Hello! My name is Jeff (J.P.) Lethcoe, and I am an English teacher in Palm Desert, California. I hold an M.A. in Humanities and enjoy playing World of Warcraft (Orc Warrior, Level 100.)
I’ve been playing World of Warcraft since the early 2000s. WoW has been a great pastime for my son, now 18, and I to enjoy together throughout his teen years. Now, he is about to go off to college, and I hope to keep in touch with him on our shared WoW server while he is away.
The purpose of this site is to share insights from my book Boss Level: How to Hack Your Way to the Top of Your Career.
I wrote the book with those ages 16-25 in mind, but especially for my son and daughter, who are now both in college. I wanted to give them some insight on how to persevere when times get tough as they look for jobs, take internships, pay their dues, and enter positions of leadership. The road can feel very long. There are times whether you wonder if you are on the right path or not. But before you give up, it might help to see the career ladder from a bird’s-eye view. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. It is easy to panic and question when you don’t feel appreciated by your employer when you feel you should. Though those feelings may have validity, it is important to not look at your career as the job you are currently in: your career is just that – a career. It is a lifetime of failures and accomplishments, eventually ending in your having a wealth of knowledge and expertise at the end.
Working your career is a lot like farming (no WoW pun intended here.) There is the scoping out the land stage, the tilling the ground stage, the planting the seeds stage, the harvesting stage, the selling or eating stage, and the stage where you finally earn the title of “Farmer.” And though that may seem like a long time to work, let me tell you that the ultimate reward comes with TIME and EXPERIENCE, not with momentary successes. The reward is the fact that you didn’t give up. You waited. You worked. You pressed on when times got tough. You learned. Even though you may get impatient and want to, you can’t harvest the fruit of your labor during the tilling or planting stage. You have to nurture your career and wait for it to ripen; it’s the only way for you to feel satisfied with your hard work. In addition, it will give you an identity (farmer) and a purpose. You know who you are and where you’ve been. A simple exercise will support this view: think of an “elite” member of your career field, one that you would consider a master of the craft. I would venture to bet that person has a ton of XP, has established a clear identity within that field, and would be able to give you epic advice on how to level up your own career. Chances are the “mentor” that you thought of has walked a long journey and practiced his or her craft for many years – some of those dark ones full of failures. But now, look at them. They didn’t give up, and now, here you are looking up to them because of all their hard work and contributions.
So let me encourage you on this long “hero’s journey.” In fact, we can do it together. Let’s encourage each other to not give up, to keep learning, to WAIT until the fruit of our labor has ripened. At the end of our careers, we will earn the epic title of being an elite member of our respective career fields. I believe that the MMRLRPG theory can help in this process, which will be discussed in the upcoming blogs.