The Middle Manager

Surviving & Thriving as a Leader

If Only . . .

Are you happy?  Being content at work is important; not being happy with what you do every day, or not liking the people you work with can negatively impact your ability to do good work and even cause problems with your health. 

I’m not talking about the normal short-term problems we may have at work.  Believe, in the nearly 20 years I’ve been at my current company there have been times when I’ve been pretty unhappy.  But one thing you learn about a big corporation is that if you wait long enough, things will change.  Of course, the question is always going to be if the change will be to your liking; if not then you might have a decision to make.

The other question is, are you doing what you really want to do?  I once heard someone say that the saddest two words someone could ever say is, “If only . . .”  I’ve been very fortunate in my career, in the sense that I’ve generally always enjoyed what I do and stay challenged.  I don’t think I could have stayed with the same company for so long if my job had not evolved.

Even so, I’ve been able to fit in time to try and accomplish some of my life’s goals.  I’ve got a wonderful family that I love and who loves me back.  I’ve been able to have some measure of success with things like writing for both industry journals as well as for my hobbies. I’ve won awards for photography – which never ceases to amaze me that others actually enjoy looking at my work.  I’ve been able to travel and see other parts of the world both in my private life and in business.  I still have goals to reach, though.

I don’t want to reach the end of my life and have to say, “If only . . . “  I encourage anyone and everyone to think about what they really want to do, and create a plan for reaching that goal.  If you’re unhappy at work, you don’t have to live with that, you can take action to change it.  The same goes for personal goals.  If you have things you want to accomplish in life, don’t wait – create a plan.  

Don’t settle.  Keep things real, and take small steps towards your goal, and you won’t have to say “If only . . .”

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