Previously, I shared my thoughts on what I like to call “The Fast Food Career”. The lesson was that – in food and in life – the easy, fast, convenient path isn’t always the best. It might keep you from going hungry, but it won’t truly satisfy you.
Now, think of your favorite home cooked meal. The thing that makes home cooking so special is that it takes patience. Someone has to put time and effort into preparing it. There’s a reason we all crave home cooking when we’re sick. It warms the soul. It nourishes us inside and out. Home cooked meals, prepared with fresh ingredients, are much more satisfying to us physically because they have more nutrition than highly processed packaged foods. Cooking at home is generally not the easiest way to get food on the dinner table, but overall, it’s usually the more satisfying route to take.
To have a career that nourishes you inside and out, you must treat it the same way. You must put in the time and effort. The preparation is intense. It would certainly be easier to accept the fast food career. But the satisfaction that comes from slow cooking your success is much deeper and long-lasting.
So, how exactly does one slow cook career success? Here are a few key points to remember:
Be willing to sacrifice short-term gains for long-term potential.
Give up small victories now for the opportunity of huge victories later.
Take your time learning the ropes.
Pay your dues with a slow and steady hand. This is the time to be a patient explorer.
Recognize that hierarchies are not permanent.
Treat every co-worker and subordinate like your future boss. And remember that your boss won’t always be your boss.
Don’t choose the easy path.
Take the path of most resistance. Seek out challenge. The easy road is crowded.
Don’t lose motivation for your goals just because you can’t see the finish line.
Sometimes, you won’t even know if a finish line exists. Just keep one foot in front of the other.
Don’t let fear make your decisions.
Intelligent risk followed by failure is far more rewarding than regret.
Don’t fall for short-cuts.
The most effective strategy is hard work. Be wary of those who claim otherwise.
Don’t expect immediate reward for your efforts.
Be willing to invest now for unknown future returns.
Don’t trade happiness for money.
And if you ever do, understand that there will be consequences and be secure in your decision.
Career success is a long-term game. There’s an old saying the overnight success takes years to achieve. Remember that success that comes quickly is likely to disappear just as fast. Slow cook your career success for true professional nourishment.
Photo Credit: Harldwalker (Flickr)