Whatever your life’s work is, do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Pete Ferguson
Recently my brother-in-law applied for a job with great promise and increased salary. He did his research and was convinced that it would be the perfect opportunity.
Unfortunately he didn’t get it.
Recession is when a neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. ~ Ronald Reagan
Today I worked out with friend with whom I’d worked a year or so ago to fix up his resume, identify his passion, and put together a plan of action.
He also applied for a job that he thought would be perfect for him – but didn’t get it. Now he is back in school and working towards a much more promising future.
At the time he was applying for the job I discussed with him the bureaucracy and politics he would have to face. At the time he just wanted a steady salary and sense of purpose and the ability to go from unemployed to gainfully employed.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. ~ Confucius
I’ve had several opportunities over the years to apply for what I also thought would be the perfect job. I got into the final interviews and thankfully the other party decided I wasn’t the best fit for the position.
At the time I was disappointed, discouraged, and dismayed. But I’ve since had the chance to go back and visit the person who did take on the job or talk to others who worked (and now no longer work) for those companies and I can very clearly see how I would not have been happy for very long.
This month I commence my 15th year at eBay. That’s a really long time. If I was in Law Enforcement or the military, I’d be five years from retirement.
Throughout the journey I’ve been blessed to make of my job what I want to make of it. There are many times I feel it is the perfect job for me. There have been times when I have felt stuck and needed to get out.
Thankfully each time I’ve been able to change direction and create the perfect job for me.
There was a time I loved to travel. And I did 180,000 miles in a year going to Asia and Europe.
There was a time I loved to manage large teams and I was privileged to have over 100 reports across multiple continents.
I burned out, however, spent a few years getting back in touch with what I love to do most – build. And now I’m in a position that was not a position two years ago and I’m having the time of my life.
The very existence of flame-throwers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done. ~ George Carlin
Being out of work sucks. But for me and the friends I’ve seen go through it, it has also been a very powerful shift in understanding oneself – getting in touch with one’s true inner passion for work and making dramatic changes to move in a different direction.
If you are currently in the job search – all the best luck to you. It is hard to understand now, but many of the “right” jobs will not feel like the right job after a few weeks. You not getting that position now sucks – but in the longer run I hope you can look back and see why. I’m grateful that I’ve been blessed to see the 20/20 hindsight.
It is a hard transition to go from expecting others to make you happy (with salary, benefits, promotions, etc.) and turn inward and realize the only person capable of these things is yourself.
A lot of people quit looking for work as soon as they find a job.- Zig Ziglar
- Create the Perfect Elevator Pitch – Land That Job (leadyoucareerconsulting.com)
- When You Are Stuck – Just Do The Opposite (LearnActShare.com)
- 7 Questions You Should Never Ask During a Job Interview (workawesome.com)
- Who is Your Worst Enemy? (LearnActShare.com)