On this day that we celebrate America’s 235th year of independence many continue to strive for their own, personal goal of independence. For too many, that personal independence is financially oriented but as Henry Ford mentioned, so many years ago “If money is your hope for independence you will never have it. The only real security that a man will have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience, and ability.”
True independence does not come from money, though it certainly can’t hurt; independence comes from a state of mind and the abilities and experience that you can bring to the table. For those in a job search, most recruiters are looking for those individuals who can provide benefit to the organization while also working well together with others. Team work is a demanded trait but independence of thought and deed is an attribute that must also be displayed for a well-rounded and successful employee.
Not every job seeker can be an entrepreneur, consultant or independent contractor – it takes a certain personality and drive to work by yourself, for yourself. No one advocates only thinking of yourself and your future as you work at an established institution, but a certain amount of independence of thought and deed goes a long way in completing your education and your career.
No one is truly independent, we all have responsibilities and demands placed upon us. We all need to play by the rules and work alongside our friends and foes alike but nothing is limiting our careers to a certain road or a certain mindset. When you are in transition, such an opportunity avails you of contemplating a horizon that possibly you never thought was available before. What do you enjoy doing and is that something that can put food on the table, pay the mortgage and get the kids through college?
Too often individuals fall into a rut because that is what he has always done or what he has always thought he should be doing. The older one gets the more he thinks about the legacy he will be leaving behind. Success can be defined in many different ways and it is unfortunate for some if they never realized that they could have done so much more and could have been so very different if they just took the risk. “You could have been a contender.” (On the Waterfront).
A true entrepreneur will tell you that just having the unique idea will not guarantee you success. You need to also have the drive and the motivation to succeed and the personality to take risks. Many people do succeed by taking the designated road but ultimately are they happy and content? Some people accumulate success through no real deed of their own, they literally have success dropped in their lap – such a likelihood is remote and again are they truly happy?
On this day that commemorates American Independence, it would be worthwhile reevaluating your job search philosophy. Are you pursuing all the possibilities? Are you thinking beyond your past or your comfort level? Are you just pursuing the almighty dollar rather than happiness? These are all thoughts for a day of sitting around the bbq and discussing with friends what you really want to do with the rest of your life.
Have a great holiday and even better have a great career. As Walt Disney once said, “Mickey Mouse is, to me, a symbol of independence. He was a means to an end.”
Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his career. He is one on only 230 Association Executives worldwide who has been granted the prestigious designation for Fellow by the American Society of Association executives since 1986. He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words and 100 blog postings on the topics of job search and career transition. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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