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Career Advice: Control What You Can Control

Johanna Herbst

Apr 25, 2023

Control what you can control and find peace with everything else.

I was reflecting on my recent podcast interview with Terry Tucker. We spoke about his learnings from his cancer journey and what is one thing that he wished he had known when he was still working in corporate America. His answer was “Control what you can control.” I kept thinking about it what can you actually control in your job and what is out of your control? Knowing that will guide you where to put your energy.

So, let’s think about it for a moment. You can control your attitude and the effort you bring to your job. You cannot control the mood of your boss. Maybe your boss is “hangry” because he is on a diet or mad because she just lost a business deal.

What is important about knowing what you can and cannot control? It helps you put your energy where it can have an impact.

Take a moment and think about what you can actually control: being on time, greeting others nicely, being kind, or delivering high-quality work. What are three things YOU CAN CONTROL every single workday?

And you knew this question was coming your way… What can you not control at work? If you cannot control something, how should you go about it? The word acceptance comes to mind. If you worry whether it will rain will not have any impact on the actual weather. Basically, you could just stop worrying and take it as it comes.

Anyway, I learned a lot from my conversation with Terry, and I hope you will enjoy this Reaching your Goals episode.

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