I recently celebrated a significant birthday. One of those birthday years that make you feel old, but at the same time makes you realize that you are a badass because you have accomplished some major stuff. Rather than focus on the two gray hairs that had sprung in my hair within the last month; my thoughts turned to my personal life and career. I had managed to hold together a great marriage to the love of my life and raise three great children all while climbing to the most the senior level rung of the career ladder. A number of things got me to the top of the ladder: great mentors, taking risks, great opportunities, stamina, academia, self-education and above all else – staying the course. I literally stayed the course and never got out of lane. I got my first human resources job as a recruiting assistant my junior year in college and stayed in the field until I got a seat at the executive table.
On the path to the executive table, I’ve worked for great companies and not-so great companies. Rather than throw in the towel when I found myself in crappy work environments, I held on like I had fallen between a cliff. In those moments of staying the course, I morphed into a badass. A badass is someone who is so confident of their skills and abilities that they jump all in when a situation calls for courage. You will never become a badass if you do not stay the course during difficult situations. The only way you can earn your stripes is to come out on the other side without taking an exit.
For some, taking an exit comes in many forms:
- quitting your job
- becoming stagnate
- being constantly angry
- taking a step backwards
- being aimless
- switching careers out of frustration
- doing the bare minimum at work
- hopping around without focus or direction
We come up with really good reasons why taking an exit makes sense. We convince ourselves that the exit has better sights and opportunities. Sometimes it does and other times it takes us completely off course. By all means take the exit when you are sure there is a greater likelihood that the exit will lead to better opportunities. However, when you find yourself in a lackluster job, but the opportunity for growth is promising, stay put, keep working, stay the course. I promise you, each struggle and tribulation will help you sharpen your pencil. You will grow, you will learn, you will reach your destination, and you will become a badass.