Stepping Stone Jobs

What we name something matters.

It sets a tone that alters our attitude.

Give something a new name and the difference may seem insignificant or even trivial.

However, if it changes our attitude, it can amount to a very big change.

Recently, I heard the term "survival job."

I understood this to mean a job that is often part-time and unrelated to one's primary career focus. One takes such a job because one's previous position has been eliminated, out-sourced, down-sized, off-shored, or otherwise zapped.

I heard this term a few times and thought, "Why does the phrase 'hunker-down' come to mind?"

The term suggests an image of bunkers, flack jackets, helmets, and a sound track of voices shouting "incoming!"

That doesn't exactly give a warm, fuzzy feeling, does it?

Maybe we can't change the immediate reality of making ends meet as rapidly as we might wish, but we can change our attitude by some imaginative and empowering nomenclature.

Suppose a "survival job" becomes a "stepping stone job?"

What difference would that make?

Well, the whole notion of heaving a sigh of relief at getting through another day with body and soul in one piece changes.

Our focus is on where we are going and what we are learning in the process rather than braving another day in the wilderness.

After all, if are in this temporary situation anyway, why not make it a transition to something better?

Why make it sound like a reality TV show where the whole world is on the verge of voting us off the island and into a shark-infested bay?

It may be a small change, but it alters the internal landscape and engages the mind in a powerful way because it changes attitude.

And with a new attitude, we will do lots more than just survive.

About The Author

Copyright 2004 by Tony Papajohn.

Tony writes and speaks on success. Subscribe to his free SuccessMotivator e-zine at

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