What Traffic Means For Your Career

Let me tell you what I think about when I sit in traffic and how it really impacts your job.
(It’s probably not what you think.)

freeway[Photo by Clément M. on Unsplash]

Many years ago, I flirted with the idea of becoming a professional photographer. “It’s an uphill battle,” they’d say, “the photographer’s market is saturated with everybody and their cell phones.”

I started finding clients. It wasn’t long after the first few “I want our hands held together like a heart like they do on Pinterest, okay?” that I knew portraits weren’t really something I wanted to pursue.

At one time, I also wanted to be a teacher. “Careful,” I’d hear, “the teacher market around here is saturated.”

As my career in tech progressed and I moved into management, applicants would nervously say in their interviews, “so, how many candidates do you have applying for this job? I hear the market is really saturated.”

As my career evolved into a career as a coach and advisor, I was told over and over again, “careful, that market is really saturated.”

Cut forward to my thoughts on traffic.

When I see all the cars around me on the freeway, I’m overcome by how many people there are in the world around us every day. Each car has at least one person who’s heading off to work. Or to family. Or leaving work. Or leaving family. Or starting a cross country caravan trip with 10 college friends. Going to a funeral. Or a wedding.

Most of these people do something for work. Most of them are connected to other people who work. Programmers. Doctors. Clerks. Builders. Drivers. Cooks. People in the service industry. People in tech. People in healthcare. People in the housing market. People in …

It’s this traffic that I think about when I think about the phrase, “that market is saturated.”

We are saturated … with people. With information. With data.

We’re bombarded with the number of people in our field, and we rarely stop to think about all of the other people who need our services and products.

They’re out there. They need us. They need you, doing what you do, with as much of you in what you do as possible. That’s what makes what you do stand out from the crowd.

And for a moment, I enjoy the traffic … just a little.

P.S. In an effort to prove myself wrong, I googled “surgeon job market saturated,” thinking, no way are we overloaded with surgeons. Nope, wrong – plenty of articles proclaiming that the world has too many people who can save your life. I think possibly the only market where no one has claimed saturation yet might be professional cuddling. But give it a few years, I think it’s the next cool thing.

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