Laurie Swanson Blog

Move Your Career Up a Level

As many of you are aware, I am in the midst of a website re-brand.
This process reminded me of something that I had not thought about in years that I like to call Leveling Up.

Many years ago, I attended a retreat. It was a leadership/personal growth event.
One of the afternoon activities was something they based of the Hindu philosophy of Karma Yoga. We were asked to do different tasks just for the sake of doing them well and as a form of service to the retreat center as a whole.
One of the tasks that I took on was the cleaning of waxy buildup on votive candle holders by scraping off the leftover wax.  
After a good amount of time and elbow grease I declared my task complete. I did a kick butt job. I was super pleased with how they looked and the effort I put in.

Awhile later, I noticed someone else had taken on the yogic task of getting lost in cleaning the waxy build up. I thought to myself “Why is someone doing a task I had already done well and to completion? Sure seems like a waste of time to me.”
I walked over and took a look and thought, “Damn, those look great.”
I would not have thought that the votives could look any better than they did when I finished with them but they did.
That was when an insight was gained.
 I realized that there are two levels (at least) of doing great work.
Level 1:  Doing a kick butt job at getting all the major pieces of the puzzle in good shape, and adding polish and gleam.
Level 2:  Ask yourself “What more could I do here to add a WOW factor?"
You can walk away from Level 1 feeling pretty darn good about where things are at and about yourself. Call it done.
Or, you can dig deep and move to Level 2 and hear yourself saying “damn, this is even better, so glad I decided to look again.”

Try This:

Take a project you are working on and when you get to a point that you feel complete, acknowledge this and walk away.
An hour, day or week later take another look and ask yourself is, "How can I take this from pretty darn good to damn that's awesome!" 

Let’s take your career from “This job is pretty good” to “Damn, my career is awesome.”
Contact me: Laurie Swanson, Career Strategist

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