Have you had "The Moment" yet?
When you look through the newspaper, do you stop and review the job postings? Do you take some time during your work week to hop over to Monster.com or Craigslist to see what positions are open? When you look at e-newsletters from industry trade publications do you keep an eye on which career opportunities are open and available? Are you constantly looking on LinkedIn to see who is hiring and who went where? Do you engage in your industry's rumor mill as to who is hiring and which people are going where?
That used to be me.
I used to be that person. The truth is that I was engaging in that type of activity whether I was happy with the job I had... and I was engaging in that type of activity when I wasn't all that happy. It could be human nature to be looking (or searching) for what's next. Upon reflection, I wasn't all that happy. I thought there was something more... something better and, if I couldn't find it where I was at, I had to look for it elsewhere.
What was going on?
Clearly, the work that I was doing was not fulfilling. Work isn't always fun. Work isn't always focused on the things that we want to do. Work isn't always the reason we wake up in the morning and the reason we go to bed at night. But, there were moments (and jobs) where I was very, very satisfied. Yet, I was still looking. Today, while travelling home from a Google event in Chicago, I was reading the Wall Street Journal (yes, I still read the physical paper version, but only because there are moments on the plane when I'm not allowed to be on the tablet or Air). As I came towards the end of the business section, there were a handful of pages of job listings. I didn't look. I folded the paper over, put it away and stared out of the window into the clouds... and that's when it hit me: I haven't looked at a career or employment section in ages. I tried to think back to the last time I had looked (be it online or in the actual paper). I can't remember the exact date, but it was probably a couple of years after I joined my business partners at Twist Image (so, we're talking about close to eight years or more).
That's "The Moment."
"The Moment" is when you're no longer looking for the next gig. "The Moment" is when you're actually doing that work that you were meant to do. "The Moment" is when you realize that you're content. "The Moment" isn't about resting on your laurels. "The Moment" isn't about not thinking about or imagining the future. "The Moment" isn't about being satisfied to the point of losing your ambition. "The Moment" is the realization that you're doing what you are supposed to be doing and you're not worried about what you will do if this doesn't work out, because you know you'll be doing exactly what you're doing for a long, long time (just maybe not in the exact, same location, with the same people).
The majority of people haven't had "The Moment." The majority of people still struggle at work - each and every day. They feel like they are undervalued, underpaid and overworked. They don't like their bosses. They feel like they're surrounded by morons. They feel like they're not lucky. Some people don't believe in luck. Other believe that luck happens to those who work very, very hard. Malcolm Gladwell believes that you have to put in your ten thousand hours (see: Outliers). I believe that it's all subjective. I believe that we make our own luck. I believe that I'm lucky that I was able to realize today - on that plane... as I skipped over the careers section of the newspaper - that I'm simply not interested in figuring out my next move. I'm much more interested in figuring out how I am going to do a whole lot more with what I'm currently doing. Because, I'm doing what I am supposed to be doing.
What about you... have you had "The Moment" of realization yet?