Sunday, October 1, 2017

Try Something for the First Time to Shift Your Job Search Perspective

Author: Terry Adams

Mark Beal, PR guru-professor-author, shared his 101 Lessons They Never Taught You In College at a recent PSG gathering in the Princeton Library. Although each lesson is a valuable learning for all “post-college grads”, Mark highlighted the ones he thought most benefited our group of professionals in transition. Masterfully, Mark related a dozen or so lessons bringing each one to life with personal antidotes and stories, Mark’s signature style. Lesson #46 struck a chord for me.

Five years ago my daughter asked to go skydiving on her 18th birthday and my response was, “Great idea, I’ll take you but I’m not jumping!” This chorus repeated every year since. Mark presented Lesson #46 Try Something for the First Time and my brain perked-up asking, “Why not jump?”

In the face of looking for a new job and being confronted with various beliefs about getting the right position, I asked myself again, “Why not jump?” This query uncovered a fear within myself regarding falling out of an airplane with a malfunctioning parachute...that terrified me! Was I experiencing a similar fear around my job search, i.e., What if the next position didn’t work out?

Fast forward to this weekend, my daughter’s 23rd birthday, she and I jumped out of an airplane 10,000 feet in the air, made a free fall for 55 seconds, and an eight minute parachute drop!! My nerves were calm until my daughter jumped before me and I glimpsed the earth below, deep gulp! I acknowledged my nerves, focused my attention to the clear, blue sky and the great opportunity to feel free and energized. That imagery got me off the plane. The ground was in my view whether I wanted it or not (I could have closed my eyes but that would be a waste!)  My eyes looked down and my arms outstretched, I felt the intense pressure against my chest and face, and yelled, “Oh My God…!” After that, we gently parachuted to the exact spot where my tandem partner glided us to a soft halt. WOW!

My landing was safe: no nausea, no jitters, no broken bones, and all pure adrenaline pumping through my veins. My first thought was, “Why did I wait so long?” This experience provided me a fitting metaphor for my job search. Instead of seeking a position out of fear of being unemployed or the new job may not work out, my circumstantial view shifted to realizing an opportunity like the beautiful clear sky on Sunday morning at 10,000 feet in the air. This is my opportunity to find a great position, one that pumps pure adrenaline through my veins! Thank you, Mark, for being the catalyst for this enlightenment!