If You’re Stuck, Improve Your Skills

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Are you stuck in a job that you aren’t happy with?  It doesn’t pay what you want, or it doesn’t have a career path that moves upward?

I have 4 siblings, and all of them have enviable jobs.  My oldest brother Leon is a pastor of a large church.  My next brother Laurie is a provincial MLA.  Next is Lyndon, a marketing executive, and finally my sister Kathy is a teacher at a public school in Kelowna.  All great jobs that someone out there aspires to, and wishes they could have.  But of course none of them started there:

Leon worked construction for years.  Then he worked in a plant making tires for airplanes.

Laurie was an apparatchik buried in the bowels of International Harvester, one of thousands of cogs in a vast wheel

Lyndon worked in the warehouse at Consumers Distributing, a company that sold products by mail order.

Kathy worked for years at a drug store in the camera department.

And I worked on a farm doing hard, grunt jobs for several years.

But all of us were on a path to improving ourselves and moving up.  Eventually each of us left those jobs and moved toward a bigger future.

This is normal!  Do you not love where you’re at?  The answer is simple: Improve your skills and qualify yourself for something better.

Every single ‘successful’ person you’ve heard or read about started somewhere similar to where you work:

Madonna – worked at Dunkin Donuts

Scott Adams (Dilbert creator) worked in corporate finance for years

Taylor Swift worked as a Praying Mantis exterminator (!)

JK Rowling was a secretary at Amnesty International

Mark Cuban worked retail computer sales

Beyonce swept the floor at a hair salon

And so on.

So, when’s the last time you:

  • Took a course
  • Added someone new to your contacts list
  • Enrolled in a webinar
  • Read a work-related book to improve your skills
  • Listened to a podcast related to what you want to do
  • Sat with a mentor
  • Did something with your evening or weekend to improve your skills

Bloom where you’re potted, and qualify yourself for bigger things.  You will get there,

 “Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity.  Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping.  They called it opportunity.”

-Bill Gates

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Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


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