioned how her brother who has just recently entered the workforce was having a hard time getting acclimated to the “real world” after graduating college. He wasn’t sure if he chose the right profession. He couldn’t see himself doing the same mundane tasks for the rest of his professional career. Had he jumped into the job too soon? Had his major betrayed him – was this field really not as fun as the coursework was? (Coursework he took in a college setting with friends and co-eds.)
I wrote him a lengthy email with my advice to his situation and offered to help where I could. After I finished writing to him, I turned my attention back to this blog. What could I possibly write about? My thoughts quickly wandered back to my frustrations at work, and then to my future brother-in-laws concerns at his job, and back and forth and back and forth. Then it dawned on me, we could both benefit from the same advice. And that advice is the exact topic I suddenly wanted to write about here on this blog – because it applies to all of us.
That advice, and the topic of this blog, is simply to “Get Rhythm”. As you can probably guess, I’m a huge Johnny Cash fan- and that is who gave me that advice. In his song about optimism, titled “Get Rhythm”, Johnny tells the story of a young shoe shine boy who is working hard at his tedious job. Johnny asks the boy how he keeps from getting the blues, and the boy responds by telling Johnny that he gets rhythm to combat the hard times.
I think that is fantastic advice, and I want to echo that to you. I don’t necessarily think you should start singing out loud at work, but hey…if it helps! The rhythm that I’m referring to is a rhythm of work. When things are hard, when you’re dealing with a particularly frustrating day at work, just lower your head and get into the rhythm of your job.
For my future brother-in-laws situation I told him to give his job some time. He needs to realize that this is just the first step towards obtaining his goals. He needs to get rhythm! He needs to lower his head and learn the industry, excel at his current role and ask to take on more responsibility. Only then can he determine if he’s in the right field. If he isn’t, he’ll have excellent references from his bosses due to his performance. And if it turns out he is in the right field, he’ll be well on his way from getting himself promoted out of that tedious shoe-shining job and into something bigger. The best way to get promoted into the job you want is to perform those job duties now.
For my current frustrations at work, all I needed to do was get rhythm. And rhythm I got. I have a lot of bad days, and if I let them get me down I’d never have any good days. Instead, I leaned forward and continued with the rhythm of my work. I kept on performing, and I kept on working. Things have already improved, I just had another hiring manager stop by to tell me how pleased he was with the interview he just got out of. He thanked me for my tireless effort and for finding the perfect candidate for his opening. All of those frustrations from earlier have dissipated and now I’m re-engaged and focused…and possibly humming a bit.
So when you’re having a bad day, or you’re unsure of where your career is headed, just take a moment to get rhythm. Don’t let it get you down, keep leaning forward and stay positive. Do what you do best. You’re in control, and you’ll get through it!
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