One Shining Moment: Your Career Breakthrough

Don’t worry, this isn’t another one of those March Madness posts about employee productivity loss or the perils of workplace gambling. Are those topics important? Sure. Do I care about them right now? Not really.

Rather, I’d like to focus on perhaps the purest aspect of the tournament – the concept and celebration of “One Shining Moment.” At the conclusion of Monday night’s National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Men's Division I Basketball Championship game, the winners will climb a ladder and ceremoniously cut down the nets. At some point between post-game interviews and the official trophy presentation, you’ll hear the “One Shining Moment” song and a video montage of highlights from the tournament.

It’s an emotional rollercoaster. You’ll feel the highest of highs (game-winning three pointers, gravity-defying slam dunks, and bench players celebrating in peculiar ways) and the lowest of lows (a missed free throw, an assistant coach consoling an injured player, or a student-athlete hunched over on the floor knowing they just played their final collegiate game).

However, a central theme remains through the song – each of the players and coaches had their moment – win or lose, it’s something that they’ll remember forever as a catalyst that will shape their future.

You’ll have these types of pivotal moments in your career too, sometimes known as a career breakthrough. You might nail the big presentation or you just might fumble with your words and call a key executive by the wrong name (so what if that’s happened to me!). What matters most is the preparation and dedication it took to get to that moment and the fortitude you display in the moment itself. If you prepared effectively and continue to do so, I guarantee you’ll find your way to another moment soon.

The outcome is not necessarily the most important aspect of your breakthrough, it’s what you did to get there and how you respond afterwards to get to another career-defining situation.  Sometimes, it’s as simple as just having the courage to pursue those moments. David Barrett’s lyrics in “One Shining Moment” describe this all much more poetically than I can though:

“And when it's done, win or lose,

You always did your best, ‘Cause inside you knew...

(That) one shining moment, you reached for the sky

One shining moment, you were willing to try”

Get excited for the last few college basketball games of the year and get even more excited to find your “One Shining Moment” or career breakthrough at the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition in Washington D.C.

See you there with the #SHRM16 Blog Squad!


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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