Creating Your Story — Getting Out of Your Way
Have you ever searched for your perfect next job only to discover your emotions are getting in the way of taking action? What steps might you take for a more likely outcome?
Well, you probably research the pros and cons of the company, learn everything you can about the culture, talk to those in your circle and get feedback, spend time on Google learning about the CEO, the company’s financial stability, and maybe learn about the Board of Directors. Depending on your locale you take a quick drive-by Corporate Headquarters to get a feel for the main campus.
As you send off your resume and absolutely perfect cover letter, you sigh a note of relief, “Ah, that’s done, finally. All that’s left is to wait for the call.” A day, week, a month goes by. No acknowledgment of your perfect introduction describing who you are, what you’ve accomplished and fear begins to creep in — those moments of panic and turmoil. For many, the emotional journey goes something like this:
Scenario 1 — Total Apathy — “I’m not good enough and who cares anyway?”
Scenario 2 — Rage — Contact HR and demand to know what’s going on
Scenario 3 — Rationalize and Justify — Deliberately and intentionally look for a compromise — a more congenial approach. After calling HR again and getting no definitive answer one way or the other, deciding to rationalize the apparent lack of interest by the company absent any facts.
Scenario 4 — Volunteer — Explore the possibility of an unpaid internship, anything to get a foot in the door, “Hey, maybe that’ll just work.”
Scenario 5 — Strategize — Develop a strategy to accidentally meet the CEO and/ or hiring executive and negotiate an informal interview.
Scenario 6 — Call on a Higher (or Hire) Power for help and support. You feel empowered. Your intuition tells you, “You got this!” Every indication points to a positive outcome.
Scenario 7 — You are Fearless! Go for It! Just do it! You dress in your best interview attire and drive to Corporate Headquarters. You stalk the parking lot, corner one of the decision makers and convince him/her that you are the best person for the job. The approach is not tied to any outcome.
Suddenly you awake from your day-dream, realizing that you imagined the best and worst case scenario in your job search. You’ve created your own story.
How did the worse case serve you? The best case? It’s so easy to create your own story — and just make it up as you go along. When you are apathetic or enraged with the prospect of not getting your dream job, you block the energy needed to move forward and explore possibilities and to be open to all lessons the opportunity may afford you. By reframing the worse case scenario, one can move to a healthier course of action. The outcome will occur with an outlook absent of fear or anger.
Interestingly enough, we all move from emotions of fear and anxiety to those of hope and possibility on a daily basis depending on the story we tell ourselves. And we may or may not follow each step listed above. Instead, we may skip a few, experience each step in succession, jump back and forth, or experience any number of combinations. That said, not much happens until a plan is acted on. Moving to action after preparation, practice, research and the development of a sound strategy can make a difference when seeking a positive outcome. After all, it’s about how you show up throughout the journey and how you course correct as needed. So how will you show up? What will your story look like?