A good student poor worker

Have you every looked at some of your colleagues that you went to school with, who are constantly studying yet they can’t get ahead in life? Then you look at some of your other colleagues in your class, who have become entrepreneurs, manager or they are really making a positive impact in the lives of others. You then start to do some introspection and start looking on your life. You wonder how did your life turn out like this?

I looked at my life recently and honestly, as much as I have been studying for the last couple years, I still can’t get ahead in life. I did my degree, masters, accounting designation and even enrolled in short courses such as digital marketing and project management.

But all these accolades and still I can’t find a way to get ahead in life. I started thinking about the idea of a “good student yet poor worker”. I was working in a company for 5 years and I was doing pretty good and then I left to go back to school.

I left my country to start a better life in Canada and it has been mixed feelings. With the thoughts of not being granted permanent residency at the end of my work permit, I have to always be thinking of my future life. But now I am trying to find a job and every time I gain an opportunity “the good student poor worker” syndrome sets in.

As I did some research, I wanted to understand what are some of the reasons for this and how to overcome them.

  1. Lack of vision— As Proverbs 29:18 puts it “where there is no vision, the people perish.” I think I have lost my focus in life. Growing up I always known what I wanted in life and to become an accountant. Having some freelance experience and a 2-weeks internship in the field, I find that I am not as passionate about it as I thought. I have spent most of my life building up to this so now I don’t know which path to take.
  2. Waiting to be told what to do — I think one of the challenges in the transition from a student to an employee are the “changes in expectations”. As an employee, expectations are quite vague at times and leaves for a great deal of subjective feedback.
  3. The wrong role for your skills set — As I did some research this is one of the reasons that was highlighted, “the wrong job fit”. In today’s challenging job market, you constantly have to take something until something better comes along. But this sometimes leaves you uninspired and disengaged and ultimately a bad employee.
  4. Probably you are not working hard enough — we can’t rule out the X factor in this situation, “Yourself”. Look into yourself to see if you are working hard enough or your just making up excuses. It is important to find a why that will motivate you to push towards your dreams.

As I reflect more on the above, these are some of the action items that I have adopted to help you on a path to being a “good student and excellent employee.”

  1. Create a vision for your life — It is important to understand where you want to be in life and not let individuals really dictate what you need to do. Clearly state this vision with the hope of not been limited by time, money or skills. Once you have a clear vision of what you want your life to be it is important to believe in it and know it is best for you. Once you have done this, write it every day or have it recorded and played to you daily. What you want is to have this registered in your subconscious and you would be surprised how quick you start to make strides to your goal. Once the vision is clear, it is important to create an action plan that is more outcomes based rather than task based.
  2. Forget your accolades — Sometimes because of all these accomplishments we believe we are entitled to a better job, better compensation etc. The only thing that matters to your employer is “results”. Companies will pay big bucks to those who can give them awesome results. Not ideas but actually being able to create and implement ideas. Look into yourself and your role, look at your results for the past week. Is this something to be proud of? If not, today is an opportunity to start looking at outcomes.
  3. Be humble: Like a child who is learning to walk. It requires you to fall several times before you finally grasp your balance. You first have to go on your belly, then on your knees, then you start taking a few steps, you believe you got a hang of this so you start running only to fall. This is how life is as well. Don’t cease to be a learner, this is a lifelong skills as we always have to be learning.

So if you are feeling like you are not the best employee at the moment, if you still have the job, you still have the chance to turn around your life today. Choose to unleash the best you!

Kaniel Ellis , Ambassador — The Gig Economy Lifestyle

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