I saw something really curious yesterday. Something that wouldn’t have looked out place 30 or 40 or maybe even 10 years ago, but it looked alien to me. I saw people standing in line in a bank waiting to see a teller.
I can’t remember the last time I went to a teller in a bank branch. I thought, “Don’t these people have phones? Or computers? What on earth could they be doing?” I mean I’ve been in a branch to use the ATM or talk to one of the account representatives about their products, but stand on line to make a deposit or withdrawal or cash a check? Can’t remember the last time.
I wondered what else people are waiting for. If you’re searching for a job, have you applied online and now you’re waiting for someone to get back to you? Don’t hold your breath.
Are you toiling away at a job, crunching numbers, writing memos, and putting out fires and waiting for someone above you to notice and recognize and reward you? Not likely.
Trying to figure out how to reinvent yourself, strike out on a new career and waiting for a bolt of lightning-like inspiration? Inspiration is for amateurs as the painter Chuck Close succinctly put it.
If you want something to happen, make it happen. Get out of line.
If you’re searching for a job, get off-line and start networking. Newsflash, no one’s going to hire you just because you’ve got 1000+ connections on LinkedIn. They’ve got to meet you face to face and in the flesh. “But I hate networking!” Get over it. You’re going to have to do it so start now.
You want recognition? Make people notice you. Don’t wait to be noticed, get in management’s face. While you’re building a better mousetrap someone else, who probably doesn’t do as much good work as you, is cozying up to the boss. I know a woman who complained that her husband never bought her flowers. (Full disclosure, it was my wife.) A friend asked her, “Does he know you’d like to get flowers every now and then?” She looked stunned for a moment and that night let me know that she would. She gets them often now.
Want a new career? Doing what? You don’t know? How do you plan to find one? Are you talking to people, taking webinars, asking people if they like their jobs? Have you thought about shadowing someone in a career you think you might like?
If you want something, this is no time to be polite. Don’t waste time waiting, in line or anywhere else. It’s time to make it happen.