Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
October 3, 2012 9:55 PM

The Moment

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).

Lucky.

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?

By Mitch Joel


Comments Comments Feed
  • Posted by Kent
    Mitch Joel

    I keep figuring what I should next to make myself grow. It is not about struggling what I am doing, it is about challenging myself to go to next level.

    Reply
  • Posted by Jason Dykstra
    Mitch Joel

    I recently had the same thing happen Mitch (minus the airplane), I used to always look through job ads, even when I thought I was happy with my job. Then I started my own business and haven't done it in years. I feel pretty lucky and blessed to be able to say I'm no longer a job posting looker

    Reply
  • Posted by Kathleen Booth
    Mitch Joel

    Mitch, So true! This was me for years. Then, 7 years ago, my husband and I quit our jobs to start our marketing company (Quintain Marketing - http://www.quintainmarketing.com) and I've been living "the moment" ever since. This is not to say that its been easy - we both burn the candle at both ends working until we're exhausted, but we're doing it for ourselves and we love every minute of it!

    I wouldn't trade my "moment" for anything in the world!

    -Kathleen Booth

    Reply
  • Posted by Liane Davey
    Mitch Joel

    Hi Mitch, Just out of curiosity, how much of "the moment" is attributable to finding the team of people at Twist Image that really brings out the best in each other? I write about and work with top teams and both my personal and professional experience is that even the best work done in a less-than-healthy team leaves me searching the Job Ads. I'd love to hear your reflections on this. And thanks to Nick Morgan for turning me on to Six Pixels...I'm really enjoying it.

    Reply
  • Posted by Jason Smith
    Mitch Joel

    Since graduating college in 1998, I can certainly say that "The Moment" has not arrived for me in any way, shape, or form. I am one of the majority that you talk about in the last paragraph. My music podcast has been a constant in my life for the past seven years as a necessary release valve when the 9:30-5:30 cycle gets to be too much. Outside of being a husband and a father, it is the one thing in my life that I feel competent in doing.

    I do not believe in luck and am of the opinion that self-help is of absolutely no help at all. At the same time, I am aware that my networking abilities are seriously lacking and I'm really bad at asking people for help. A brainstorming session with peers has been set and a job search boot camp has been signed up for. I realize that, for the social media savvy and work-from-anywhere crowd, such tactics probably seem SO last century, but for me it's a giant step forward. Whatever puts the complaining, the anger, and the bitterness to the side is a good thing.

    I greatly appreciate your posts as well as your podcast. I needed to read this today...gives me something to strive for. It's also a reminder that just because something isn't happening for you now doesn't mean that it won't happen. And that you ought to be prepared to work your tail off to make sure that it comes to fruition.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  • Posted by Morgan Howard
    Mitch Joel

    Some moments are better kept to yourself.


    Ah, I kid the Canadian.


    Can you please interview Clay Shirky for your podcast.

    Reply
  • Posted by Rick Wolff
    Mitch Joel

    Of course, some of us come to that Moment by way of the reality that there's no longer room for us (me) in the last vestiges of the Old Economy.

    Reply
  • Posted by David
    Mitch Joel

    For me, 'the moment' arrived in every job I had prior to going it alone. Similarly to yourself, it seemed regardless of how happy or successful I was.

    If I was doing well, I would think 'I wonder how much more I could get paid for doing this well?' If I was happy, it would be 'how much happier could I be?'. And of course if I was miserable it would be a case of there must be something better.

    I've not looked at jobs since I went into self-employment, however that might be because I don't have a spare 30 seconds in the day ;-)

    Reply
  • That`s great to hear David, I will you and your company the best success in the world.

    Reply
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