Dorothy Tannahill Moran
By now most of us know the story of the princess who had to kiss a frog to find her prince. The general belief these days, is that she probably had to kiss a few frogs before finding the one that magically turned into the man of her dreams. I often use that analogy for finding a great career or job. You have to do a lot of frog kissing before finding one that will truly resonate with you.
Yet, we are an impatient group and frequently forget that in order to find greatness, we have to be willing to seek and discover. It’s not an overnight, quick-fix situation. It also takes some effort, which is another thing that many of us have in very short supply.
Let’s look at patience and effort when it comes to finding a job and discovering a career:
Recently, I read a figure that the average job search for the unemployed was now 211 days, which is almost double what it used to be in pre-downturn days. That’s 8 months of looking; and we can all tell stories of people we know or talk to who have been out of work for 2 years or more. That means if you’re looking for a job, it’s going to be a marathon, not a sprint. For most people job searching, that translates into a lot of time to fill.
For people who are working and looking for a job, it will take much longer, because they can’t spend as much time or conduct the level of actions necessary to yield quicker results. There is a belief that it’s better to have a job when you’re looking for a job, but that also means it’s harder because of the time constraints. You have to get serious about time management.
You have to achieve the right attitude and perspective. You can choose to be impatient with the process which translates poorly when you present yourself; or you can choose to realize it is a process driven by time and number of activities. You have to manage your attitude, your time and how many actions you take each day that will get you the job. Yes, that means that MOST of the frogs you kiss will be wrong for you, but you have to keep kissing the frogs. Oh well.
The same message is true for discovering the right career. The best thing you can do is to check out a career that you reject. That means you’re looking and that means you ARE kissing the frogs. You might be shocked at how very few people will go in search of the right career. I spoke to a person recently who had been trying to figure out a new career; and in a very disheartened statement, said they had looked into a specific career only to discover it had aspects to it that they wouldn’t want to do. I congratulated them, which surprised them. It was good to be on a mission of discovery. You won’t find something unless you spend your time researching. Now they know about that career, it wasn’t their dream career. Another frog, please.
I can’t over emphasize the importance of putting in some effort on both of these endeavors. Once again, in our instant gratification world, we kind of think like all we need to do is hit the enter button for a google-like answer. It doesn’t work like that. You have to work at it. You have to be doing multiple things at the same time. You have to talk to people, ask questions, do research, and find out about business and trends. If you’re in job search, you can’t simply submit resumes to online job postings – you have to have multiple job search methods. If you aren’t getting interviews – you have to change what you’re doing. If you’re looking for a new career, you have to go in search and do many of those same things, BUT it has to be you and you have to put in the time and effort.
Lots of frogs, lots of kissing. The payoff is huge for dream careers and dream jobs.
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