Good Wednesday morning to you in this short week. I have two more posts related to this week’s theme. Today we are going to talk about how to be professional when you have to work at one place while your heart or dream is in the building phase.
I remember back to the days when I had to work a job while spending nights and weekends trying to build my business or a dream I wanted. I think back to the days when I wanted to have my own company, I was working days at a car dealer. Nights and weekends I was working to put money away towards going full-time in my first entrepreneurial venture. I had to learn to be humble when working for someone else. But when I was away from that Job I had to be self-confident. In both places, I had to be professional.
All day long I thought about how I wanted my dream, how I wanted to run my own business. Yet I had to work a job to pay bills and in most cases the job I worked did nothing more that. Are you one of those people who wants to be somewhere else professionally but for now you have to do what you are doing? So how do you remain professional on the job when your heart is elsewhere?
In my world of coaching people and helping them start over, I help them to first get life going, then to build a new dream and start working towards it. That includes working at jobs you may be over-qualified for, or places that just pay the bills while you do something else on your own time. I had to do this when I started over: I started working at Starbucks, just making the coffee. I knew I could run other companies and I knew my dream was to be building a new business. But had to maintain a level or professionalism while doing the daily grind.
So today I want to give you some points to make the world you are in work for you, and help you build that world you dream of all while being professional. Here are three short points to help:
1. Never be afraid to get your hands dirty. In life, whether you are starting over or you are to the point where you just need to pay the bills, never let your pride get in the way. Yes, I have worked jobs with companies where I felt I could do better. But I kept my pride to myself and was able to act as if the job was a joy for me to be at. This lesson was the hardest when working at Starbucks. Our job was to always create an awesome experience for the customer and some customers were very challenging. Well, no matter what job I had to do, I learned to put a smile on my face and let them think that this was the greatest joy for me, to be there, with them, at that moment. This means if you need the money, you might have to work a job that is below you for a time to get back up. I have always been willing to work wherever I needed to. If that meant serving coffee or pumping gas I was going to do it.
2. Never let them see you sweat. While working serving coffee, I had to learn that in life I had to always keep the smile there and I had to make that job look like I was a pro at it. Always have the smile even when the customer tells you that you suck and can’t do anything right. You smile and tell them – sincerely – “I hope this coffee makes your day. Thanks for coming in.”
3. Always stay in a state of learning. No matter what you have to take as a job, you can learn from it. I learned how to treat people in a better way when I had to start over. I had to learn some lessons in life. If you are at the place where you are working a job and you know you could do better, look for ways to grow. If it means taking a course to make some corner better then do it. Last night I went to a meeting to learn how to maintain my own web pages and make them work better for me. I learned a few things. When I stepped into that group, I knew they were like the Einsteins when it came to using the web and knowing tools to make their pages better. But they were able to teach me a few things that I was glad to come home and learn more about. So no matter what you have to do, keep your mind open to learning.
You have to be a professional even if you work a job that pays minimum wage. If you have to work two jobs to get ahead, then do it with a smile. Keep your heart working at your dream but give your current job (the job that is helping you achieve your dream) 100% of yourself; that is what they are paying you for and they have a right to expect your best in exchange for the money they are giving you.
Tomorrow will be a special post about being thankful and then on Friday we will have one last post about professionalism in the retail world. So have a good time with your family this Thanksgiving weekend.
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time to live your dream, to love what you do and those you share life with. Learn to be professional where you are at even if it’s not your dream. That’s what makes you a RockStar in your world.