What Is The Perseverance Principle?
How many of you are 100% committed to the actual work and hustle it takes to achieve your highest level of success and satisfaction in your career? I mean SERIOUSLY all in, do-whatever-it takes committed to achieve your goals??
I hope you all give a “hell yes, I am fully committed” answer to the above question because no matter what industry you’re in – you can pretty much guarantee one thing is accurate: in order to achieve your highest level of success, you need to get comfortable with persevering through whatever life throws at you.
As we’ve spoken about previously, any specific accomplishment you achieve requires clarity and dedication, sprinkled in with a little bit of sacrifice along the way. Most importantly, what I’ve gathered throughout the years and have witnessed first hand with many clients is that having a successful career requires perseverance.
As I was creating my own path as a nontraditional pharmacist, I created a foundational principle that optimizes the entire way I tackle changes in my career and in my personal life. Through paving new paths, moving across the country multiple times, and dealing with the stressors of being a working mom, I have recognized one thing is true amongst every successful person I meet and that is: perseverance must be one of your top priorities.
Unfortunately, the Perseverance Principle isn’t supposed to be an uplifting or a motivating factor. I recognize that this is not the most inspirational topic we can chat about... But here’s the thing, it’s not about keeping things easy, straightforward, pretty, skinny, awesome, and “perfect” all of the time. It is about how you manage your life and your goals during challenging times.
More importantly, if the perseverance principle is so awesome, then why am I saying it isn’t motivational? The answer is simple: many self-help theories and mantras focus on keeping things positive and upbeat throughout changes. However the reality is so, so much different than that.
Of course, the goal should always be to stay motivated and love what you’re doing, but it takes more than just motivation or goal planning to succeed. You can’t just plan your goals, you have to LIVE and BREATHE the journey.
Why I Developed the Perseverance Principle
I’ll be honest: I came up with this principle because things were not always so peachy in my life.
Within a few years, I moved across the country (3 times), maintained a long distance relationship with my then boyfriend now husband (3,000 miles a part for four years…. can this go on my CV?), lost my dad, went through a very challenging residency (UK shoutout, R417!), severely struggled with imposter syndrome, accepted employment opportunities in order to follow my husband’s career, and missed countless family occasions. The grind was real and, at the time, it really wasn’t fun for me. Again, if I am being totally transparent, it was a very very tough time in my life.
HOWEVER, here’s the thing with chasing a professional goal: anything is attainable, but you have to think real hard and deep about what it is you want out of your life and out of your career. No motivational saying alone is going to get you through the tough times along the way – but perseverance will.
This principle is all about recognizing the challenge and facing it head on. In order to achieve your highest level of career success, you will have to persevere through some difficult times.
Common Career Misconceptions and How the Perseverance Principle Can Combat Them
One of the most common misconceptions out there – for ANY – field is that getting an education is directly correlated with finding a job you absolutely love.
I am sorry to say this, but let’s put it this way:
Going to school ≠ Guaranteed career success or happiness
This misconception is also popularized through the web, and much of the advice that’s floating around your twitter or instagram feeds. This essentially sets people up for disappointment as soon as they hit the first bump in the road, such as challenging preceptors, poor leadership, a negative work environment, or trouble finding a job after graduation and beyond.
So, you’ll need to reframe your idea of what a career path looks like and think of things this way:
Education + Skills + Passions + Perseverance = A nontraditional career you’ll love
That’s why adopting the perseverance principle is so important for all of my clients. It’s a prerequisite for making any changes or new commitments in your life. Instead, you’ll have to create that dream job for yourself through perseverance and really working on yourself!
The Perseverance Principle and the Modern Worker
Another common misconception that is very popular these days is that people are waiting for a job to come their way. Instead of branding themselves as an expert in a specific field or actually getting out there and networking their way into a role, many people graduate and expect a job because that’s how it's always been. Unfortunately, this simply is not true.
I find this misconception to be damaging and inaccurate – however, it should be noted, just because things are “different” then what we originally planned, doesn’t mean we can’t adjust to the challenge, and accomplish our overarching goal.
With all of this said, I acknowledge how difficult certain parts of the journey can be along this path, and recognize how much grittiness and perseverance it takes to succeed. I say this specifically because I’ve lived through this. I am with you. You are never alone in this.
The Path of Least Resistance (And Why You Should Consider Steering Clear of it!)
The perseverance principle helps people land or create their dream roles. It allows you to work with clear intentions and recognize that, even though life can get in the way a lot of the time, you have to commit to your goals.
But the path of least resistance is so...attractive, simple, and lucrative right?
Not only is the path of least resistance alluring, it’s also the most supported mode of operation.
Remember what we talked about earlier, how many people mistakenly believe that education = dream job? That’s the path of least resistance calling your name in the distance.
It sounds so good – but it is possible it can corral people into a career they aren’t happy with.
Sure, there may be less unpredictable bumps in the road if you take the path that’s easiest, but it may not always lead where you expect it to. In fact, many of my clients tell me that they pursued their degrees and careers because it seemed like the right thing to do – even if their gut was telling them something different.
The perseverance principle is about letting you do more of what you love while sticking to your own priorities and life plans.
As you may know by now, there’s no “right” way to do your career or life.
You have to CREATE your dream life and your unique career through sheer determination.
Now, what are you waiting for?
Get out there and make it happen! (#yolo!)
For more great tips and information about how you can make a positive change in your career, check out the rest of my blog or contact me to learn more about my career coaching sessions.