Although work may say that they want the best for you in the beginning, there most likely be conflicts of interest which will play a negative role by stagnating you and your talents, convincing you that groupthink and conformity should be more rewarded than confrontation and conflict, and their own attacks on you via gossip and group think in their workplace that will only reinforce to your co-workers that it is indeed much better to continue to stay in a place of stagnation and repetition, while others decide to step out to shine in Inc. Magazine.
1. The “Culture” of Stagnation
If you are in college and about to land a good job, it’s not necessarily the job itself that will make, break, or stagnate you, but the subconscious norms and the group think that goes along with the “stepping stone” phase of the job. Culture in itself starts with the word “cult”, which vocabulary.com defines as “a system of religious beliefs and rituals”. Do you have rituals that you do every morning at your job to keep things the way they are? Do you say good morning the same way to your co-workers? Get lunch at the same time? Seriously, I’m not saying to quit your ho ass job. I’m just saying to seriously take into consideration what is seriously going to happen to those math, Excel, and business skills you worked so hard to master. Get a grip and realize that it’s time to network with better people who actually will be there for your in times of crisis.
“Don’t follow the herd. Follow Your Vision and Stay on Track of Becoming Your Ideal-self” –Michael V. Blumeyer
2. Your Workplace will Impose and Reward Conformity
Perhaps in the beginning of your current or previous job, you believed that things would change. Have they really changed? Usually it takes 3 to 6 months….months to get a promotion and that’s if you’ve been doing everything possible to consistently achieve sales goals and to be outstanding on your job, in addition to getting to work early and staying late. After reading the book “The 5 Hour Workday”, however, Stephan Aartstol, CEO of Paddleboards, delineates why it’s completely irrational for a company to continue to reinforce a corporate culture that revolves around a 40-hour workweek. I remember in my last job, I would get all my work COMPLETED by Wednesday at noon. What was I supposed to do from Wednesday afternoon to Friday? Well, I would be gossiped upon by the herd of cows and sheep if I were to start studying GMAT or GRE. I played it smart: I did a ton of research in finance. I studied financial securities and learned more about how to calculate beta in a portfolio. The work was tougher than the total work that I did on the job! Here’s the deal: you will know when you are growing because you will feel your growth and value begin to rise.
“Here’s the deal: you will know when you are growing because you will feel your growth and value begin to rise.” --Michael V. Blumeyer
What’s the message of this? Should you quit your job? Should you dramatically transform your corporate culture? The choice is yours. I made the change. Maybe it’s time for you to break out of the herd, because, if you don’t you will be guaranteed to stay in that level of conformity. Take it from me, breaking out when you’re out of the job will create so much “clash” it’s better to stay conformed until you are grown-up enough to step up out of the quagmire of mediocrity you stepped so deeply into.
3. You will get positive reinforcement from your work by avoiding to “dig deep for wisdom” and be proactive with your inner development, in which some conflict and frustration is inevitable
The path to mastery is full of plateaus. We make a breakthrough, then grow at a constant rate for a short period of time, then hit a plateau. Although most of us know that this is the true path towards mastering a skill in Excel, in analyzing a financial security, or in finding our trading mistakes in why we lost money in our last trade, we must dig deep into our mistakes to bring out the wisdom that we are have the birthright to owning and learning from. The next time you can’t remember that Excel formula, or understand why that finance formula is different from another finance formula, chunk the lessons down into mini lessons. Then, groove your new mini lessons. You will then be digging deep for wisdom to learn specifically on what you want to get out of each assignment or project, whether it’s at school or work.
The problem is not the challenge when we are growing, but the false positive reinforcement from the workplace in which we will get weird looks if we repeatedly try to speed up a formula in Excel, or try to really learn a certain type of software completely. We can’t let the crowd or workplace passively convince us that we should settle or just live in this mediocre reality. We can choose today to commit to mastery and to also encourage others to strive to master their own skills. By doing this, with a long-term focus, we will be able to excel in our skills, create more value for the company, become a leader and positive influence, and will never regret it when we leave that company. Instead of having our skill-set be diminished or stagnated and then pressured to perform well by our new workplace, we will be prepared, sharp, and driven with the right awareness and set of positive corporate values that will help us to quickly realize if the next company we are stepping into is a quagmire of mediocrity, or is a paragon of true excellence.
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