I once spent a summer trying to work for somebody else. It was a fascinating experience in identity, communication and career management.
And what’s interesting is, the very first job interview I went on, they offered me the position on the spot. For a lot of money. To do work that would have been stimulating and challenging and enlightening.
But I decided to turn the offer down. Partly because I was suspicious of succeeding too quickly, partly because the firm didn’t seem like a good fit for my personality, and partly because I didn’t want to jump at the first opportunity that came my way.
Little did I know, I would spend the next four months apply for more than twelve hundred jobs. Twelve hundred jobs. I went on dozens of interviews and turned in homework assignments and made presentations to hiring managers and attended networking events and even met with a few recruiters.
And the experience was transformative. I learned more about myself and the world and how business works and what companies are looking for than I ever could have imagined. More importantly, I hit some serious emotional and psychological lows, and that pain positively motivated me to reinvent my brand, recommit to my business, produce heaps of new art and make a tectonic shift in my professional trajectory.
But had I accepted that first job offer, none of that would have happened. Had I jumped at the first opportunity that showed even a modicum of interest in my talent, I never would have grown for the better.
Lesson learned, never rob yourself of the opportunity to hit your low. Raise your hand for pain. Put yourself through the wringer. You’ll come out the other side stronger, more textured and better equipped to handle what comes next.
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
Now booking for 2015-2016.
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