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Friday, April 26, 2013

Preparing for Opportunity

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity!

Is your job a career and passion or just a job until a better one comes along? Because there is a difference; a job is usually, from my point of view (and I had a couple along the way) a stepping stone to the job or career you really want. It may be the entry level job at the place where you are planning to work your way up. Example; you may start in sales at a job where your goal is to become Vice President in charge of Marketing, or bagging groceries, where your goal is to be store manager.

Very often, its one thing to be skilled, and yet another to have the aptitude and/or temperament for a job. Example; a property manager may be trained all around in managing property but lack the people skills to deal with people on a daily basis. A person in this circumstance will make himself and the people he is meant to serve miserable within a short period of time. I’ve always told people if you don’t like your job start looking for a new one because if you don’t your supervisor will notice and you will be looking for a job anyway. I was given a word of advice when I was 17 years old by a very smart vocational counselor. I was being assessed for job skills; aptitude, mechanical, etc., etc. Almost in passing he mention that if I learned to enjoy what I do for a living I would never have to work another day. I didn't find my ideal calling until about the fourth try, but when I did, I hung on to it and not only prepared myself for it, but I continuously updated and upgraded my skills to reach my goals.

Seldom do you find your ideal the job first time out, the trick is not to settle, and continuously update your skills with your goal in mind. Being prepared when the right job falls on your lap is the secret to success. Have you heard the reference made of people that are owned by the company store? There was a time when small towns built around a particular industry (examples: logging or mining, even agriculture). In order to serve the needs of the workforce the company would open a general store, and because the towns people were also employees the company owned store would extend the shoppers credit until payday. If you weren't careful you might owe your entire paycheck to the store on payday. The best you could do is pay your bill and start a new tab for the following pay period.

The following are a few of the lyrics for the song by Tennessee Ernie Ford, "16 Ton"

Some people say a man is made outta mud
A poor man's made outta muscle and blood
Muscle and blood and skin and bones
A mind that's a-weak and a back that's strong

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

I was born one mornin' when the sun didn't shine
I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
And the straw boss said "Well, a-bless my soul"

You load sixteen tons, what do you get
Another day older and deeper in debt
Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go
I owe my soul to the company store

The message of this song is that St. Peter should not come calling because he owes his soul to the company store.  This is really a message of desperation, the individual has so much debt he can't even afford to die.

One might argue that there is no such thing as the “Company Store” anymore, but in fact there is, you just have to understand what to look for or better yet what to avoid.  The next post will deal with recognizing the “Company Store,” and how to avoid it.  The best is yet to come…..

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