You couldn’t go online yesterday without seeing a story about Steven Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant, who got in an argument with a passenger, stole some beer, and then used the emergency slide to exit the plane before driving home. As a former flight attendant, I relate to Steven and the grief flight attendants take from passengers, but Steven’s outburst was wrong and the courts will now figure out if he’ll pay civil or criminal penalties. However, what a learning opportunity we have to examine this story and apply its lessons to our lives and careers.
Last weekend we were guests at our neighbors cottage in Upstate New York, and one of the guests commented on how much corporate America has sucked the life out of him, and his day-to- day existence is fluorescent lights and his cube, but he doesn’t dare break free because of the reliable check and the health benefits. Now I’m not one to criticize because the fact of the matter is we live in Rochester, New York because a large company offered us a job and benefits after my wife was laid off and pregnant.
Since she was carrying the benefits at the time this put us in quite a “pickle”. Now though as I look forward to my future and someday being 100% self-employed again I know that with proper planning we can survive and thrive without corporate America. Instead what we see in our society are a lot of Steven Slaters in our day-to- day work who are at the edge of what they can take from the co-workers, customers, and bosses and they are just looking for their own emergency slide to jump into. The fact is most people never do find their slide and they suffer a career of should’ve, could’ve, would’ve and retire pissed off and broke.
Right now you have a decision to make. If you are “stuck” in your career/life you can either accept the status quo or you can chart your course to the work you love. If you choose the status quo please do your co-workers, boss, friends, and family one small favor, stop bitching about your work because you’re the one choosing to stay, not them. Now if you choose the work you love, take 15 minutes tonight and write down on paper the three steps you can take in the next week to start working towards these goals. You will be surprised at how simple the process is once you start charting a course to your dreams, because as Zig Ziglar stated, “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”
Acknowledge, Decide, and DO…