The Day Job – Let’s do this

Here’s our start of a weekly series of life lessons I’ve learned from the day job. I’m not trying to write a leadership book, but in this adventure we’ll call my day job, I keep seeing the same themes of enlisted leadership and daily life that I think are worth sharing in and out of uniform. Those of us in leadership positions are doing the best we can every day, with every person, and no two days or people are the same. I’m not the only one out here living life and learning, but I’d like to share some ideas with you so we can talk about them.

I’ve been in the Navy for 24 years. I left Bangor at 18, so the Navy’s the only real job I’ve had in my adult life. Overall, it’s been a great ride, but we all have our ups and downs. Military service is demanding, but I’ve made most of my own decisions and rarely felt like I was being forced into a bad gig. The hard times were mostly of my own doing, and with any luck, I’d like you to not follow in those footsteps. If there’s another title for this blog, we could call it “Don’t be like Jamie,” but that doesn’t have the same catchy ring to it.

I’ve lived in five countries and seen about 20 others along the way. I’ve been lost in more of those countries than I care to admit, and maybe asked for directions in two of them. Most importantly, I’ve met some of the best and brightest our nation has to offer and made some of the best friends anyone could ask for around the world.

Sooner or later, they’ll force me to retire or I’ll leave when I feel I’m no longer effective. Home is right where I left it, and I think I can find my way back when the time is right. Until then, I’ll keep with the day job because it deserves my time and energy, and I still enjoy it every day. I hope you can say the same thing, that you enjoy the job you have. No matter what that job is or what job you’re striving for, I want you to be successful. With any luck, this collection will help you towards your personal and professional goals.

So, let’s get started, and let’s have some fun.
Let’s do this.

Have a great week out there.


– JT

James Tinker

About James Tinker

James was born and raised in Bangor, and left home at 18 for the Navy. Twenty-five years later, he retired as highest enlisted rank on a warship in San Diego. His popular blog series, The Day Job, shares personal and professional lessons learned through his career.