Know Your Lanes

I know I do two things well, mortgage loans and career/life strategy.

That statement is not to be braggadocios or cocky.  It is confidence in where I am going in my destination and knowing the route ahead.   It took a long time to get to that point, to have the complete confidence and belief in myself.

We are all going to be in multiple lanes and highways in our lifetime.  We are going to have to get off at exit ramps and shift and pivot in our lives. The problem is that many of you are on an eight-lane highway right now, constantly shifting in and out of lanes, and not sure where you are going or what you are doing.  You do not see the road hazards ahead.  There isn’t really a plan.

Want proof.  We can look to the labor market right now.  The Labor Department last Tuesday said that more than 4.5 million people voluntarily left their jobs in November.  That is the most in two decades.  The turnover is a result of people seeking better opportunities.  That is a huge amount of employee dissatisfaction going on.  The problem is that the dissatisfaction will continue even after people get new opportunities and raises.  Why?  The dissatisfaction was there prior to Covid and because most people are in the wrong careers.  People are blaming Covid for their dissatisfaction.  They are on a highway and no horizon in sight.

I didn’t wake up one day and say I am going to be in mortgages and help people with their career and lives.  I was in customer service, IT, non-profit, artificial intelligence/automation, and multimedia.  Many of the industries I was in did a fair amount of job elimination and company consolidation.  Working in Delaware in the late 1990s and early 2002s taught me something.  Delaware was the credit card capital in those times, and companies were buying companies every year.  I was often out of a job before I knew it.  I wanted to figure out how to be proactive and be two steps ahead of where I was at.  I started reading the signs and shifting lanes.  I became obsessed with figuring this out.  I watched the news about my industry, I talked to professional experts in the industry.  Becoming obsessed did two things, I became an expert at my job, and I could anticipate as best I could what I believe what would happen.  Today, I am obsessed with helping people get into the home of their dreams.  I am obsessed with helping people navigate their careers.

I realized one other thing years ago, the obsession I had was helping people.  It was always there from the time I created a lemonade stand at age 5, to my paper route and putting the paper in the best place for the customer.  That obsession for me meant I could transition to any industry where people are helped with something.  That was the horizon up the road for me, so that meant I was in the driver’s seat now and could change lanes and navigate the obstacles.

Here is what you must do to get to that point:

  • You must be obsessed with what you do. None of this I enjoy my job, or I love what I do.  Obsessed!!!  If you can’t get out of bed for your work, then you must change. Is it every really going to get better?
  • Learn new skill sets. You have to spend money on yourself to do that.  You have in invest in yourself and most people do not.
  • There is no BUT! I hear people all the time say, “well, if I go try this, but then.”  “My pay is good but my job sucks.”  You can’t have BUTs.  They are excuses for justifying things.
  • Research and understand everything about your industry. Read the news sites, talk to people, learn all you can so you can be proactive and know what is going on.  That is obsession.  You will be able to make better decisions and choices all while feeling much more confident.
  • Most of you are afraid to make changes because of what people will say. Remember, no matter what, you will always be judged and talked about by people. Trust me.  When you have success, that noise level goes up.  Way up.  Tune other people’s BS and negative comments out and focus on yourself.

The road to success and a great life is paved with all kinds of obstacles, lane shifts, and whatever else life throws at you.  You have the choice to handle it, understand your lanes, and be in the driver’s seat.  It’s your choice.

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