Watch my status escalate
“Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen.” — Michael Jordan
If you’ve read my stuff, you’ve seen at least 2 Michael Jordan quotes referenced … fun fact — I despised MJ in his prime. Yup. I was a hater. A hater with nothing but the utmost respect for the way the man played, for the hustle that he put in on the court. As much as I hated MJ, I will not hesitate to say he’s the G.O.A.T. in the NBA. But Michael Jordan didn’t make it on talent alone (who doesn’t know the story of young Mike being cut from the freshman basketball team?) — he hustled. He made it happen.
That’s why and how I got where I am at this moment in time, in my present, I hustled. 10 often different career paths in 25 years (not counting small business owner) — art teacher to retailer to lending to somehow end up stumbling into tech. That same flexibility and resilience has seen me work for 3 different employers (not counting myself) in under 3 years — each move has been on my terms, I put in the work and watch my status escalate.
For too long, I sat in the first two parts of the Jordan quote above: I wanted change to happen, I wanted growth to happen, but I didn’t make it happen. I was afraid of change, I was afraid of the nature of growth that it took to make that move. I was complacent — and I was poor and miserable. But that wasn’t enough to make me move. It took an irrational level of disrespect, false promises, and a week on the beach to push me over the edge. I was happy for once, truly at peace.
That peace prepared me for “war”.
It took stepping away from the fray to realize how miserable I was, how much I loved what I did (cloud administration) but hated where I worked and who I worked for. It was at that point that I admitted I was mad as hell, and I wasn’t going to take it anymore. “I’m a human being goddammit, my life has value!”
That admission was what it took, for me, to make the change. My hands were shaking when I wrote up my resignation letter at the end of that week away. But I needed change, and I had to be the one to make it happen. Nothing was assured when I walked out the office doors that morning, but change was happening, starting there and then.
No one is going to make it happen for you. No one is going to present you with everything that you want, or what you think you need. You want success? You’re going to have to make it happen. You might stumble, it won’t always be easy or happy, but it’s better than wallowing in misery and self-pity.
But, most of all, I learned something important in making that move — I can no longer “settle” for just OK. I have nearly 8 years in my industry and still going, I have skillsets that many others don’t — skillsets that I have nurtured and crafted. I can find what I want to do in a place that will value what I bring to the table. After all,
I need a job, but I don’t need this job.