Keep Moving Forward In Your Career
20 May 2015
“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place, and I don't care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that! But until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life.”
From Rocky Balboa (as spoken by Sylvester Stallone)
The above quote comes from the film Rocky Balboa made in 2006, 30 years after the original debut of the titular character.
That’s a big chunk of your working life. And the above quote is not about boxing, per se, but about life. Do you want to be kept on your knees or do you want that shot at happiness?
Do you deserve more in your career?
When the original Rocky was made in 1976, the studio wanted anyone but Sylvester Stallone in the lead. They approached Robert Redford, Ryan O'Neal, Burt Reynolds, and James Caan but Sly, who wrote the screenplay, knew that he needed that role more than anyone else and found a way to get it.
He knew that the film producers had budgetary constraints and he was a cheap option that would work on his passion. He could see what starring in this movie that he believed in, could do for his long term career. He could understand the value of taking a step back to go two steps forward.
Would there have been a 5th sequel (part 6 for the pedants amongst you) if the Sundance Kid had faced Apollo Creed?
Your career will be full of knockdowns. Whether it’s a bad review, redundancy, a firing or just a terrible boss, these are all setbacks that you must bounce back from. You will get wins along the way, but that next blow is just waiting around the corner.
As Rocky has taught us, its not about how hard that hit is but how you react to it. So how do you and should you react? Well that’s an impossible question to answer, as emotions, financial constraints and morals all play an individual part at any one time. And quite often, all three simultaneously.
However, the only advice that I can give is that you must react. You must beat that count of 10, otherwise you will forever regret it. Bad review? Unemployed? Demotivated? Get up, goddamit!
There is always something that you can do. Whether it’s to try harder at work (don’t forget that sometimes the bad reviews are deserved!), starting to look for a new job or even starting your own business, there is a counter punch to that knockout blow. Just like in boxing, it is about finding the right combination that will work against the problems being thrown a you.
Look to your peers, look to your friends, look to your family for inspiration. Or better still, look to a professional who can guide you and give you options. If it’s a new job you want, think of a recruiter as your cornerman.
My final bit of advice is that the next time you get knocked down review what happened. Did I deserve it? If I get up, will I get knocked down again? Can I do something different so it doesn’t happen again? What can I do, to ensure that this doesn’t happen again?
Stallone took a gamble in 1976. He gambled on an acting career over having a big name star in a film that he wrote. He took that risk on his acting abilities over a screenwriting payday and it worked for him. You can do the same.
“But until you start believing in yourself, you ain't gonna have a life.”
Written By Adam Davey