“Don’t limit your challenges … Challenge your limits”
A few weeks ago, on her way to the Columbia center for our monthly meeting, Krasi heard the dreaded “Ssssssssss” sound coming from one of her tires. Luckily, she made it safely into the parking lot before the tire was completely flat. Not wanting to be late, she rushed into the building and up the stairs to find her teammates, Rebecca and Caitlin, diligently designing the best career development program ever. “My tire is flat!” she announced.
Without a fleeting thought, Rebecca and Caitlin stood up, fists to their side, and declared, “Never fear, Krasi! We can help you.” They bravely stepped into the cold, rolled up their sleeves and got to work, disregarding their skirts and dress boots. First, they lifted the car with the jack; next, they used the wrench to remove the nuts. With all their might they worked on the wrench, kicking and turning to get the tightly fastened screws unwound. With grease on their hands and face, they turned down the help of two gentlemen in the parking lot. “We got this,” they grunted. Krasi, documenting the experience, was amazed by their tenacity.
The spare tire was brought out, but alas, it was flat. Never mind! They attached it anyway. With the endorphin rush that followed the triumphant removal of the screws, nothing could stop them. The spare needed air, though. Krasi stepped up to the task. “I can do this,” she said. “Wish me luck!” She drove, ever so slowly, to the closest gas station, careful not to bend her rims. Finally, success.
The three walked back into the Columbia center, with dirty hands and a few scratches on their boots, but confident to face the days and weeks of challenges that inevitability lay ahead.
While a flat tire might seem as a minor nuisance to many, on that day, for my colleagues and I, the flat tire presented a serious problem. By accepting it as a challenge to be addressed head-on, we gained not only technical experience, but also a new perspective on identifying and accepting challenges, big or small. Most importantly, we gained newfound confidence and created a pathway to seek out solutions to other problems that we would perhaps have otherwise avoided.
What does changing a flat tire have to do with a job search? A lot, really. For many, the flat tire in the above story is the current economic environment. It is safe to generalize that finding a job is challenging for most people, whether they are new comers into the market, returning to the workforce, or making a change. For some, the challenge can be a small “hill;” for others, it is their Everest. How we face the challenge, however, determines whether we have what it takes to succeed. Do you have the right tools and the right attitude to embark on and survive the exciting, but often frustrating, job search process?
What challenges have you faced lately? How did you approach them?