I was advising a young student who is getting into his first real job and wanted to keep everything plain and simple. The outcome was the following six simple growth equations.
1+1 = ?
This is where you are working without a purpose. You don’t know what you want in life so you are confused whether you are growing or sliding sideways. The anxiety to “get things right” robs a lot of your growth.
1+1 = -1
This is where you make dumb career decisions such as focusing on personal gain at the expense of relationships. You take advantage of people forgetting that you don’t lose a person but a relationship network. This is a no-win strategy.
1+1 = 0
This is where you work to ensure that you keep your job for the next year and nothing else. Since you are doing “just enough” you escape from the axe but since you are not “growing” sooner than later, disaster strikes.
1+1 = 1
This is where you are adding one year of experience with another year of experience. In other words, you don’t bring the power of your first experience to the second year to enrich the second year experience and so on. This problem is way more prevalent than that as you may be blissfully ignorant about the fact that people ask for “years of experience” only as a shortcut to measure “amount of value” you might bring to the table because of those “years of experience.”
1 + 1 = 2
As simple as it sounds just getting here will put you in the “above average” category as you are building up your experience every year. In a short-span of ten years, you will be miles ahead of your peers if you keep up the attitude and approach towards learning.
1+ 1 = 11
This is where the magic of leverage comes. In this case, not only are you learning but you are also “giving” so that others around you are improving on the equation. You ensure that nobody around you is below the 1+1=2 equation. So, sooner than later, you would have built a small army of people who have vested interest in helping you succeed big time. Knowingly or unknowingly you are filling in the reservoir filled with the power of reciprocation.
Bonus Equation: 1+1 = !
This is where you take your experience from work AND mesh it with uncommon investment in yourself to create something remarkable. Remember that all said and done you have limited control on what your experience will be in the first few years of your career but you have unlimited control on how much you can invest in yourself. Taking advantage of that is where all that magic is.
Please take a moment to share this with anyone in your network who is starting their career.