Where do you find the passion that motivates your career?

When I was 19, the world was my oyster. Young and unencumbered by debt, my first real job out of high school provided a good revenue stream. This allowed me the freedom to go where I pleased and do what I wanted.

My first job was in the foodservice industry; I was a waiter at a prominent Mexican restaurant chain. I was eventually promoted to lounge manager. This put me in charge of all operations within the bar area. I hired, trained, and helped run all the front of–house operations. I made a good salary for a kid. I bought my first car right off the lot. No debt. No mortgage. No kids.

Fast-forward several years to very different circumstances. I’ve been happily married for over two decades. I have 2 children. Along with them are the normal things: a mortgage, car payments and a whole host of other responsibilities, including setting up a liveable retirement.

At some point in this blur of a lifetime, it hit me: It ain’t about me anymore.

At our house, we put the needs of our family first. That means we have made sacrifices in order to ensure our children are raised in the best possible environment. Our children’s needs had to come first. So we did exactly that. And I have never regretted the decision! In my opinion, providing children the best opportunities for success is the best thing I could ever accomplish in this lifetime. This challenge has prepared me for so many other things, and there’s so much more to come!

Meanwhile, I have always felt that some of my best leadership lessons are grounded in my role as a parent. Much like my kids depend on me to support them and to put their needs first, the people I support (or as some may say, the associates who report to me) depend on me to help them grow, achieve their goals, and remove obstacles to their best performance. Both family and work teams expect me to put their concerns above my own. I do my best to ensure both groups are positioned for success.

Different circumstances, different results—same methodology. Sometimes all the inspiration you need to fire up your career comes from your home!

 

Beth Kelzer
Follow Beth at LinkedIn.com/in/marybkelzer
CareerToolboxUSA

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