First off, sorry to everyone who read the title and thought this was going to be about fixing the economy by creating jobs. I guess you could say this is kind of about that in roundabout way, but not really.
This post is about helping you lead a fulfilling career, regardless of the economic situation. Because that is 100% possible and I think the more people who learn this the better.
So if you glean even an ounce of wisdom from this post, I encourage you to share with just one person you think might benefit.
What is a Job Creator?
We think about job creation typically as something that happens to us. Somebody out there in the world starts a company that needs people to do all the things that make that company run efficiently. More people needed. More jobs created. Less unemployment. Hooray!
I don’t disagree that this is a good thing, but what I don’t get is why we can’t apply this on an individual level. If you’re unemployed or feeling unfulfilled from your current job, why can’t you be your own job creator?
It all starts with becoming a modern entrepreneur. Taking your future into your own hands and making changes instead of just sitting around waiting for good things to happen to you.
It’s the difference between active living and passive living.
Now, just because you’ve adopted this mentality doesn’t mean you can make things happen right away. There’s a learning curve and you have to start with small steps that eventually lead to big wins.
Here’s a good place to start.
Don’t be afraid of success
If you want to get places in life and achieve great things, you need to squash your fear of standing out. Most people think they fear failure, but what they really fear is too much success.
When you reach a certain rung on the success ladder, more responsibility rests on your shoulders and it’s harder to hide from all the nay-sayers, blame-passers, and excuse-makers.
There will always be people who disagree with you and some of them won’t be very nice about it. What you have to remember is that you can’t change those people and you shouldn’t want to. You are among the doers and action-takers. You don’t need to waste time on haters.
Once you’ve nailed the successful mindset, that confidence your exuding is going to be noticed by the people around you.
What does that lead to? More opportunities.
Know how to stand out
Shoot for above average. You’d be surprised how many people are doing completely average work on a daily basis. Think of creative ways to set yourself apart by paying attention to the little things you can do to improve the quality of your own work.
Make sure you’re genuinely interested in your industry before you go in for a job interview. Read up about current events and learn about company policies before you walk into the room.
Don’t be afraid to share your own ideas about how you could make something better because people value honesty and respect individuals with their own opinions.
I once had a boss ask me to read through a client proposal he had written and instead of saying that everything looked great, I pointed out areas for improvement and made a few edits myself. I wasn’t worried about hurting feelings or sounding like a know-it-all.
He greatly appreciated the feedback and asked for my help on several proposals in the future. These types of actions help to position you as someone who adds value and not someone who can be easily replaced.
The more I put myself out there, the more my job roll grew into something I enjoyed even more. I shaped my own future by taking action.
Find your place (or create it)
Sometimes the perfect career for you may not have been created yet. If that’s the case, you have your work cut out for you, but finding ways to realize your passions should be fun.
Seth Marbin started as a Search Quality Associate at Google before launching a company-wide volunteer project on the side. He had a passion to change the world and continued at his day job while growing this volunteer effort year after year. Eventually Google asked him to run the project full-time and now he’s the Program Manager for Googler Social Responsibility.
Taking initiative can open some pretty big doors because you are more than the sum of all the jobs you’ve held in the past. People value experience more than job titles.
Always be looking for opportunities that give you a chance to do more of what you love. With enough effort and persistence you can create your dream job by finding a need for something that doesn’t exist yet.
This also applies if you want to start your own business. It doesn’t matter if you have a major in art history, corporate finance, or environmental studies, you can learn to be an entrepreneur and apply that knowledge to any field.
It’s not about your educational background or where you went to school. What matters most is how well you can identify a need for something others want and that you have the guts to follow through.
It’s time to take a long hard look at your career and think about where you see yourself 5 years down the road if nothing changes. Is it a happy thought? Or are you too afraid to look?
It’s okay if you’re not feeling fulfilled 100% of the time. I don’t think anyone is ever fully satisfied. But your career is kind of like a relationship. It’s a big part of your life and you need to set boundaries, grow as an individual, and if things aren’t working out, you need to make changes.
Start investing in your future today so that you can create more opportunities for yourself down the road and reach your potential.
Are you a job creator? If so, when was a time that you had a door open because you put yourself out there. Let me know in the comments below.