CDO DJ: Nowhere Man

Katy Montgomery

Katy currently serves as the Global Director of the Career Development Centre at INSEAD where she manages career services professionals across three campuses: Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau, and Singapore. Katy previously served as the Associate Dean for Student Development at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

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Nowhere Man was released by the Beatles in 1966 and featured on the album Rubber Soul. The song was written by John Lennon (although credited to Lennon-McCartney) who stated, “I’d spent five hours that morning trying to write a song that was meaningful and good and I finally gave up and lay down. Then Nowhere Man came, words and music, the whole damn thing, as I lay down.”

There are so many nuggets of wisdom throughout this short song (lasting only 2:43):

He’s a real nowhere man

Sitting in his nowhere land

Making all his nowhere plans for nobody

Doesn’t have a point of view

Knows not where he’s going to

Isn’t he a bit like you and me?

Nowhere Man, please listen

You don’t know what you’re missing

Nowhere Man, the world is at your command

He’s as blind as he can be

Just sees what he wants to see

Nowhere Man can you see me at all?

Nowhere Man, don’t worry

Take your time, don’t hurry

Leave it all till somebody else lends you a hand

“Bit like you and me:” You are not alone if you don’t know exactly what you want to do. Frequently, students walk into my office and tell me everyone has a job, but me. And most of the time it is a completely false statement. More likely than not there is someone who is struggling just like you.

“Sees what he wants to see:” When we are frustrated we often lose perspective and reality testing goes out the window. Sometimes talking to someone and getting an impartial opinion or having someone help you get to the source of your skewed viewpoint can get you out of nowhere land.

“Lends you a hand:” Ask for help. Or, alternatively, be the one who offers help. We are a community and no one person can go at life completely alone.

“Take your time, don’t hurry:” Case in point: John Lennon. Struggles for five hours and can’t write a word and then suddenly a song came to him that ultimately reached number 1 in Australia and Canada and number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. “It” is always there; just because it doesn’t come instantaneously doesn’t mean that it won’t eventually come.

“The world is at your command:” Never forget: everything ebbs and flows. We have highs and lows. But what is always consistent is how you handle the peaks and valleys and appreciate that the struggle makes the easy win that much sweeter.

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