Saturday, June 26, 2010

What You THINK You Need and What You REALLY Need - More Thoughts from Life

A friend, who's had a spotty time with jobs lately, contacted me with "good" news. "I've got a job offer on the table to go be a ramp supervisor at Dulles! That's a load off!" Upon closer examination, the job pays less than half, he's done it before and it's a go no where job, he's putting one more pin in a job map that's been all over the place, and he's mainly worried about improving cash flow at the house with a kid coming. So I sent him this -

"My Friend

The problem that always intrudes into these situations is - if you have a new job there's always the spin up time, and then the basic expectation that you will be focused on your work. This means not focused on a different job - aka the job of finding that better career opportunity.

I have said a number of times that finding a job is a full time job in and of itself. One of the ways that you can impress a potential employer is by demonstrating that you understand that, in the way you have been conducting your job search. After all they have little else in terms of real performance that they can look at.

This is where the notion of faith has to enter the picture... not it terms of Christianity or Buddhism or anything religious but the simple function of belief in yourself and what you are doing. It is easy to "settle", to take the easy path, to do something that is less than what you want to do, because it covers the bases. When it gets right down to it, that's not much better than the subsistence worker, like a Masai who come in from the bush, gets a menial job just long enough to pay for the pots and knife that he wants, and then heads back to the bush.

I am not trying to talk you out of this but there really is a point, for any of us doing this, where you have to be able to make that wager and say "I'm betting I can do better!" and then really WORK the plan to do better. Part of the process requires faith in yourself, and part of the process requires action based on that faith. Where are you on the path we set out before? How far are you with your tickler list of contacts? If you want to have the bases covered while your hunt that's fine but you better be real clear with yourself about what time and effort you will need to put in to work the issues, above and beyond the time required for that job. Depending upon when that job is, you may or may not have much time during normal working hours, when you can realistically contact people, to work the better job issues. The odds on shot is that the next time you'll have the time to no kidding, actually WORK the problem of improving your job situation will be the NEXT TIME your out of work.

Just make a pass through all this and let it mull for a couple hours, then, make your decision. Silence the clamor of worry and fear. Set aside the anxiety of the moment. To quote something useful from Dune - the Bene Gesserit "Litany Against Fear" :

"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

This is that point in life where you have to make a decision that will effect the rest of your life. There are probably moments like this every day. What message do you want to send yourself? your wife? your life? It is a simple thing with vast potential. Are you really going to fall into the river with the crocodiles, or are you going to get your leg over that pipe, get across the river, and complete your mission? You have to decide what, and how much, you believe about you. It is Herculean to tell the panic to take a fuckin' hike the first time you do it, but it gets easier after that. How much of you is chutzpah, how much schmuck? How much is cajones, and how much is frijoles? In your soul of souls only you know. I have expectations and beliefs, my wife has expectations and beliefs, your wife has expectations and beliefs, but only YOU can make the decisions that determine the answer to those questions. Whatever you decide - understand this. Life is to be lived without regret. Whatever you decide, if you then spend your life regretting it, you made the wrong decision. Whatever you decide, decide something you can be happy with and then, be HAPPY!


He called me ten minutes later and wanted to know how I could read inside his soul like that. I said I didn't need to read inside his soul, I simply paid attention to those moments in my own. We all KNOW what is right, what we really want but how often do we have the fundamental courage to put it out on the table and lay claim to it? That's where the rubber meets the road!!

No comments: