Everyone has something to say about Auckland’s traffic.
I recently returned to Auckland and seeing the growth in Auckland and the rise of overwhelming congestion was quite a shock to the system.
When sitting in traffic (which, let’s face it, is quite often), I’ve had a lot of time to think about the journey we take on the road and in our careers.
When the road is easy and there’s very little congestion, you get to work in a wonderful mood. However, just one incident and the journey is much less pleasant.
But should that determine your attitude for the rest of the day?
Choose to have a great attitude.
I was guilty of getting frustrated when my car was barely inching forward on my way to work. I’d aggressively tap my steering wheel and rage internally at how clueless everyone on the road was, except for me of course! This is the problem: every individual is stuck and your journey is not the most important one. Just one of many.
So I decided to do something about it with two steps. I discovered if I take a few of the back roads I’d skip a whole lot of intersections which are always clogged. I also take deep breaths, turn up the radio and sing loudly to whatever old-time hit is blasting. I start tapping my fingers to the beat of the song instead.
Not only do I get to my destination sooner, I arrive in a more positive mood.
What does my attitude in traffic have to do with my career?
Our career journey spans over a long time and it’s just like Auckland traffic. Some days it’s free flowing and your trip is going great! You’re progressing as fast as you want. Nothing to see here, just a career going well.
Other times, you hit a brick wall (of traffic) and things just aren’t happening for you. You’re struggling with your workload, your boss or maybe you’re just feeling like you’re going nowhere.
But if your heart is in it and the drive is there (pun intended) you will eventually get to your destination - whether that is your dream job, retirement or another key milestone.
Sometimes traffic is so bad you plug your journey into Google Maps and find there is a quicker, more pleasant route. You need to make the judgement call - whether to stay in the queue or sneak off the side-street. The alternative route could be a new role which gets you to your destination faster. It may make your journey more pleasant.
Don’t ruin getting to your destination by having a bad attitude.
Enjoy what attracted you to be on that journey in the first place. How you act during your journey makes all the difference to how you feel when you get to the other side.
There will always be traffic slowing you down on the road and in your career. How you handle your attitude, and which roads you take is entirely up to you.