It is a helpless feeling to watch a new employee get to that place where they make a mental decision about their commitment to their job and the team. They started their position, the honeymoon is over, and they are now evaluating whether they are in or out. I can see it from a mile away and just quietly cross my fingers and send positive thoughts their way. Though I want to intervene, I have learned over time that this choice is a profoundly personal experience in their professional world. I can look on and imagine what they are thinking……This is impossible. I can’t get on top of my workload. I’m overwhelmed. People are upset with me. The expectations are unreasonable. This is too much pressure. I don’t want to fail. I don’t know if this is worth it.

Working for a fast growing company is not for the weak. It requires long hours, a high level problem-solving ability, a rock solid work ethic and the determination to see things through…and that is just to get the work done. You throw in office politics and work alliances and hurt feelings and intense meetings and half-built systems and building pressure and it can hurl someone to where they are staring right at a brick wall. They have two choices — 1) Push through the wall or 2) Leave the position.

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Those who can push through the wall have these traits in common:

  1. Challenge-seekers. Ain’t no amount of work going to hold them down. They treat work like a sporting event and they are going to win.
  2. Positivity Chooser. The key word: Choose. A positive attitude is a choice. Every Day.
  3. Solution-seekers. They will see the problem and immediately move into evaluating solutions and then acting on the best one. They don’t stay in the problem longer than is needed to recognize that there IS a problem.
  4. Determination. Remember the little engine that could? They keep going and push right through that fear of failure.
  5. Socially Resilient. They can see the drama swirling around them and they choose to just walk through it or around it…. Either way they don’t stop to participate in it.

Yes, there are various rewards for pushing through the wall, but I think it is bigger than that. I think it is more about the confidence and self-esteem the person gets from accomplishing what they once thought was impossible and knowing they are a more capable professional as a result.

“I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….”

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