Man Steps in Dog Poop and has Amazing Career Insight

Burnout, career transition, burnout test, career problem

A few years ago, I had one of my worst days at work ever.

I was working in Sales in the NYC Fashion District , and it all hit the fan in one afternoon.

I managed to lose my biggest customer, miss my quarterly bonus by 1%, get sunburned, and step in dog poop all in a 3-hour span.

The expletives were flying, and I sent an email to the boss explaining my horrendous experience.

I was venting and looking for solace.

But it’s New York City.

My fearless leader only responded with…

“So what are you going to do about it?”

Responding as a Career Problem or Possibility

As you might expect I initially resented his lack of compassion, then this quickly evolved into thinking about how could I “fix” the problem.

As the challenge of the moment settled in, I knew there was a different approach available.

The easiest thing to do in that moment would be to throw my hands up, hit the bar, and complain away;

But it would be far more helpful to consider what new opportunities this presented.

The Difference between Burnout and Igniting your Career

What happens for you when a problem pops-up in your career?

Do you tense up?  Maybe even lose sleep?

It’s a natural reaction when you encounter something “bad”.

It could be a difficult boss, layoffs, or even an unexpected promotion into an area you never really wanted to manage.

What if you could experience the problem differently?

What if the problem actually represented a huge, exciting opportunity?

How you look at it can mean the difference between burnout and igniting your career.

Here’s an insight that can turn career dog poop into new career possibility (possibly even a promotion!). 

A Self-Fulfilling Career Prophecy

How you see the problem ultimately becomes  a self-fulfilling prophecy.

English: Duct Tape

If you’re both pessimistic and operationally focused (also known as the getter done or the duct tape perspective), then every problem that comes up means something has gone wrong or a disaster occurred.

You find yourself in survival mode and probably working from a place of stress.

In this mindset, people always work to protect against the downside, to insulate against the falling out, or to ensure that they won’t get blamed for anything.

You might even find yourself shooting down better ways of doing things before then even have a chance to develop.

On the other hand…

There are people who get excited when things get shaken up and turnout unexpected.

In this mindset you’ll often discover incredible outcomes you never dreamed of.

You get a big injection of energy and creativity when you adopt the belief that problems create huge opportunities.

Problems become the place for you to shine and create something new for yourself and your organization.

The Rest of the Story

At first I invested lots of time reviewing how we could get this customer back (of course, that didn’t work).

Then I started to realize how much time I had spent maintaining this customer that wasn’t really a good fit for the company’s service anyway.

It had been on life support and hanging by a thread for awhile.

By reallocating my time, I’d have more time to dedicate to other higher impact activities.

This situation led to a great deal of growth.

So your next opportunity to respond at work is right around the corner.

Will it be a problem or a new possibility?

To Igniting your Career!