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A Mini Holiday, a Tire Issue and a Career Lesson

Here is a recent personal story that will help you out in your career.

I’ve been driving for about 40 years. In all that time, I don’t really recall having a problem with tires… Until recently!

To be accurate, I don’t have a problem with tires…I only have a problem with one. But when you are in the mindset of 40 years with no tire issues it is very easy to pay little attention to tires until somebody points a problem out. That happened to me lately.

A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I decided to travel with our daughter, son-in-law and two kids in Stowe Vermont. Being less than 3 hours away, we thought we would join them and recreate a 20-year-old childhood memory that both families could enjoy,. Not only had we had done this with our daughter and son years earlier, but now with her husband and our two grandsons. We love the mountains. We love the water. And we had two wonderful days together.

 A Moment of Awareness by a Stranger

Heather and I also love crossing bodies of water on ferries. So on the way home, we decided to take the Lake Champlain ferry between Vermont and New York. Towards the end of that crossing, a gentleman approached me. With a concerned look he asked, “Do you realize how low air is in your driver side rear tire?” I can’t say that I hadn’t noticed but figured that I was okay to get home. It didn’t seem all that bad. The tire had been put on within the 6 prior months. But when this guy began talking about blowing my tire at high speed, I kind of freaked out a little.

My Only Concern Became ‘Fix It’

As soon as we got off the boat I inquired about the nearest gas station with an air pump. Little did I realize that I still had a 30-minute white knuckle drive based on the fear that this man placed in my mind. Much to my surprise the normal 36 lbs. of tire pressure had gone down to only 12 lbs. No wonder he was so concerned. Yep, and nobody was more surprised than me.

The fact of the matter is that I had a very slow leak, so slow that it’s severity honestly caught me off guard. I had to make another five or six-day road trip but didn’t have time to get it repaired so, with the leak being so slow, I topped it up before I left and before returning home 5 days later I found out it was down 10 or 12 pounds. I got home and today I booked an appointment today at my local garage to have it looked after.

Fact is, it was so unnoticeably slow, it became a problem and I didn’t even know it.

Now Here’s My Question

Does your career have a slow leak? Days, weeks, months and even years can pass before you even recognize that there is a problem. It has been so slow, you didn’t even recognize it. But at some point, weather self-discovered or someone brought something to your attention, you realized that the characteristics of your career were not what they should be. Once aware, you may test it, check it out, get a feel for what’s going on, but at the end of the day you have this knowledge that’s something isn’t right in your World of Work.

Slow leaks in your career can be caused by any numbers of things. It could be…
• An unused ability
• An ineffective leader or team player
• Boredom with repetitive work
• New interests that are overshadowing former interests
• Because you had to pick up the slack and assume the work of a former employee no longer with the company

These are only a few examples of the many things that can take the air out of your career tire. Only you can identify what yours might be. Sometimes it’s because you realize something’s wrong and you dig deep. Sometimes it’s somebody who you may or may not know you very well, like the gentleman in the boat, that saw the signs and indicators and inform you how they see your situation.

Are You Concerned Enough To Take Action

The question is, once you know something’s wrong and, you may have even identified it what are you going to do about it? Most of the time, one can’t figure it out on their own. If you do and make a career shift, without a thorough, comprehensive process, the odds are increased of not making the best decision. You could be revisiting the scenario once again in the not too far in the future. Yes, you could read the right books; research online (realizing that not everyone on line knows what they are doing); you could even talk to people that have encountered a similar situation so they could perhaps guide you as to where they got their answer even if their core story was different that yours

Here Is Where I Would Begin

The best way to figure out your issue is to realize that your career matters are probably more internal than you think. This means you need to find somebody that can draw back the curtain of the real you. Not the one that you may be trying to hide due to insecurities and low self-esteem; but your skills, interests, abilities, behaviors, functions, roles, motivations, and drivers. Those things that truly make you tick. Most of them you could probably identify but there are many hidden career related concepts that need to be pulled out of you. People that do this recognize that it makes a huge difference, not only in the way they work, but in the way they live life. Many can’t wade into those waters.

Nearly thirty years ago, I Did…

Can You?


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