Wednesday, June 23, 2010
"An object in motion tends to stay in motion"
"an object at rest tends to stay at rest".
The hardest thing about inertia is moving from one state to the other.
For a type A athlete to consider meditating or going to a beach to read a book (vs kayaking, swimming, running, snorkeling, etc) or for a couch potato to consider sight-seeing from a physical activity standpoint... requires a consideration of another way of doing things, and to get outside one's comfort zone.
Obviously, from a health perspective, it's a lot better to be in motion, and that is the challenge we have in today's society is literally and figuratively swimming upstream.
From an employment standpoint however, we often (especially with the millennial generation) face the exact opposite problem... trying to have a transitory working group see the benefits of reaping their rewards over time.
The days of working 40 years for the same employer are all but gone unfortunately. As an advocate of self development, I in no way advocate staying put if you are in the 'wrong' job. The issue, it seems, is that departure is often the first option.
Honeymoon phase is over - I quit.
I can make $2 more an hour right now - I quit.
I want to travel while I'm still young - I quit.
I want to work to live, not live to work - I quit.
I can make more money doing the same thing if I start my own business - I quit.
I've heard it all and unfortunately for so many people who have uttered those words in the past (if they didn't have a plan attached to them or were not following their higher purpose)... inertia for an electron and inertia for a young buck's career do not follow the same principals.
One day, without staying power and the fundamentals derived through hard work and struggle, the amount of opportunities available to Joe or Jane fresh grad - will dry up.
If you aren't supported, challenged, educated, coached, respected, valued, empowered, rewarded & compensated for an effort that is at or above what your employer expects and you can provide - you should quit.
But IF those parameters exist and an aspiring young person makes a series of snap decisions all geared to instant gratification and higher short term returns... said young buck will find themselves in the highly unenviable position of having their inertia slowed for them.
Those who show staying power and upward mobility place themselves in a position at many (if not every) points along their career path that they can stay or go. They have career options and bargaining power of the highest calibre because they've proven they can produce results, not just that they may have potential. these people actually accelerate their own inertia by fuelling opportunity rather than closing a ton of doors.
Those who swing from career branch to branch without demonstrating their skill over time eventually close too many doors and can no longer convince a prospective employer to take a chance on them, as their resume proves that chance will not be reciprocated; at the next possible opportunity the employee has shown they'll jump ship.
Well eventually we're all trying to drive our own ship to the tropical island of our dreams... each person's dream is different so while it's okay to try a few different options early in your career, eventually all the boats have sailed and your life becomes much tougher to get to that promised island. After burning too many bridges, not only do you have to know how to drive the boat; eventually you'd have to build it too.
There is a lot to be said for staying the course after you've tried your hands at a few places early to know what feels right for you. Make sure you control your inertia and your short term decisions don't permanently affect your long term opportunities for growth.