I love this quotation from Henry Ford: "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal."
Great advice. As long as we're really focused on our goals, fear shouldn't be a problem. In fact, fear is the negative power that distracts us and keeps us from achieving our goals. Two of my favorite writers Seth Godin and Steven Pressfield have called this the "resistance" that keeps us from "delivering." I frequently tell clients who are wrapping themselves in paralyzing blankets of fear to do something very different: Practice talking about your strengths. What makes you good at what you do? How will you be an asset to an employer or company? If you can answer those questions, the obstacles and fears will be manageable.
Henry Ford said, "Quality means doing it right when no one is looking."
This quotation is great advice for any involved in a job search. Whether your checking jobs online or setting up a networking meeting or preparing for an interview, the job search is often a solitary activity - "no one is looking." The only way to be successful is to hold yourself accountable to work through the silence and rejection that comes with looking for work. If you want a good job and a career with a future, pay attention the quality of how you look for work.
A Michigan fast food restaurant called Moo Cluck Moo is raising its employees starting salary from $12 per hour to $15. How is this possible when most of its competitors pay at or close to the minimum wage? Moo Cluck Moo has chosen a different path. Brian Parker, one of the restaurant’s owners, said, “It just feels like the human thing to do.” A business can do human things. And sometimes, it’s even good business. When Henry Ford gave his workers a decent raise, they were able to buy his cars. A good economy does not trickle down. It’s not a gift from fictional “job creators.” When working people and the middle class have money and security, they will spend. We need more companies with owners like Moo Cluck Moo.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak at the annual SEAK Conference in Chicago. SEAK assists physicians in making career transitions, which was also the subject of my talk.
Many people assume that physicians have it easy. What they ignore is the many challenges faced by doctors in the current marketplace. It’s very expensive to get through medical school. Then, once in practice, doctors face problems with insurance rates and ever changing compensation models. With reforms in the health care, more doctors are considering taking their skills in a new direction.
While I only attended a couple of sessions (other than my own), I was impressed by the options presented to physicians. Speakers, all of whom were MDs, gave examples from their own career that involved moving to non-clinical positions in investing, consulting, and, even, media. People can make a change more easily if they have a role model, and the SEAK Conference gave doctors that opportunity.
My message was pretty simple: Find your destination, build a map, and always believe in yourself. It’s an easy message, but – like all career changes – difficult to achieve. While I laid out some practical steps related to finding a direction, writing a resume, and engaging employers, I still believe the most important factor is attitude. I ended my presentation with this quotation from Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Simple words. Powerful truth.