As I’ve moved through my career, the toughest lesson I’ve had to learn is to be patient. I’ve been reminded of this virtue recently in my relationships – through conversations with family and friends, their personal and professional struggles and in reflection of my own progress. For my day-to-day, patience is critical in helping me keep a sense of purpose and sometimes, even a sense of sanity :) Working for a small organization on a marketing team of only 2 (sometimes 3), I’m constantly kept on my toes. Every day a new project arises, problems occur and ultimately, another decision that’s out of my jurisdiction will be required. Indecision and hasty down-to-the-wire calls unnerve me. But if I never figured out a way to deal with these factors, I’d never be able to thrive in my current field. To succeed, sometimes you must change and adapt and accept that progress is a slow process.
Following the mantra of being dedicated, hard-working, problem-solving employees, professionals enter the workforce with a strong understanding of obedience and discipline but lack the knowledge for the forces that have an even larger impact on their work ethic and attitude – and this is
dealing working with others. I’m not saying you need to “put up or shut up” in order to be successful, but the people you work with, how you interact with them and how you let them affect your attitude ultimately impacts your purpose and success. In the workplace and in your career, there are going to be hundreds of forces that are out of your control, the only thing you can control 100% of the time is how you choose to react to those forces. This might sound a bit like anger management therapy – and for some people maybe that applies ;) For myself controlling how someone’s actions or inactions affect me has granted a better focus, purpose and satisfaction with my job.
Being patient and learning to accept that progress on an individual and organizational level can be a slow process is important in any pursuit you’re committed to. Accept that there will be bottlenecks and times when it feels like your success is stunted. Reflect on these instances and determine if there’s any way you can change or adapt to alleviate the situation. Even if the answer doesn’t come easily – or at all – the mindfulness and consideration given to the situation is progress in and of itself. You’re learning to develop and apply stronger problem solving skills by slowing down, being patient and anticipating potential outcomes. The more chances you have to hone these skills, the more they become second nature and the closer you will get to becoming a better worker, team member, leader and self.