After losing my job a few weeks ago, I did what every newly unemployed person does. I called all my friends, acquaintances, and anyone I hoped had remembered my name, to drum up leads for new opportunities. If nothing else, I needed people to get out and talk to so I wouldn’t have to sit at home stuck behind a computer all day. As it turns out, you cannot predict who is going to help you on your job search or which leads will pan out. What you think in your mind is good for you, may not be what fate has in the cards for you.
Most people who know me well, know that I am a person of science (actually engineering) and I put little faith in ‘The Powers That Be’ or ‘The Universe’. I had to admit the events of the last few weeks left me befuddled. I had two companies that I was pursuing, but for some reason on one (in which I felt like I put very little effort) turned out to be the right opportunity for me. The second lead, for which I had numerous contacts into the company and attempted several paths of introductions, I could not seem to get anything to happen. I wondered what was going wrong. Was I pushing to hard? Was it just not the ‘right’ opportunity for me and the universe was telling me so? In the end, my hard work did not seem to make a difference or pay off.
After receiving my job offer last week, I realized, it isn’t always how hard you work that determines what happens to you. Sure, you actually have to do some work (like show up for the interview). Sometimes things will inexplicably fall into your lap, and you need to accept that this. You have to stop questioning what you might call ‘good luck’.
Every day you will come across people who may or may not be giving and willing to help you. Those are the people who for some reason turn out to be the most beneficial and fruitful for you. Think about your daily life and all the people you meet or interact with. Doesn’t it feel nice to volunteer your help or assistance with things that you are passionate about? I think the job hunt process works the same way. Those who volunteered assistance seemed to be better at making things happen with little intervention from me. It was if it was predetermined. I know this sounds like a lot of mumbo jumbo, however, if you think positively about what you want, it may just fall in your lap. Don’t fight it, embrace it. The universe really is a lot bigger than you are.
Yesterday as part of my job hunt I attended a local nonprofit group event called Southwest Job Network that was held at Temple Chai (yes there are Jewish people in Arizona). There were a number of people there for the new member orientation (those who were newly unemployed or just new to events with this organization.) Right away I felt negative vibes. I was sensing anger and frustration from many of the people. Maybe I am weird because I am so upbeat about everything so it was hard for me to see myself in that place, that place called “negativity-land”. I wondered if this is where I would end up if it took me 9 months or a year to find a new job despite additional education, training, resume rewrites, and interview coaching. I was trying to stay positive in place that at that particular moment seemed overwhelmingly negative, which to be honest is expected when people lose their livelihood and often their identity.
The feeling changed as soon as the guest speaker came in. The speaker at the event, Bill True discussed “Shame-less Self-Promotion”. I really loved his presentation. Anyone who gets the opportunity to see him speak should take the opportunity. I walked away with the idea that people like to ‘volunteer’ versus being told what to do and hiring managers like to hire people who are also selfless. It made complete sense and really goes against so many things being taught to job seekers. Managers are people and they want to hire people. Real people not robots!
From a personal perspective I recognize that I would want to hire the person who would do whatever it takes to make a project successful and not just a person who met all the qualifications. I want the person who would volunteer to clean the bathroom or take out the trash (if those were actual job duties) because the team has to work toward the needs of the greater good . No, not just the company greater good, the team! Team is the family you call co-workers, or something called community. (Hey, as the leader I will also take out the trash!)
I found it strange that I had to lose my job to see the loss in community all around me. I like to believe that every one of us has something to give or something to share. A kind word, assistance with a resume, a job lead, or even helping a person cross the street. Where has chivalry gone? (This isn’t just directed at men, it applies to women too.) The random acts of kindness are rare but cherished. What are you going to do to help someone today?