When your in your younger years, the 20’s and 30’s, you tend to feel like success and achievement in your career isn’t coming fast enough. Success seems to be slow and far off and you seem to wonder what all that college and education was for, because the payoff seems distant. At least, that’s how I felt.
When I think about my dream job, it includes published works, being a political commentator and contributing to news stations. So I took the liberty to look up what others who have those jobs in the media, what they did to get there. I was stunned. As I did some digging I found that almost all those that I admire on TV that cover the political news are all in their mid 40’s to 50’s. It was across the board. The authors I admire who publish pieces similar to my genre, they are in their 40’s yet again…
Here are some examples… Vera Wang was age 40 when she started designing, Sam Walton was 44 when he founded his first Walmart, and Henry Ford was 45 when he invented the Model T (Business Insider). It’s a pure myth that achievement is instant, the list is lengthy of those that found their career climax in their middle age.
Now I’m not proposing that there is something magical about this age. But really, why middle age and what’s the correlation to success? I think that we forget that success requires time, patience and priming the pump. When you prime the pump it takes time before the water flows through, but it doesn’t mean that the priming process is useless or not doing it’s job, it just takes time. Our experiences and toils in our 20’s and 30’s are still important, but they are the unsexy foundational years. They are years to learn, experiment and grow. They are the years to “prime the pump” for our careers.
When you’re starting out in your career, you don’t know how far your skills will take you. The coffee fetching, the phone answering, the filing, all those seemingly menial tasks are taking you somewhere. You start to learn how an office works, how the workplace dynamics operate, and soak in information from your workplace. All the daily abilities you acquire will build upon themselves.
Don’t despair if career success seems far off. Some of the most great achievements have occurred in time, after the pump has been primed. And priming, is a process.