Monday, 4 July 2011

How Kenny Rogers Saved My Career

“I had originally thought that a job at Starbucks might be below my abilities. But now i realized it might be  beyond them. This job could be a areal challenge for me - mentally, emotionally, and physically.”― Michael Gates Gill, How Starbucks Saved My Life: A Son of Privilege Learns to Live Like Everyone Else.

Did you know that Rod Stewart had football trials at Celtic and worked as a grave digger before starting his music career by singing on the streets across Europe? Or that Michael Dell’s first job was as a dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant earning US$2 an hour?

Like many people, I held some interesting jobs as a teenager and in college. Most of these jobs were mundane to the point of being boring. They seemed to me at the time to have in common only the fact that they were each menial, minimum-wage jobs.

I learned later that I was wrong. Each of these jobs offered valuable lessons and opportunities that I ignored -- lessons I've since learned could be obtained in any job, at any level!

Take, for example, my job at Kenny Rogers. I felt I was a good employee. I did what I was told to do and what I felt was expected in my job, which seemed to consist primarily of taking order or standing behind the counter preparing the mail.

One day, however, I was standing behind the cash register talking with another employee when the regional manager walked in the door. He glanced around the store for a moment, and then motioned for me to come with him down one of the aisles. Without saying a word, He then walked to the food preparation area, wiped down the counter, and emptied a full trash receptacle.

I observed all of this with curiosity, and it slowly dawned on me that he expected me to do all the things he was doing! This came as a complete surprise to me, not because any of the tasks he was doing was new (I had done them all before; for example, I would mop the floor and empty the trash every day before my shift was done), but because the assumption was that I needed to be doing these tasks all the time!

Well, nobody had ever explicitly told me this before! And even now it was unstated. In that unspoken moment, I learned a lesson about the world of work that would serve me for the rest of my life -- a lesson that not only made me a better employee, but also allowed me to get more out of every job and work  experience from that moment forward.

The lesson was that I needed to be responsible for my own work. I needed to accept a higher level of ownership for my job in which I held myself personally accountable for my actions. In short, I needed to focus on what needed to be done and not wait to be told what to do.

Once I grasped this lesson, jobs I had found mundane became much more fun and exciting to me. The more I focused on what I could do in the job, the more I was able to learn and accomplish.

I left the Kenny Rogers but I took something from that experience that shaped my life and career in a profound way. I went from being a bystander to taking charge of my work experiences. Part-time jobs and internships became opportunities to explore entire professions, and entry-level positions became portals for unprecedented opportunity and growth.

As I advanced to higher positions, I always tried to find opportunities to do what needed to be done. In fact, in every job, at every level, I saw chances to excel and make a difference -- not just for my employer, but for myself as well.

I came to the conclusion that every employee in every job needs to hear and believe this fundamental message: You can start to make a difference with your life today, in the job you currently hold, not the ideal job you hope you might hold someday in the distant future.

Go extra miles, "Please don't just do what your manager tell you: Do what needs to be done" that is secret of my success.

Note :- Still misses my job at Kenny Rogers washing dishes for 8 hours per day without to think about how to safe the company from "bankruptcy".

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