accepting the fork in the road

 Photo by Pat Cegan

Photo by Pat Cegan

This is an article I wrote back in 2014, when I was rigorously searching for a job and fighting to find my confidence during a major growing period in my life.  I had willingly left two jobs I had been working for almost two years, and I knew I was taking a pretty big risk leaving without another job lined up.  Although not a tactic I would highly recommend, I had the opportunity to land some amazing interviews with some incredible people throughout the Chicago, New York and the Cincinnati areas, and I grew as a person because of it.

Eventually, the risk paid off and I managed to land a position that was the perfect fit. Life is weird in that regard, but I'm lucky enough to have some incredible parents and role models in my life.  Although I'm all about moving forward, I think it's important to look back at times and remember where you came from and how much hard work you put in along the way.  This article came at a time when I was fighting to find the positivity throughout my job search, but I felt it was important to stay positive, be grateful for my family and friends and really dig deep.   It's funny, but at the time I wrote this, I really felt my journey was going to take me to Chicago, IL.  I was almost sure of it. However, as time progressed, I began to realize that the journey presents itself in unique ways that I would have never imagined possible. Sometimes, things work out and don't work out for specific reasons, and you just have to go with the flow.  So, I ended up doing just that, and here I am today...


Accepting the fork in the road

To be 100% honest with you folks out there, staying positive in tough situations can be hard work. Very hard work, in fact.  Sometimes, our minds take over and we think that the world around us is crumbling down, when in fact, it is just starting to align.  Currently, I’m looking for work in the Chicago area, as it’s a city I have wanted to live in for quite some time now.  I have lived in Ohio my entire life, and am ready to experience life in a big city.  It is just something that I have always wanted to do, and the time is now.

That being said, the job search can be a very difficult process.  So many people have so much to offer out there, but sometimes, it may not come across that way. You may botch the interview. The company might not align with your goals and priorities moving forward.  You may strongly dislike the person who interviews you. Or, you might just have difficulty conveying your strengths to a potential employer. To be honest, I am not a very good interviewer.  I haven’t interviewed that many times over the years, and know that I need to start role-playing a bit more to really start building my skills and ensuring success.  However, just because I can say that now, doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult as hell to admit.  I thought I had more answers about my goals and expectations three to four months ago, but I am realizing that maybe I didn’t know as much about myself as I thought.

Interviews are a weird process.  Phone interviews can be tough to gauge, while in-person interviews can be extremely awkward, and often, you just don’t say the right things along the way.  Sometimes, the company doesn’t say the right things either, and that is why the process is a two-way street. Do not ever forget that.  I repeat, do not ever forget that.  If it doesn’t feel right from the start, then it probably isn’t, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Sure, this is easy for me to say as I sit here in my job search and work on selling myself to the world. However, it really isn’t that easy to say, as admitting vulnerabilities can be such a tough avenue for humans to venture down. In the end, you’ve got to stay positive throughout it all.

Hearing that you’re not the right fit for a position, or you’re not skilled enough for a particular role can be such a negative experience.  Keeping it in hindsight is key, but it is our human nature to be disappointed after something doesn’t go our way.  I am doing my best to learn from these disappointments and realize that a major search is part of a bigger process.  To search for something requires you to put yourself out there to the world, and you might have to sift through some folks who don’t align with your personality to get there.  It’s OKAY, you just have to keep going.  There is light at the end of the tunnel, and there is an employer that thinks you are great, already.  If they are really good, they might not only be excited about the value you can bring to their company, but the amount of knowledge they can teach you along the way, as well.  You just have to find them.  Here are five important things to keep in mind in your search:

  1. Stay Positive – No Matter What!
  2. Sell Your Skills, Goals and Ideas, But Never Sell Your Soul.
  3. Just Keep Going – You Will Find What You Are Looking For.
  4. If Family or Friends Offer You Help, Take it (You Would Help Them, Right?)
  5. Put it Out To God and the Universe – Someone is Always Listening and Willing to Help