Sure, technical skills matter, but no matter what field you’re in, how you relate with people and the diversity of life experiences you bring into your circle matters.
“…building relationships is important because you just never know where the next opportunity is going to come from.”
You fought as hard as you could. You jumped through every hoop. You kept your head in the game and your eye on the ball. AND you did not prevail!
Four interviews over two weeks or seven callbacks over nine months; it doesn’t matter. Sometimes, you can do everything right and still not get what you want!
What do you do?
You grieve. For a bit. I suggest no more than three days. That’s my personal limit. After all, Jesus rose after three days, so it seems symbolically important too. (How’s that from a Jewish girl?)
AND THEN . . .
You pull yourself together and ask yourself: Do I want to quit, or do I want to allow this to make me work harder (and smarter)?
Depending on the answer, you act accordingly.
My daughter has chosen to follow in my musical theater footsteps, and it’s been a roller coaster of a ride. She worked professionally when she was a tween and came very, very close to several Broadway shows. She had HUGE “almosts.” Then, she became a teen — the kiss of death in professional theater. These are the “dead” years where you go back to your high school and community theaters and get more experience until you can come back as a pro after eighteen. (It’s less hassle to hire an 18-year-old who can play a younger teen, than hire a teen who comes with labor laws and schooling requirements).
We have been poised on that ledge of disappointment many, many times.
“Do you want to quit?”
“No,” she says.
“Then use this to build your determination to be the best you can be.”
The same goes for you.
Now, as a possible career transition seeker, not all circumstances roll like my daughter’s situation. Fighting ageism, changes in an industry, a gap in your resume and other issues don’t get resolved solely with determination and skill building. However, it does call for evolving determination, along with learning how to leverage your previous experience into something new and marketable.
That is where we come in. Please check out how to do this at Now What Coaching.
We hear it all the time . . . “Am I too old to go for something new? To follow my dream? To start a business?”
And, the answer is quite simply, no.
If you’re still here, you’ve got possibilities worth exploring. Need some proof? Read on . . .
At the airport this past Friday morning:
A young man (I am guessing between the ages of 17-25) dances/skips with perfectly pointed toes across the endless carpeted open space in the international arrivals terminal in Toronto. I see him from the top of the escalator two stories up. Upon a closer look, I can see he isn’t a professional. He and his mother happened to exit at the same time I did. I asked the woman if I could talk to her son. She paused.
“He’s autistic,” she said.
“I know,” I said and proceeded.
“I saw you dancing in there.”
“I’m not a dancer,” he said.
“Well, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your joy. It made me very happy to see you dance.”
He walked away. His mom cried.
She seemed shocked that someone even noticed her son, much less had something kind to say to him.
I posted this bit on Facebook, and the reactions and shares piled up. Many acknowledged me for my actions which, frankly, still embarrasses me. I didn’t mean to attract attention to myself. I wanted to share this scene for people to take in and bring their own meaning to it.
In the few days since, I thought it was worth repeating here as an invitation. That invitation is to look up from your devices and skip past instant assumptions. Focus your perspective to cut through the surface to find a connection or commonality you can appreciate with our fellow human beings. See their humanity.
You know what I saw when I watched the dancing young man? First, I saw beauty in his form. Then I marveled at the freedom he gave himself to enjoy the open, uncrowded, carpeted space. Then I projected myself into that observation. Whenever I am in an open, carpeted expanse, like an empty Las Vegas conference ballroom (not random, I’m in these ballrooms often for speeches), I want to do the very same thing he was doing! I want to jump and dance and fly through the space to the limits of my human ability. Before a certain age, I cartwheeled when I was alone in these spaces. So by looking up from my device and coming upon the bird’s eye view of this dancer, I saw beauty, felt joy in watching him, and connected it to my secret. I relished the moment.
I also had to say something to him about it. I knew he wouldn’t care, but I felt moved to talk to him. I felt I could relate to this mother who has it much harder than I do. I know she lives in a world most don’t understand. I wanted her to know her boy had an impact. His freedom to be himself mattered.
What will you notice today? What will you SEE?
If you read this because you’re on the Now What? (am I going to do) journey, being more in tune with what’s going on around you can help open your eyes to opportunities that might otherwise go unnoticed.
If you haven’t found your passion yet, don’t despair! Passions aren’t lying in wait for you to uncover them, nor is there just one “true” passion for each of us.
Our core interests aren’t whetted to one path or career. Rather, they can be cultivated – growing and developing over time as we explore new areas of interest and approach the world with an open, curious mind.