3 ways to be a hero in your own career story
A school where I was doing some training had an inspirational quote on the wall in one of the classrooms. It said, “Be the hero in your own story.” I loved the message and it got me thinking… what does it look like to be a hero? And how does that translate into being a hero your career story? Because lets face it, you spend a huge amount of your day on your job, right? What if that time were all part of your hero story?
Most of the time we think of heroes on the job as first responders. But I think you can be a hero in your career story no matter whether your job is picking up trash in the neighborhood or managing social media for a widget making business. You can be a hero if you are a buyer of supplies for the hospital medical group or a floral designer at a gift shop. Anyone can be a hero in any walk of life. Here’s how…
Characteristics of a Hero
- Heroes learn and grow–First and foremost a hero is always open to learning. Stephen Covey called this, “sharpen the saw” and it is a key trait of heroes. Especially if you have been in your job for a long time, it is important that you maintain a curiosity and interest in always learning and improving. It is easy to become lackadaisical and smug about your knowledge base, if you’ve been on the job a while, but in order to be a hero you must be continually finding ways to grow and develop.
- Heroes welcome challenges— It is easy to fall into a routine and stay in your comfort zone. Unfortunately, that is often also an environment of stagnation and status quo. Heroes ask questions and seek out innovation. Heroes are willing to take calculated risks, try new strategies and seek new experiences that benefit not only themselves but the company as a whole.
- Heroes know their gifts–Heroes not only spend time looking for ways to improve the world around them through their work, but they also look inward and recognize their own gifts and talents. They know how to maximize those gifts and can move forward in using them with confidence. Heroes also know how to recognize and motivate their co-workers to use their gifts as well.
Being a hero in your career story isn’t defined by the type of job that you do. It is defined by how you do your job and your attitude when you do it. In her book, Grit; The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth writes about individuals who began careers that seemed ordinary and mundane when they started, but over time came to be a mission with purpose. One example is Aurora and Franco Fonte, Australian entrepreneurs whose multi-million dollar cleaning business has 2,500 in employees. When they started, it had two employees (themselves) and it wasn’t even their dream business (they wanted to open a restaurant). Find it hard to imagine how a business that cleans offices and bathrooms could have a hero story? According to Aurora, “It’s about our clients and solving their problems. Most of all, it’s about the incredible people we employ–they have the biggest souls.”
What about you? Could you be the hero on your job? What changes do you need to make in the way that you approach your daily work?
You were made to make more than a living. You were made to make a difference. ~Ann Voscamp, A Thousand Gifts
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