(Image by Orange Fox from Pixabay)
“Don’t chase the paper, chase the dream”.
The Great Resignation is a term that describes the trend of the mass voluntary exit of employees from their employment obligations.
The Great Regret is a new term that describes the feelings of 80% of the people who took part in the Great Resignation.
The quote above is one of my favorites from the great hip hop artist, Notorious B.I.G. He was a lyrical genius, and the quote above can be used as a career metaphor.
My simple translation = find your WHY and career success will follow.
The Great Resignation provided a lot of people the freedom or guidepost to see the world of work in a different way. The new work view provided some with the vision to seek more and bet on themselves with so many new opportunities available. That’s a positive considering I preach to everyone to explore as much as possible. My blog is titled Walk into The Future because I continue to explore opportunities and will not limit my options (work, travel, fun).
There are some folks who viewed the Great Resignation as an opportunity to change their work situation and in some cases cash in more financially. That’s not a problem if the workplace change was made to get the individual closer to doing things they enjoy. It could be a problem if the individual changed careers simply because there was more money available for the new job.
Quick question: How much of a pay raise will it take for YOU to be happy today? Would $5,000.00 or $10,000.00 make you enjoy what you are doing more?
I ask clients and staff this question to get them thinking about what they truly want. Chasing the paper may seem like the logical answer but don’t forget you still have to pay taxes on that paper. Also, an extra $5,000.00 to continue to work in a place you are not happy with does not sound enticing to me. Conversely, leaving a company for a job paying more money may sound just as good but the switch should not be based solely on the money. Refer to the quote above from the Notorious B.I.G.
The best of both worlds would be to find your WHY and build up your skills so that when your dreams come true, the paper (money) follows. Sounds like a simple concept and it can be, but nothing will be simple without knowing/understanding the WHY.
Going to work without a WHY causes a lot of people issues daily. I work with folks who believe that they are not being paid their true worth in the workplace. Some are completing the same duties they have been assigned for 10+ years—no additional responsibilities or growth from them but they want more. Why is that? They have not identified a WHY for their work life and have not built the skills to chase the dream. A larger problem is some don’t even know what dream to chase to find the happiness they seek.
The lack of paper (money) is not really the problem. The problem is chasing something they are not fully invested in and believing additional funds (salary) will turn this around and they will immediately become happy with what they are doing.
Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
No WHY equals a form of insanity in the workplace. I coach clients to seek/find their WHY to determine the best course of action for their careers.
Chasing the DREAM can bring the paper. Well stated Biggie Smalls!
What dream are you chasing?
2 thoughts on “Career Choices 101”
Excellent article, brother! Biggie did have a way with words but his dream was paper. Maybe not explicitly, but it was a large motivator. Either way, it’s nice advice. As we have talked about in the past, and you mentioned in your article here, I think the issue lies in a lack of goal setting, prioritizing, and planning. I ask the same questions every time a young person is unsure of what they want to do in life:
1. What type of lifestyle do you want to have in your 40’s?
2. What kind of cars do you see yourself driving?
3. What type of house do you see yourself living in?
4. Will you be married?
5. Will you have kids?
Based on that we can look up an average home price, care price, and cost of living with kids. Then we know what type of salary range we need to be shooting for in 15-20 years. Based on that we look at the careers that would actually provide that given performance and advancement. Now we know the possibilities! Is there something in there that you would really enjoy? No? What would you enjoy? Then adjust lifestyle. People are capable of a lot.
To your question, I’m not sure I allow myself to dream. I’m not saying I do this on purpose or for a reason, I just stick more to tangible life. A goal of mine is to own 10 investment properties by 45, so maybe this would count as a dream? I have trouble translating between my pragmatism and your philosophy lol I will leave you with these two crucial pieces of wisdom imparted on me when I was younger. They may seem a bit harsh and not your style, but they have served me well in allowing others to fall short without frustrating myself. The first: “There has to be a #2 for there to be a #1.” Meaning there will always be others who don’t work as hard, want as bad, or dream as big, and that’s ok. The second: “Nobody cares more about your life than you.” You have to take accountability and responsibility for your failures and successes. If you don’t make a million it’s because you really didn’t want to. If you missed a payment, it’s because you put yourself in a scenario that allowed that to happen. You are the customer of your own product, so make it a good one!
Hey Chris! Great comments and love your perspective! I would say 10 investment properties by 45 is a goal you can measure based on progress. Impressive goal and I see you obtaining it in the near future. Proud of you and love hearing your life thought processes–well done!