PATIENCE is widely credited as being a virtue in many cultures around the world. In keeping with the QUALITIES OF SUCCESS theme, I think patience fits in here well, especially as it pertains to young people.
I know what it is to be the best at a particular job, even though I haven’t been there very long. It happens more and more as I get more experience in a field. For young people, especially those that are willing to put in the work and show the DEDICATION needed to become the best, this can get frustrating and old very quick. When I was young, and trying to move upwards in a company, this was probably the biggest hindrance to my staying with a company for any meaningful period of time.
Here’s the thing: Employers are terrified of the savant that comes in knowing everything. They are faced with an employee who fits into one of a very few categories.
1. The person is a blow-hard, and doesn’t really know a lot of what they are saying. So far, they’ve been lucky, but that will change soon.
2. The person is either a spy or someone from Corporate who has been sent in to see what the manager is doing wrong.
3. The person knows what they do because they do have experience in the field, but they were either fired from their last company, or had other behavioral defects that need to be determined before they can make a judgment.
The fourth choice, the one where you are just really that good, is not even on their radar for a while. This is where patience is so important. If you are that good, eventually your employer will figure it out. They will slowly come to the point where they trust you more and more, giving you more responsibility (and hopefully the pay that goes with it), and less “supervision”. The thing is, it takes time. Because they have to sort through the other three choices, your knowledge will, at first, be suspect. Once you get over those hurdles, then you will become more valuable to the company.
The other side of patience is that you have to be willing to take the time out to learn what needs to be done to be the best. Every employee THINKS they are the best, but without the experience and the training, you probably aren’t. Take the time to learn the ropes. Learn what your teachers and bosses want you to learn; at the schedule they want you to learn it. They may have a schedule that works for them that you aren’t aware of yet. As you prove to them that you are willing to learn, to take the time to do it right, they will begin giving you more and more.
Just be patient, go with the flow. As you become ready for more, the opportunities will present themselves.