On August 4, 2016, we celebrate the 55th birthday of President Barack Obama. Since this is his last birthday in office, we are giving his eight-year series of White House birthday cakes a proper send-off with a few wise words from him — a person who's made his mark as a historic and popular president, and, by all accounts, a successful human being. Thanks for the wisdom, Obama!
"If you're worrying about yourself — if you're thinking: 'Am I succeeding? Am I in the right position? Am I being appreciated?' – then you're going to end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But if you can keep it about the work, you'll always have a path. There's always something to be done."
Focus on the work you're doing in the present. Concentrate on the very next step you need to take in order to move through the day. Keep your eyes on the project of the moment. Don't sabotage your success by thinking too much about how well you're doing and how far you have to go. Keep your grand vision in mind, but don't get blinded by insecurities on your journey towards it.
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for."
You already have whatever you need to move forward. Don't wait, just channel the resources and opportunities that are already within you and all around you. They are there, even if you can't see it yet.
"If we aren't willing to pay a price for our values, we should ask ourselves if we truly believe them at all."
Nothing that will change our lives and bring us meaning and growth will happen without a some difficulty. If your values are worthwhile, keep standing even when they are tested.
"If you're walking down the right path and you keep walking, eventually you will make progress."
When your job search gets long and frustration sets in, keep moving. You WILL eventually find the position you want. And your odds are better now that unemployment levels are lower than they've been in decades. (Thank you, President Obama!) The same advice applies to your overall career; if you feel like you're giving everything you have to your job and you still aren't getting anywhere, keep moving. Stay the course or choose another course, but don't stand still.
"Money is not the only answer, but it does make a difference."
You're certainly allowed to choose your next job — or even your entire career path — based on potential financial compensation. Don't sell out your talents, ambitions, or dreams for a few extra dollars a year. Yet, it's important to recognize the value of your labor and your time. Money is important. Make sure your employers pay you what you're worth, or find other employers.
On moving forward
"Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying. We are going to press on. We have work to do."
Gather your support team when the going gets tough. Stand up for your future. Nothing happens when we're complaining or getting bitter because the things we see don't match to the things we want. Take control of your future. Obama lost (or, in his words, got "whooped") his run for Congress in 1999. Imagine if he had stopped pursuing his dreams then. Think about what you can accomplish if you focus on the work to do.
If you want to change your circumstances by changing your workplace, your salary, or your career path, what you waiting for? Channel the energy and determination of our (still pretty young) president and get moving. Start by visiting MyPerfectResume for resume, cover letter, and job search help.