The job is tedious. Below you. Boring. Ridiculous. Worse than ridiculous when you consider your degree, stage of life, needs, self-image, friends’ careers … the litany is long, when it comes to why you are better than your job.
What you don’t know is that your miserable job is a link in the chain that pulls the world in the right direction. Or not.
Destination or part of the journey
Before I got on-air – before I thought I could get on-air, I went to a broadcast program at this small jewel of a program at Chapman University in Orange County, California. Leo Green, my first instructor and mentor had been in charge of news or features for seemingly every major (and minor) program, network or station that I’d watched or heard about.
I thought I might become a news reporter. So I went to see if I could.
Short answer: yes. Before I completed the program, I began doing pieces for KOCE, the public television station in Orange County, among other local stations. Short story? Reporting is very, very boring. It is tedious. It is silly. You spend hours learning about a tree ordinance and then hunt down people who cry on camera because the city cut down their trees. All that effort gets you maybe 180 seconds of a news package.
Suddenly, in my ear a producer’s voice said, “Smile, when you say cocaine bust,” as I sat at an anchor desk talking about what the police did in Hemet: a scorching little dot on the map near Palm Springs, California. And, the point is?
I found out that local news reporting is the least, best use of me. There’s more to tell, and worse, but that will do.
I love business. I love being a business pundit in media. Totally different gig, which I would not have gotten if I hadn’t happily congratulated Hemet’s finest for their haul: exactly as I was instructed to do.
Leo taught me something more valuable than learning to read prompter without moving my eyes. Something I believed, even when it was raining and I was doing a standup in high heels on a hill that was coming down during a mudslide. Which for me, looks dumb, feels dumb and is dumb. Dumber than dangerous.
I don’t care if you like it or feel like you’re being actualized by it. Whether you are delivering flyers, entering data, collating, photocopying, using a scissors, braiding hair or doing brain surgery: everything matters.
All the very small and miserable things you and I do to earn a living matter – because we are responsible for some link in some chain that pulls some company in, God-willing, the right direction. And, that’s how commerce, media, government or charitable organizations work, and how the world goes around. And, your career with it.
LinkedIn? Yes, but first link in.