If any of you have spent time traveling with young ones in excess of 25 minutes (or if you can recall being that young one in the back seat of the station wagon for what seemed to be a lifetime), you have heard this woeful cry, perhaps in stereo or in incessantly regular 5 minute intervals:

Are we THERE yet?!?!?

With the advent of online maps, GPS, smartphone apps, we can “guesstimate” our ETA with improved accuracy, but this remains cold comfort for those who are merely passengers, possessing no ability to accelerate the process, to take action to get THERE sooner.

I know what you are thinking…”I thought this blog was supposed to focus on CAREERS, not trips to Wally World!” Well, you are right, and here’s the punchline…

IN CAREER DEVELOPMENT, YOU ARE NEVER THERE!

I won’t cite that “old chestnut” it’s not a destination, but a journey (oops, I just did!), but it is true that you are either moving ahead or you are falling behind. Often not in giant steps, to be sure, but you should constantly be practicing what I have termed “Professional Dissatisfaction.”  To borrow from their excellent book The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers, authors Citrin and Smith invoke what they call the “20/80 Principle of Performance.” In order to distinguish yourself, move beyond your assigned tasks (80%) to impact your organization, field, craft, etc. at extraordinary levels (20%). Invest time going beyond your job description to grow as an individual and a “human resource.”

To quote my good friend Scott Ginsberg (@Nametagscott), “Nobody notices normal.”

And, one more by Harvey Mckay (@HarveyMackey) “Real winners keep moving the finishing line.”

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