Keep Moving Forward or Die

Maybe not die literally, but slowly and insidiously….

Like a shark that needs to move forward to breathe, successful careers need to keep moving or we suffocate.  That’s the premise of Simon Sinek’s new post, Obligate Ram Ventilation.

You hear about career burnout, but this is more like career “rustout”.

Burnout occurs when you are under consistent pressures, work too many hours, and feel like your job is out of your control.  This is very common in today’s corporate environment.  Since layoffs are a common practice, we see many in management positions without the skills and experience needed to effectively manage, and those left to do the work are shouldering the burden from their jobs as well as those who have left the company.

Rustout is a different kind of career death, one that is not so widely discussed.  Just as your bicycle will start to rust if left outside and untended for too long, career rustout happens when you leave your career untended.   When you perform the same tasks, day after day, without any thought on how to improve yourself or your contributions towards some future goal, you rust away.  Your job no longer satisfies you, you lose motivation and spend your days dragging through the hours until you can leave.

Scrape the rust off of your career by focusing on these 2 things:

1) Learn something new.  Read newsletters pertaining to your industry, take a class or read a book.  Find a way to increase your knowledge and your skillset.

2) Set a career goal.  You’ve been in one place doing the same thing for too long and you’ve forgotten how to challenge yourself.  Find something that you can strive towards that excites you.  There are usually plenty of opportunities in your current job – you just need to seek them out.


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