“Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great”- a quote from John D. Rockerfeller and one that reflects the career of Management Speaker and Author Chris Croft. As a former engineer and lecturer Chris believes working for certain companies and bosses, and being made redundant three times, opened his eyes to a greater career path.
Today, he believes it gave him the time to reflect and seek an alternative career that he now calls a vocation.
Chris says that having a job that’s a big part of your identity “isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Some people work long hours and they’re happy, but this depends on the kind of job you have; if you hate your job you’re wasting five days of your week.If it doesn’t excite you, keep looking,” he said.
According to Chris, there are six job types;
1. A vocation – “It’s the difference between saying I ‘am’ a doctor versus I ‘work as’ a doctor,” he
2. Keeping your job to a minimum – “this person won’t get too invested in their job or career. They find an easy job so they can invest all their time and energy outside of work.”
3. Go up the corporate ladder – “this person wants to achieve maximum earnings and power from their work and that can be quite addictive”, Chris said.
4. Early retirement – “these people work really hard and get out early. But that’s highly risky, and usually quite stressful.”
5. Self-employed – with the goal of setting up a company and selling it. Not easy!
6. Self-employed as a lifestyle business – “you’re just you and you sell your time. For example, a builder, designer, or a traveling trainer like me. You are what you do, and you can’t lose your job, you can’t be made redundant. It’s similar to having a vocation. You live and die by the quality of your work. I was made redundant three times, I was just unlucky with bosses and companies. It’s almost certainly not all because of you if you’re out of work”, Chris said. “However long-term unemployment can create a circle of bitterness, and that doesn’t look good in an interview. You begin to say ‘what’s the point?’. That attitude must change, which is really difficult to achieve on your own.”
Whatever someone is doing, Chris emphasizes the importance of his mantra “achieving and enjoying,
both from work and from home”.
“There are plenty of books out there about success and how to achieve lots in your work, but it’s just as important to achieving things outside your work, and not for money or fame, but for example helping out with the local kid’s football team, or having a hundred types of fuchsias growing in your greenhouse, or writing a book and sticking it on amazon kindle. So ideally people would achieve at home too.”
Chris says that it’s not good enough just to achieve, but also to enjoy your work. “Relentlessly keep looking even if you’re sixty. Somewhere you’ll find your “ikigai”, which involves doing something that you love, and that you’re good at, and that will benefit others – then you’ve found your purpose in life.
“Don’t think about the money, find what you love first,” he said. For Chris enjoying both home and work and achieving both at home and in work is his meaning of life, “call me greedy but I don’t think it is too much to ask to enjoy both home and work – we can all aim for that,” he said.
Chris says he was glad he was made redundant three times because “it made me take the plunge that I wouldn’t have taken otherwise. For those who are out of work because of the pandemic or otherwise you now have a chance to have a reappraisal. It’s tough at the time but for me, it was a positive thing, it gave me the push I needed. I’m not saying it’s a sign, or destiny or something, but it is a push. It’s depressing
and often unjust when you don’t have a job and others do, but you may well look back and say it might be the best thing that’s ever happened – maybe you can MAKE it the best thing that’s ever happened to you. Get advice, listen to it and do it: attitude is so important,” he concluded.