Monday, July 4, 2011
Your Career and You: "Believe in What You Do"
I spent a remarkable July 3 on Boston's City Hall Plaza volunteering my time to work at Boston Harborfest's annual Chowderfest.
These two amazing events (the weeklong Boston Harborfest and the one-day Chowderfest) are the result, first, of one person's vision back in the very early 80s and, second, the belief of a small army of volunteers in that vision which is to present a "Fourth of July Festival that showcases the colonial and maritime heritage of the cradle of the American Revolution: the historic City of Boston."
We celebrated our 30th anniverary this year, a clear sign that both the vision and the beliefs were...and are...right on target.
And that, to me, is the key ingredient in achieving success...you have to believe in what you do...in your personal as well as your professional life.
This is something I try to pass on to my undergraduate Communication students at Curry College as well as my graduate Communications students at Regis College.
I've had a couple of short-lived jobs in my somewhat disorganized past that, upon reflection, were the exact antithesis of what I just said. I took them because, at the moment, they seemed "interesting." But when I got inside and learned "how the sausage is made," I realized that I did not fully embrace their way of doing business...especially from my position as their public relations person.
But this was a "me" thing rather than a "them" thing. Both organizations are chugging right along, thank you very much, albeit so incredibly under the radar that I wonder if anyone other than me knows they exist!
The lesson here, to use one of my favorite phrases from "South Park," is that you have to take a look deep inside yourself when you're considering an employment opportunity.
You have to look clearly and closely at the sausage-making and decide if this is something you can support with all your energy, enthusiasm, and professional abilities.
Beliefs are like ears. Everyone has them. It's how well you use them that counts.
You have to understand how yours work for you and then pay attention to what signals they're sending to you. As you get better at reading those signs, you will find that you're pinpointing and seeking opportunities that truly are in keeping with your hopes, desires, and aspirations. You will be doing something you want to do, and you will believe in what you do.
"All true believers shall break their eggs at the convenient end: and which is the convenient end, seems, in my humble opinion, to be left to every man's conscience." - Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels , Voyage to Lilliput, ch. 2