The Two Silent Career Killers (Pt. 2)
How do we avoid stubbornness and complacency?
A fellow photographer and colleague once gave me great advice:
Treat every job as if it’s your first one for that client. It doesn’t matter if you’ve worked with them 50 times before.”
This can be applied to any profession, any job. We’re all familiar with the feeling of excitement on our first day on a new job, how eager we are to be as productive as possible. We often are overflowing with energy and optimism for the first week, then over time the work becomes business as usual — just another project, just another meeting, just another day. This subconscious dulling of appreciation happens to the best of us and is hard to recognize.
Sadly, it’s easy to get comfortable and lose sight of how lucky we are to be working, how grateful we should be to be able to pay our bills and put food on the table. A sense of gratitude can provide valuable perspective.
Journaling every night and writing at least one thing you’re grateful for can be an important asset. Some people simply keep a “gratitude journal,” which they consider crucial to maintaining a positive mind frame. If you aren’t sold on this idea, see for yourself how a Harvard study showed that gratitude practice can substantially improve productivity.
If you’re not feeling grateful for the work you have, you can easily slip into a complacent mindset. If you’re not thanking your clients, are you grateful for them? Nobody can afford take a client or job for granted. Why? Because life is unpredictable and the unexpected will eventually happen. Stock markets crash, companies downsize, and people switch jobs.
Take a moment and ask yourself: What is my level of gratitude? Am I going through the motions, or am I appreciating each job or day at my job that puts food on my table? If we can all be more mindful of how important our work is, no matter what our jobs are, we can avoid falling into the traps of complacency and stubbornness.