“Great ambition and conquest without contribution is without significance. What will your contribution be? How will history remember you?” – William Hundert
It’s been almost four years since my wife and I moved to Colorado from New Jersey. While we both were fortunate to secure jobs early on, I’m not sure they were truly “careers” for either one of us. Eventually, we found ourselves asking the question, what is my contribution?
Three years into her career, my wife was blessed to find a new position with ideal circumstances to suit her. But as my organization continued to evolve, I found myself growing frustrated over the reality that I had become a “doer” not a “contributor”.
David Lagercrantz once wrote, “You either have a useful contribution to make or you don’t, regardless of whether you’re head of the office or the emperor of China.”
Well, I’m not an emperor, but I certainly know I still have a lot to contribute as my career journey continues.
Being a “doer” or a “contributor”. Two simple words with powerful meanings – especially when it comes to our careers.
Far too often, we grow lazy and easily satisfied when it comes to our “jobs”.
We simply become doers, many times not realizing that we’ve failed to contribute anything positive in our role. We say things like it’s “easy” and “familiar” when referring to our jobs.
We’re no longer an influencer in the organization, but rather someone who does little more than collect a paycheck twice a month.
Suddenly, we no longer seek ways in which we can offer our services during a 40-hour work-week, but rather how our jobs can service us.
Debasish Mridha once said, “Always think about how you can contribute and never think of how you can receive a contribution.” So true!
Take a moment – a moment in silent reflection – and ask yourself, when it comes to my career, what is my contribution?
Have you turned into a “doer” who’s lost all the passion and spirit your career once had? If the answer is “yes”, it might be time for a change. After all, if you don’t love what you’re doing, then why are you doing it?
I’m fortunate to have found a new opportunity – a new career path which will undoubtedly change my status from “doer” to “contributor”. And though I’ve just started out on this new journey, I can tell you with complete honesty that the change already feels wonderful.