Thursday, December 8, 2011
Your Career and You: “A Passion for Perfection: Do You Have It?”
I have experienced two distinctly different levels of performance recently that got me to thinking about careers.
The first was presentation last week to one of my Curry College PR superstars of the “2011 PRSA Boston Educational Scholarship.”
The second was the all-too-typical shoddy service provided by Boston’s MBTA mass transit system, a sub-standard insult to commuters.
But I digress. My superstar, Jessica Brandi, a Communication major with a double concentration in Public Relations and Corporate Communication in addition to a Sociology minor, is the first Curry College student to receive this important recognition.
What did she do that caught the selection committee’s collective eyes?
Since her arrival at Curry, she has settled for producing nothing less than her best. She has excelled at her studies, and she has equally excelled at her (now two) internships. She devotes 110% of her energies and efforts to everything she undertakes.
I have a vision of shining success on her horizon, and I fully intend to devote my own energies and efforts to helping her achieve that success.
The opposite example is this morning’s commute on the MBTA’s Red Line…the first leg of a three-stage ordeal that I endure each day to get to Curry College, where I oversee the Public Relations Concentration and teach most of the PR courses.
In modern cities, public transit is a marvel, moving you from place to place smoothly and comfortably.
Not the case in Boston. Every day’s commute is a giant crapshoot…sometimes you get lucky and your commute is only mildly annoying. Others…today, for example…what would be a 30-minute ride by car takes you an uncomfortable one hour by mass transit…with minimal attempt by MBTA personnel to inform you of what’s going on when delays occur.
I use these two contrasting examples to drive home a point for my PR students in particular…Others look to and rely on you to help them move forward and succeed. Don’t let them down.
What I have witnessed with my young superstar is the good example. She gets it. She understands that it is up to her to work hard…do her best…and realize the positive results.
I’m not suggesting that you will get scholarships, promotions, or special recognition every time you do something extraordinarily well.
Sometimes the reward will be internal…your own sense of pride and accomplishment for having proven the high level of performance that you’re capable of achieving.
But feeling good about yourself is a huge part of the game called “life.” If you are proud of what you’ve done, that pride will motivate you to even higher levels of achievement.
Sociologist Abraham Maslow referred to this as “self-actualization”…or as we used to call it when I did public affairs for the US Army Recruiting Command... “Be all you can be.”
So don’t settle for just “getting by” in your daily life and your pursuit of a fulfilling career. Set your standards high, and shoot for the stars.
It’s called a “passion for perfection.” Do you have it??
“You will find rest from vain fancies if you perform every act in life as though it were your last.” - Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, “Meditations,” II, 5