We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It may seem odd to take advice from a cartoonist, but "Dilbert" is usually spot-on with its portrayal of the absurdities we run into here in the office ranks.
Scott Adams has a unique understanding of human nature. He also understands management reality, which he juxtaposes with the goal-based thoughts of standard office denizens. The result is a very humorous and informative strip.
His advice on how to manage your career is equally useful. Most of us are so far along, it may not benefit us at this stage of our careers. You're never too old to learn, though. My career improved after I made some alterations in office demeanor in my late 40's, and I continue to evolve.
I shared the linked article with my staff and my sons. It makes several points which I truly believe.
First, you are always looking for your next job. The corollary to this is if you want a job, it helps to be working. While I'm quite happy where I am today, my average length of stay at any job has been 3 years. My longest is 5 years. Over the age of 50, you have to start thinking longer term, but between the ages of 22-40, moving is the best way to get your salary up, and find your passion rather than following it.
Second, you make your own luck. As Branch Rickey said "Luck is the residue of good planning." (This quote has several versions, I like this best.) You can't make yourself win the lottery. That's blind luck and you can't control it. However, if you don't play the lottery, that blind luck won't find you. In a sense, just playing the lottery is how you made your luck if you're one of those lucky winners (though it's not my first recommendation if getting lucky is your plan). Fact is, if you approach your life with a strategy on what you want to achieve, you'll find yourself prepared to accept good fortune. Optimism and hard work are positive factors to generate luck.
"Fortune favors the prepared mind."~Louis Pasteur
"I'm a great believer in good luck, and the harder I work the more luck I find."~Thomas Jefferson
A story about making luck runs something along these lines. Two men on their way to work. Each one has an accident. One arrives at the office and spends the next 3 hours telling any and all how angry he is about the guy who ran the red light and demolished his car. His anger spills over into his work, and people are making excuses for him all day. The other fellow arrives at work and tells people what happened but cheerfully ends "the car was totaled, but thank God I got lucky. I'm fine and walked away, so here I am to get going on another day!"
Many of us are likely to be the first, rather than the second, fellow. I'll bet dollars to donuts, though, the second guy has more success in life than the first. People are attracted to sunny personalities. It's called the Heliotropic Effect. It's not a call for unwarranted optimism, it's a call to try and find the silver lining in every cloud, and give every best effort. Politicians use it constantly, which is why the smiley-faced dimwit will usually win out over the more qualified candidate. It pays to be happy.
Too funny. Just yesterday my sis in law told my wife that she had a stack of books on optimism assigned by her Optimism coach. Some kind of work thing but she lives in LA. Go figure. I sure they need some optimism. Thanks
A few years ago an acquaintance who worked for a top IT company was telling me about the follies they endured in pursuit of ISO 9000 certification. They were amazed that Dilbert often encountered the same situations.
Finally a co-worker admitted that he was sending the real life scenarios to the cartoonist Scott Adams, who actively solicits suggestions from his fans.