I admit I’m a little late in joining the Seth Godin fan club. I haven’t read any of his books (yet) and only recently subscribed to his blog. I don’t know what took me so long because I love his posts — they’re short, thoughtful, inspirational, common sense, no nonsense, relevant. Two of his recent posts struck a chord with me:
I’ve finally accepted after 18 months of “exploring opportunities” outside of my industry that it’s time to stop. I’ve spent a lot-lot-lot of time and effort in my search and find myself in almost the same place as when I started: working at the same place, in the same industry, as I have for a long-long-long time. However, I say “almost the same” for a few reasons.
I proved to myself I still have marketable skills. (Of course, I wanted to believe this, but after being somewhere so long it’s hard to know for sure.) I also nearly perfected my resume (when is anything ever “perfect”?) and, more importantly, my story, my pitch — what I bring to the table, what I want and what I need at this stage of my career and life, what motivates me, who I am. This is a great exercise for anyone to do, by the way. My story generated enough interest to get interviews and even to be chosen for the final group of candidates in a couple of cases. Maybe in a different job market it would have made the sale. This time, it didn’t.
I am in no way comparing my experience to anyone who is unemployed; there’s a big difference, as Seth would point out, in needing to, not just wanting to, find a new job. (I also don’t write this all boo-hoo because, all things considered, mine is a rather bourgeois problem to have.) So why am I writing this and how does it relate to Seth Godin?
If you need to give yourself a pep talk about changing the course of your career, like I did, or being recognized for your artistic talents, or turning your hobby into a business, or wanting to find a new relationship, or understanding your place in this world, consider…
“…If you’re frustrated that you’re not getting picked, one plan is to up your game, to hustle harder, to figure out how to hone a pitch and push, push, push. But in the era of picking yourself, it seems to me that you’re better off finding a path that doesn’t require you get picked in order to succeed.”
“I know you worked hard on paying your dues, on building your skills and in being next. We all know that. But that doesn’t mean that the picking system is going to work when you need it to.”
“…If you want to devote your work and your efforts to getting picked, that’s your choice, and more power to you. But I think it’s dangerous to start with the assumption that you have no choice.”
Anyone who knows me knows I’m persistent and believe in making choices and putting yourself out there — just read my dating tales in One-Woman Show !! I also believe that God/the universe/lady luck/whoever-and-whatever-you-believe-in and timing play a key role in the outcome and might be trying to tell you something.
It’s time to explore different kinds of opportunities — where I am currently and how I can design the next stage of my career there, in outside creative pursuits, and who knows what else. It’s kind of a relief, really. It’s kind of nice to get back to picking me.