My dad was an amazing man and a huge influence on who I am today. Of course there are some traits that he cultivated that, if he were here to see them in action, I am sure he would be doing a mental face palm. Not like I didn’t see enough eye rolling or hear enough sighing growing up.
Now, don’t go feeling all sorry for my dad, he also had a wicked sense of humor. Like the time he gave me a black spiced jelly and after I put it in my mouth said, “Isn’t that the worst thing you ever tasted?”
Or the time we were on a fishing trip and he told me that the little round things in the tapioca pudding were fish eyes. He ruined that for me for good.
I did get my dad’s sense of humor and my son has suffered for it. When he was in elementary school my son got in trouble for a “food fight”, he threw a piece of cheese at another student. He also lost a tooth that day and put it under his pillow that evening for the tooth fairy.
The next morning he woke up and excitedly looked under his pillow only to find a piece of cheese. He looked at me with the same face I am sure I gave my dad about the tapioca/fish eyes thing and I told him, “The tooth fairy heard you had a thing for cheese, especially throwing it at school.”
I’m not that mean, there was money there, just further back.
But there were times that I got the combined look of “what the heck” and “I’m kinda proud of that” from my dad. Like the time we talked about house keys.
Well after the house I grew up in was sold, we were talking about if we still had our house keys. I told him that I hadn’t had one for years. This shocked him because we grew up as what would be called latchkey kids, so how did I get in the house?
I pried open the basement window with a screwdriver I had buried in the flowerbed.
I specifically remember the pause in the conversation and that “what the proud” look on his face. I looked back and said, “What, you created me.”
And he did. He and my mom created several foundations within me. This one was there is a solution to every problem. It may not be typical or “normal”, but sometimes creativity is exactly what is needed.
All though junior high and high school I basically broke into my own home, hey, it worked. Does that count as breaking in since I lived there? I think not, I just called it an alternative entrance due to a locked door.
In your career, you will encounter seemingly locked doors. A promotion you want, a new job you desire, having to find another job after losing your current one, additional learning/educational opportunities –doors you want to go through, but seemingly do not know how to unlock it.
Walking through these doors will give you access to a whole structure; rooms filled with floors, walls, furniture, electricity – and windows. Stop banging your head on the door and take a step back – you can see the windows.
These windows may be represented by networking, volunteering, part time jobs, speaking up asking for what you want, taking your work to the next level. The one thing they all have in common is this: they are there waiting for you to discover them, you just have to get off your rear-end and do it.
Just because you see only one path as a solution to a problem does not mean that is the only path. Too often we get so focused on the problem that we get tunnel vision and do not allow ourselves to see possible solutions. When that one solution seems impossible, we want to throw our hands in the air and declare it is impossible. Done deal, never going to happen; poor me, I have no control or ability to do anything about this.
Several years ago I was a part of an organization and I was at the point of frustration, I just did not feel that I was getting anything out of it. I realized that I was attending, but not participating. So I set a timeline and made a deal with myself. I would go through the window of volunteering on committees and give it a certain amount of time for me to gauge ROI.
I joined three different committees; I was a little go getter. My logical mind thought that the ROI would be more business. Boy was I wrong. The ROI I received was expanding my network to befriend some amazing women. Today these women are my friends, mentors, cohorts and inspirations.
If I had not gone through that window my business would not be what it is today, nor would I as a person.
I also met many women and was able to lead by example and assist them in becoming more active in the organization, which provided value to them and their businesses.
The other benefit of going through a window is you can get inside then open the door for someone else; remember, the best way to get is giving to others.
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I help people identify and set a path to achieve their career goals by using the V Formula:
Your Value + Your Voice = Visibility
Visibility is the leverage to move in, move up or move on in your career; expand your book of business or territory, grow your company and strengthen your team.
Lisa K. McDonald, Owner and Principal of Career Polish, Inc. is a favorite speaker and seminar facilitator at colleges, professional organizations and companies around the US speaking to leadership, sales and athletic teams; transitioning/downsized employees and networking groups about personal branding, networking, creating executive presence and achieving career movement success. To find out more, visit Career Polish, Inc.