“Do you think I am loosing out because I have been working on this challenging account for so long?”
Sometimes i am asked this question by a team member who has been working on a complex and challenging account with difficult client relationship for an extended period of time. They seem to think that doing this may slow down their career progression.
Well first of all, similar to other posts, what i am about to share is not about right or wrong. “No man should judge unless he asks himself in absolute honesty whether in a similar situation he might not have done the same.” – from Viktor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning.
Now let’s start.
You could work until mid night most days yet the return may not be substantial / visible. Often, you have to drag your body out of bed in the morning or think about whether you should call it a “sick” day to avoid yet another nasty meeting. The morale in your team is undoubtedly very low.
This is in contrast with your colleagues, who are working with an “easier” project with a stable team. They finish on time and their work is getting better and better. Sometimes, their client even sends nice words of encouragement or token of appreciation to them.
At times like this, life could seem utterly unfair. You really wish that you could change to work on that “nice” client/project. Yes there is nothing wrong with your wish. You have had enough. And the last straw could be when your colleague receives the promotion sooner than you.
Things happen for a reason
Through my career, I’ve been where you are multiple times. Yes it is not fun at all to be in situation like that. However, depending on how you see it, this experience could be a blessing in disguise. You could either learn and grow a lot as a human being, or it could leave an extremely bad impression on you. Also you don’t have to choose between your progression as a human being and your progression in your career either.
Most of the time as you grow as a human being, it would soon materialize in your career progression.
It would take a while for anyone to get from the “deep shit” state to a more resourceful place. And the more experiences you have, the faster it would be the next time. So I often say to the team that it may not seem like it now when they are going through the experience; but after 6 months, 1 year or 2 years, they would realise that the experience has helped them to learn and to grow a lot. And the beauty of it is that what you have learnt as a human being would help you throughout the rest of your life.
As human being, every one of us has a tremendous gift that is our freedom to choose how we would respond to the situation. “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation. You cannot control what happens to you in life, but you can always control what you will feel and do about what happens to you.” Viktor Frankl in “Man’s Search for Meaning”
I would end this post by another quote by Steve Jobs at the Stanford Commencement address
“Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”