My wife and I dropped our children off for the first day of school this past week. They were clearly upset that summer was over and that they had to go back to school. I took the opportunity to attempt to teach them a life-lesson and reminded them that “change” is part of life. It happens whether you want it to or not. Summer is over. Fall is coming fast. School is beginning. Dad is starting a new job. Change is all around us. I used one of my favorite dad quotes, “The only thing that is constant is change”. Change is good. It is nature’s way of cleaning out the old, and bringing in the new. I was fairly eloquent, but when I looked back in the minivan, I realized that they were all listening to their iPods and missed the entire speech. Oh well, it is tough being a parent.
Throughout my career, I have had good jobs, bad jobs, mediocre jobs and times when I was in transition. In each case, I had to remind myself (and others around me) that none of these phases last forever. The good times will leave, and so will the bad times.
In this economy, at least one out of every ten people are out of work. Starbucks is doing great because everyone who is in transition is “networking” at your local coffee shop. Dry Cleaners are doing poorly because less people are dropping off their shirts to be laundered. Let’s look forward to the day that Starbucks is struggling and the dry cleaners are profitable again.
One of the commercials that always makes me smile is Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius”. As a marketing guy, I think the campaign is brilliant and it’s timing couldn’t be better. It salutes the “unsung heroes in the job force”, such as the Boneless Buffalo Wing Inventor or the Wedding Band Guitar Player. While most of us don’t want those jobs, the truth is that we are all learning to find our unique value that we can add to the workforce. We are learning the importance of differentiating ourselves and finding our unique positioning. The world needs CEOs, but it also needs mid-level managers, entry-level employees, inventors, administrators and “giant foam finger makers”. The key is to align your skills sets with the requirements of the market. We will all need to reinvent ourselves several times in our careers.
Most people don’t realize the irony in the Bud Light commercials. They are a parody of themselves. The terrible lounge singer who repeats the announcer’s comments over poorly arranged piano music is the former lead singer from the 1980’s rock band Survivor. Here is a guy who had a Grammy Award winning, Platinum, #1 Billboard hit with the Rocky song “Eye of the Tiger”. They were once at the top of their game. Today, he was smart enough (and humble enough) to take the job of an off-key, lounge singer in a radio commercial and is making a very good living doing it. So, here’s to you, “Mr. Washed up 80’s Lead Singer, Singing Lounge Music for Beer Commercials”! Nice job reinventing yourself and doing what you love for a living.
Change is inevitable. Change is good. You just need to be open minded to new opportunities that present themselves. To use another dad quote – “Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift. Enjoy every minute of it.”
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