an excerpt from “Own Your Career” by Ed Britton
“Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
— John F. Kennedy
When in the wrong job, out of work, under-employed or short of clients, it is natural to feel un-needed and even worthless – like a spare tire that has gone flat.
However, it is perfectly ridiculous to imagine that anyone is un-needed. Just look at our economies! We are in debt. Economic growth is almost horizontal, or in some cases even negative. Some say many countries have passed the point of no return and will slide into failed economy. In some first world countries, the standard of living today is lower than that enjoyed by the current generation’s parents and grandparents. Not needed!!! We need every hand on the plow. I don’t care what your skills are, or what they are not, WE NEED YOU LIKE WE HAVEN’T NEEDED YOU FOR A LONG TIME!
In fact, one of my important motivators to write this collection is that we so desperately need everybody contributing to keeping our economies afloat. You don’t want to be short of work, and everyone else needs your productive capacity.
Frankly, in the free-world, we are in a kind of war. We need to demonstrate that freedom-based democracies really work. Some are saying they don’t, that they were a brief mistake in a long history of political totalitarianism. I’m not ready to give up the dream, and I truly hope you are not ready to do that either. We need you to help make it work.
So, you are not short of good work because you are not needed. Rather, it is because our struggling economies don’t know how to use you. The first piece of value that you can add is to help our economy understand how to put your talents to best use. That’s what Own Your Career is all about.
Your contribution is desperately needed. Let’s figure out what that contribution is to be.
Action: Grab a notebook or a piece of paper, and write about the positive things that you can contribute to your world. This is not simply about contributions on the job, although don’t leave that out. What can you do to make the world a better place? Maybe there is pile of dishes in the kitchen, or the dog would love to go on a walk! Who would appreciate a phone call? A visit? How about a young, single mom who would die for a free babysitter, or someone to unplug the kitchen drain? I’ll bet you have a talent that you could improve. And what talents do you have that can contribute to the world of paid work? Get writing. Once you get started, my bet is that you can fill pages.
We need you! And there is lots of work to do – paid or unpaid – it’s all needed.