When you’re at the beginning of your career level (or at any point in your career, job, volunteer organisation), sometimes we aspire to certain positions not for their monetary or power values but due to our belief that we can achieve much more, or that we can do more at those positions which would make a difference.
Yet, there seems to be a law of Allah running in the Universe which says that everything starts small and will grow given the right factors and conditions. This seems to apply in anything you do, any project you participate in. If you jump straight ahead to the top position, without understanding the ground work of things, or how things develop, you won’t be able to contribute as effectively as if you know the organisation/project inside out.
The above thought might be a demotivator to some people, who really don’t like the idea of making “their way up the ladder”, thinking it is slow and painful process. Yet, my answer to them is that yes, it might be slow, but which is better: you heading to the top position and messing it up, or working your way up slowly but surely and building relations, information sets, and procedures along the way that help you lead the organisation/project effectively later on.
Having said, there’s a method to “speed up” you career ascension, and this is to ask yourself at every level of the organisation, whether you’re a leader, a follower, or a soldier, ask yourself: “What can I contribute?”. People who ask themselves this question will be easily noticeable, as at each level they’ll be enthusiastic, eager, and selfless. They’ll get promoted quickly because they’ve proven themselves that they can take more responsibility and can give more than they take.
Living by “What can I contribute?” is a powerful lifestyle and can be implemented in all areas of your life: “What can I contribute to my family?” “What can I contribute to my local Masjid” “What can I contribute to Islam?” Keep on asking yourself this question, and your attitude towards life in general will change bithniAllah! :).