Shirley has been a carhop at the Keller's Drive-In hamburger joint, in Dallas Texas, for 51 years. I asked Shirley what kept her carhopping at Keller's so long, and she replied, "nothing changes and that's just the way I like it." Looking around this favorite local eatery, I had to agree; it didn't look like much had changed in 50 years.
The dream is to work with organizations that encourage delivering your best work via your gifts and talents. Rarely is it a perfect match and compromises are made to fit into the existing team.
I respect those who have a healthy self-awareness; knowing their strengths and weaknesses. This awareness supports the ability to discern how to respond when asked to change and bend to the organizational needs.
If the requested change is a skill worth learning and added to the professional toolbox, then it is worth pursuing change. If the new direction is not in alignment with the true self, a decision is in order. Do you compromise on your strengths or reject the decree, and go in a new direction? Author, Derek Sivers wrote that we should enthusiastically say "Hell Yes," or "No" to any decision. Sober self-awareness is a helpful guide.
I am an optimist and find joy in all kinds of work. Primarily focusing on the silver lining and how it could work out vice conducting a sober assessment of the opportunity. I can be slow to listen to self-awareness due to fear of missing out on the next rung of the ladder and attempt to be something I am not.
Embracing a challenge and pursuing growth is good. Bending is ok, but contorting and breaking is painful.
The self-aware are comfortable with the uncertainty of pursuing meaningful change. Adhering to self-imposed boundaries offers the freedom to say "hell yes" or "no" with confidence.
Shirley has decided to live the life of a carhop, proficient in a job that offers little change and doesn't challenge her boundaries. I am getting better at discerning when to evolve, bend or pass. What is your story?