100th Post: Stick to something, see it through & reap the benefits
See it through
Today I would like to talk about about sticking with something and seeing it through. Becoming good enough at something and reaping benefits you may not have even imagined. The idea for this idea came just a few hours ago as I was in class teaching. I was able to step out of myself for a moment and realize I was smiling, having fun, and so were the children. And when I ran some exercises to see them use what I had taught they were coming up with great examples and sentences. I was able to resonate the information with them.
I realized I’ve actually become a decent teacher. I’ve been teaching for over 2 years now. This is the longest I’ve ever stuck with any job, and now I am starting to reap all kinds of benefits directly related to teaching, and that are outside of actually teaching but still within the industry.
I also coincidentally realized that this will be my 100th blog post on this website. About the same about of time I’ve been teaching, I’ve been writing here on this blog. Another top 5 things I’ve stuck with the longest. I’m no Stephen King, but I am starting to get more compliments on my writing style and many people have reached out to say my words have affected them in a positive way, from which there really is no greater feeling of satisfaction in my opinion; to help another person improve themselves or something within their life. And I dare you to go read one of first articles I ever wrote here. I wager you’ll also agree there’s been serious improvements.
Is it bad to switch jobs a lot?
For many years I jumped around from different jobs, activities, even partners. At the first sign of distaste I was ready to move on to the next ‘best’ thing. Ironically, I always felt annoyed I had to start at the bottom rung in new jobs. Or I was envious of the top dogs at the new activity I was partaking in. I never really, truly, understood the benefits of working hard at something to get decently proficient.
The truth is, you’re going to struggle at anything in the beginning at times. Hell you’re going to struggle even if you’ve been doing something for many many years, if you’re pushing yourself. The point is to not get discouraged and push through those low points so you can really enjoy the fruits of your labor once you’re deep into something. You’ve got to see it through.
Just pick something to do
Part of the reason I think I never dug into something and stuck with it, was I was worried that I was committing myself to something that wasn’t the best option for me, or for what I wanted in my entire life. Now I know, there’s not necessarily one particular thing that is best for you. And even more important, it doesn’t matter so much about what you get good at, it’s important you get good at something. And learn what it takes to get good at something. Once you understand the recipe for success, you can apply these principles or strategies to most things, to get good at them too. My roommate can speak 4 languages, he says each language is easier than the last. Even though many of the languages are completely unrelated.
Now that I’ve had a reasonable amount of success teaching English, I’ve developed a work ethic that I can bring into any future endeavour or different career path and still succeed even if it’s totally unrelated. At the very least having one type of job on your resume for multiple years looks better than jumping around. That’s not groundbreaking news.
Collateral benefits of staying at one job for a long time
Not only does working at one position for a long time bring with it raises, promotions, and opportunities for higher pay. It can open new doors to additional streams of income that are related to your field or industry.
Now that I’ve been teaching ESL for a number of years I continually get asked by people who are interested in doing the same for tips about getting started or for help finding a job. Through this I’ve been able to start recruiting new English teachers which creates another stream of income. It’s true what they say; “the more people you can help, the more you help yourself”.
Additionally, I have been able to find secondary side jobs during the evenings and weekends also teaching. I now teach adults as well as children, and teach online, too. It’s similar to an athlete getting paid to play, and also having sponsorship opportunities or public relation gigs.
What I am saying is that when you stick with something, all kinds of doors begin to open up that you might not have imagined. I know teachers who came out to China to teach English and they found marketing jobs a year later. Or even had the chance to do some high paying modeling jobs. It’s best to see it through.
How to become an expert in your field
Further to sticking with something and it opening new doors, you also become known for whatever niche you are in. Whether this is by other people at your company, or friends and family. It could even perfect strangers who might be looking for help with what you offer. It gives you some networking leverage to be able to help someone with whatever value you can create through the position that you have excelled in over time.
Besides people contacting me about teaching English in China, I also get lots of requests about personal finance, travel and some topics related to self development. Like I mentioned above, being able to provide to others knowledge I’ve gather from my personal interests and pursuit of becoming a better person to help them also do the same is incredibly satisfying.
Becoming seen as an authority on a topic doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to build knowledge on a subject. It takes even more time and exposure for people to build trust in your ability to provide expert value.
Stick with something, see it through and reach the next level
I spent a lot of time jumping around at work, in life and between. I finally stuck with it in a few areas of life, and now understand why it’s the common advice to try work things out, power through the hard times, and learn how to become successful at one particular thing. Learning how to succeed and win is an incredibly important life skill. Sticking to one thing can open unimaginable doors that could change your life in all kinds of beautiful ways. Once you do become successful by sticking with one endeavor and becoming known as an expert, you can begin to help others, and that’s the ultimate success in life.
If you have been jumping around and have not been able to dig into something I hope this serves as motivation to just pick something and go all in. If you have a similar story about paying your dues and reaping the rewards, I would love to hear it.
Finally, as I noted, this is the 100th post on my website. It is a thrilling feeling to reach this milestone and have so many people reading along. Thanks for reading.