Posted on : 11-01-2011 | By : Lynn | In : Uncategorized
My friend Walter Stroup likes to tell the story about the frog and the boiling pot of water. You know the story where if you put the frog in cold water and turn the heat up with him/her in it, likely as not the frog will not jump out but will stay in the water and meet his untimely demise whereas if you took a frog and tried to put him into a pot of boiling water, he would immediately jump out. I don’t want to know how Professor Stroup knows this particular scenario but it makes sense to me as a human who has had the tendency to stay inside of the pot way after it has reached the boiling point.
Since the recession in the U.S. began a few years ago, jobs have morphed and changed or been eliminated so that in many cases an employer (depending on their location) can expect to receive at least a hundred resumes immediately upon posting their job, if not hundreds more. For anyone who has either been laid off from a job or out of work for whatever reason and looking, these lean and mean times can bring out the ferocious beast in even the most tame of us.
For someone like me, who is naturally competitive (though a team player) and ambitious (though not at the expense of others) I can forget what it is about a job that can make or break the deal for me and be so hell bent on winning a job that like a frog who keeps sitting in the water until it is roiling hot, I will sell myself out just to get hired. Now, I realize that some of you may not quite understand what the problem is with this so I will try to lay it out as best as I figured it out for myself so that you can understand.
Your options for work will greatly expand or diminish depending on your level of experience and skills. If you’re someone like me who has the entrepreneurial spirit and has worked on her own for awhile as well as been in long-term career positions with responsibilities then usually there are more options available to consider. Unfortunately, the economy is shaping opportunities at a mind numbing rate and so it’s easy to lose faith in yourself or others, become discouraged and feel frantic to except whatever work comes along that you can take. In some cases, depending on where you live and what your area holds in the way of jobs–your choices may be limited. It’s important to consider that there are always more than three options to anyone problem.
I had a coaching friend point out to me recently when I had applied for a project that would have me working many more hours a week then I am now, for me to stop before my interview and think of questions that I could ask the interviewer about the company such as the culture, and the environment as well as how much the position would pay and whether I could work on or off site. I’ve been really feeling the fire under my tail end for awhile now to earn more so much so that I was forgetting to think about asking some basic questions—and establish some negotiating topics–and was completely focused on just holding my breath and jumping in to “win” the job come what the cost to me might end up being.
It’s always my desire that by sharing what I am learning along this road of life, my experience, strength and hope may help others. What I am realizing today is the importance for us to remember who we are and what kind of environments/cultures allow us to become our very best. Yes, I can probably jump into the project that I was considering and do a really good job at it; however, there might be another opportunity that is for less hours and less pay but would allow me to fly. And what I know about myself when I can fly is that I can fly for a really long time and cover a huge expanse of distance as well.
Perhaps there are more ways that we can figure out how to meet our needs that we don’t have to sell our souls in the process. Be curious. Explore. Investigate and discover options.
What steps will you take to find new ways to solve and old dilemma?