I like to think of a career as a building made of bricks. So, for a moment, imagine that every day of your working life is a single brick.
What are you going to do with your brick today?
You can use it to build a monument to your own self-importance.
You can use it build a prison of self-pity around yourself.
You can throw the brick through a window like an angry vandal.
You can put the brick aside and do nothing with it.
Or you can build a dignified tower dedicated to high purpose, excellence, generosity, collaboration and the joy of a job well done.
It won’t always be easy. At some point, you will be treated unfairly. Your hard work will go unrecognized. You will stumble and fall. You will have to occasionally endure unreasonable requests, stressful conditions and difficult projects. There will be days when you’ll want to stay home.
But remember this: You have more control over your career than you realize. Because the character and attitude you bring to your job each day will determine your destiny.
Over time, brick by brick, you can the build the career and the legacy that you choose.
Good luck on your first day of work. Start building something remarkable.