CEO of RIM shares his career "secrets"

In last week’s WORKout I wrote about Lister Sinclair, and how he described his work at CBC Radio as a trip to the “fun factory” (if you missed last week’s WORKout, visit us online at http://thecareercoach.blogspot.com/2007/01/is-your-job-fun-tgim.html). Lister had the TGIM (Thank Goodness it’s Monday) syndrome.

At the end of the article, I mentioned that I had 3 ideas on how to find your very own “fun factory”. I must admit that I got these three ideas while sitting at the feet of Jim Balsillie, Research in Motion Chairman and Co-Ceo (well, maybe not his feet, but from a conversation that we had)! Here are Jim’s 3 tips on having a great career:

1. Realise that you have choice: Jim says that "most obstacles are self-imposed – far more than we could realize". Many people talk about work in terms such as "Golden handcuffs". This speaks to their belief that they don’t have control over their situation. Self-imposed views about choice can either help you or hurt you – you choose!

2. Be optimistic: "If you see the world as a dangerous place, you’ll find danger. If you are optimistic, you’ll find reasons to be", says Jim. Research proves that how you view the world of work is directly related to your ability to be happy and successful. This is not to say that you should ignore problems. I personally am a pragmatic optimist – I look for great, not perfect!

3. Be true to your values: "Real success is a matter of balance, balancing what you value and not the other way around". In the world of work there is constant tension between what others want and what you can live with. Bosses, managers, partners and coworkers all have their own agendas and, quite frankly, their ideas can often be out of line with your values. It is key to know what you value, and not to let external elements fundamentally shift your view.

One last pearl of wisdom from Jim Balsillie:

Accept Career Seasons: "It’s inevitable that careers will have highs and lows". I don’t think Jim could have said it any better. We need to recognize that fun is not going to happen every day. It is when we can deal with all of the “seasons” in our career that we ensure sustainability.

This week’s 10 Minute WORKout:

What would be your answer to the three principles?

Along the road with you,