The Great Realization: Finding the Job
The Diamond in the Rough
The definition of that phrase is about finding a diamond in nature, or in the rough. A raw material that requires some effort. In order to reach its full potential, it needs some attention; to be cut and polished to reveal its worth. Ultimately, it is a metaphor for a thing or person hidden in the surroundings and circumstances of the world. Virtuous and unseen… untapped value waiting to be developed. In the case of you and me, untapped talent. After almost three years of enduring the pandemic, how many of us see ourselves as that diamond? Even if we didn’t engage in the Great Resignation, or are left reeling from the Great Regret, we may still be in search of a job that develops our passion and purpose. We may still be questioning our calling and what fulfills our work life.
That being said, let’s pivot the focus of the diamond metaphor. From us to what we seek. The job. Looking for the diamond in the rough. Knowing that when we find it, it will take some work on our part to polish it. To reveal its worth.
The Job Search
In our last episode, it was about defining what we want and what we are looking for. For now, where do we start? Where are we looking? There are jobs everywhere. Which means, I can understand being picky or considering all the options before jumping into anything. My fear is we may be too picky or eliminate a “diamond” because it may take time and effort before we see the value.
When I started my professional career right after graduating university, it wasn’t in my field of study, graphic design. It was with Dillard’s department store in Fort Smith, Arkansas. I accepted a manager’s role in visual merchandising. I took it not knowing what I didn’t know. Make sense? I thought it would be a start of something. Not knowing what that something was going to be. Very shortly thereafter, I was recruited by Polo Ralph Lauren, and ending up starting my career in Men’s fashion in New York City.
What are some ways we can find our start or our next gig? Here are a couple of suggestions.
Talk to People We Know
Networking is one of easiest and most accessible of resources. And more than just a connection, go deep. Find people who may be doing something of interest or know people who are doing something interesting. Invest time in asking questions and developing contacts. Create a funnel of people who can be potential promoters and champions for your cause.
As much as this has become a trite response, “google it”. Yes, do the research. Utilize resources like LinkedIn, Indeed, and Google. Investigate job possibilities. Explore what’s out there. Consider the industries and positions with potential gaps needing to be filled. What organizations are growing and looking for talent?
Find a Recruiter
If there is a need for a specialized job, involve a third-party advocate, like a recruiter, who can act on your behalf and help with the search. While this typically has an associative cost, many times that investment is covered by the employer as part of the search.
Once some options have come into view from your job search efforts, I suggest making the proverbial “pros and cons” list. Reflect and begin connecting the dots with the identified things we wanted in a job as well as our passion, purpose, gifts, talents, mindset and skillset to each of the possibilities. It reminds me of something Steve Jobs said about the unpredictability of life when we are planning our future.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
Once we turn the possibility into an opportunity, here’s the “diamond” moment, how will we see that potential job? Maybe it’s a first job. Something new, or it’s another job in a long line of jobs. Can we see the potential beyond the first 30/60/90 days? Can we see how this might open up doors in the future for what we really want to do?
Let’s be real, when we find the job with a high degree of interest and we are contemplating the decision to accept it, it does not mean we are saying yes to an absolute or final job. It does not bind us for life. We’re not aiming for perfect. We’re making the best decision for the opportunity that lies ahead. Realize, a job doesn’t define our journey, it’s part of the journey.
Make the decision… Pick up the diamond and let’s see what happens next.
The Great Realization
If you are new to this series, we invite you to look back at our first article, Defining a Job.
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