Just down the street, there's a widget factory. The people who go to work there generally start out on an even footing — working on the shop floor, making widgets. Why do some of them end up in window offices, making the big bucks and growing to their fullest potential?
Here's what I think.
Employees who start out and exhibit an average talent for making widgets and/or an average level of enthusiasm about making widgets — are likely to remain widget makers.
Not all employees fit this profile, though. There's a distinctly different type of employee, one likely to climb the ranks. They have a passion for widgets. They follow the widget industry, reading up on it in their spare time. Some are intrigued by what will replace widgets. Others become fascinated by how to make widgets better. Or how to make them more efficiently. Maybe these exceptional employees blog about widgets. Or take classes. Or join widget user groups. Some can be found at work early, playing around with new widget making software and hardware. Others stay late. They take it upon themselves to advance their knowledge. Not just about widgets themselves, but about the bigger picture: how are widgets best used?
Again, and most significantly, these employees have a passion for widgets. It’s readily apparent every day.
While the rest of employee population continues to punch the clock, making widgets day after day, these employees’ days on the widget shop floor are numbered. No successful widget company can afford not to tap into their exceptional skills.
Of course, this is of no importance to most job seekers. After all, we’re only talking widgets here.