You probably recognize Be Prepared as the Boy Scout mantra but it’s really more of a life mantra…at least it should be.
Too often I see people struggling. They find themselves lost midstream, up the organizational creek without a paddle. They are unprepared.
Examples of some of my recent conversations (real examples not real names):
- Rob, a deputy branch chief relied heavily on his boss to lead the way. When his boss left Rob was not considered for the promotion and found himself reporting to a new guy named “Attila The Branch Chief.”
- Cindy was unhappy, prickly and uncooperative in her role as line manager but when a department head position opened in her organization she all of a sudden became happy, kind and cooperative. Cindy was too late, she wasn’t considered for the promotion.
- Kevin is relying on a degree alone to help him get his first job. He didn’t want to volunteer or work at a job “below him” to get experience. Going on two years without an offer, his idea of being prepared? He hired a resume writer. He keeps coming in second and third to those with “experience,” a track record along with other people’s accolades and testimony.
- Sometimes we make it hard. Being unprepared makes the whole world uncomfortable.
Here’s the Antidote
Don’t rely on others, lead yourself. You need experience, practice, and stretching out of comfort zones.
Grow where you’re planted. Wherever you find yourself, grow! If you hate the job, it’s all the more reason to ensure upward mobility through your efforts. Don’t allow the multitude of life’s challenges to overwhelm you.
Prepare yourself before the job opening. Be so good, so remarkable that your boss creates an opening for you to slide into the promotion without a resume or an interview. I’ve seen this happen too, sadly less frequently.
Only you can fulfill the promise of never being trapped, panicked or running on 8 cylinders of uncertainty.
Invest in the ways others won’t and live a life others can’t.