Focus on enjoying the journey, not the destination

#mindspark There is always someone better. Relax. And move at your own pace.

When I got a job at EY as an auditor, then a consultant, I was so excited that I had arrived. Compared to my village mates, and most of my peers in Kampala, I was a success. The sort of the big fish in a small pond reality. Then I got an opportunity to travel to the firm’s regional office in Kenya.

I found more younger folks very advanced and sophisticated. At just the age of 25, some were leading teams and consulting projects at global banks and top companies. They spoke with a global mindset, compared to my limited Uganda and hazy regional mindset.

I allowed. Then I traveled to EY offices in South Africa. It was so outstanding. Folks here were very sophisticated and exposed. Young, handsome, rich, and well-groomed.

One of the lead partners, the boss of our boss in Kenya, who was a boss of my boss in Uganda, was so dynamic and outstanding. He looked like just 26! This man changed my outlook on life and he set a bar for me.

Suddenly I realized my place. I had to re-imagine my skills and thinking to those folks as my benchmarks. First, I needed to establish a relationship to gain insights about their career progress, what they read, etc.

And that is how I picked interest in The Economist and paid an annual subscription because I was told he loves it. It improved by global outlook and strategic thinking. Now I knew about the world, the key movers and how politics affects the person in the village, and why it is ignorant to say a CEO is not responsible for the company’s success.

This experience helped me realize that there is someone better. You must be open-minded. Focus on consistent improvement instead of staying on top.  Career success is about an enjoyable journey, with the experience got along the way as the prize and not the final destination.

I want to hear from you: what is your most outstanding career lesson so far?

 To be continued.

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