Do You Have More Than One Worth?

apples and orangesYou probably define yourself in two different ways but do not even realize it.  Most people don’t.

 

I can ask someone what they want in life, in a career, in a relationship in any area of their life and they can normally give me an idea.  What is important to them, how they want to be treated, how they define their ideal, what makes them happy, what they will not tolerate are all things that they can at some point define.

 

However, when you compare this to their actual life, career, relationship or area of their life it is in direct conflict.  Perhaps they want to be healthier yet they do not exercise in any way and eat a very unhealthy diet.

 

Maybe they want to pursue certain opportunities yet they do nothing to move forward from either getting more education to just reaching out to people to initiate steps to create relationships or avenues for growth.

 

They want a solid, healthy, supportive and happy relationship yet they are in a relationship that fails to make them happy on all levels.

 

It is the “not ideal but good enough” scenario.

 

What you are actually doing is saying to the world that you desire what you want but only deserve good enough.

 

That is not good enough.

 

If what you desire makes you happy than that is what you deserve.  Period.

 

Stop settling.

 

It is not better to feed bad habits when you crave to be healthy.

It is not better to feel unappreciated or underutilized rather than go after the job you really want.

It is not better to be with someone to eliminate lonely rather than be alone.

 

It takes more strength to hold out and go after what you really want rather than settle for what is convenient.

 

Convenient does not equate to fulfillment.

 

Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “it shouldn’t be this hard!”  But then a voice in my head (I am assuming it is my grandmother or dad) says, “why not?”

 

If everything came easily I wonder if I would appreciate it as much.  I doubt it.  When I work hard at something and I accomplish that goal I feel on top of the world.  Exhilarated, triumphant, ten feet tall and bullet proof.  Convenient doesn’t feel like that.

 

So it is hard for a reason.  Sometimes the hard part is waiting and passing up on the easy.  That sucks.  When little tests are thrown your way in the middle of your journey.  You have been working really hard at what you want to accomplish and an opportunity pops up.  It isn’t ideal, it has hints of what you want but you know it isn’t the whole package.

 

Ah, temptation.  I could stop now and settle for this opportunity or say, thank you.  But no, I choose to keep pushing forward for the whole enchilada, a bite is not enough.

 

I spoke at a group yesterday and there was one gentleman there who just made my day.  He is in a specialty field and has been working hard at making connections, pursuing leads, keeping positive and keep going.  He has some opportunities and is in a holding pattern; yet he took a job as an “in between”.

 

He needs some income.  He could have looked at is a failure that it is a much lower status that what he had been doing, but here is the impressive part: he looked at it as having some fun.  He said he is making a few bucks, getting some exercise and being able to do something while he keeps moving forward.

 

Sometimes you have to take a pit stop – and that is all they are, a pit stop not an ending of the destination.  He recognized it, chose to look at it as a positive and while still looking at the road ahead.  That is why I know he is going to land on his feet and be a positive inspiration to his new company and coworkers.

 

Get your values in alignment.  If you want certain things in a job, career, relationship or in your life then stand firm and own up to the fact that you are worth it.  You deserve it so don’t settle.  Period.

 

It may seem the stronger your values and commitment the harder the road; that only means the sweeter the reward.

 

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

http://www.CareerPolish.com

Barbie Dolls and Basketballs

heel and basketballYou need to choose, make a choice, decide, pick A or B – make a decision what you want to be, which one thing do you want the most in your career, relationship, life.  Hurry up, figure it out, eliminate all other options so you can move forward.

Bull.

That’s the message I hear over and over again; no matter what the age or experience – you need to choose as though you need to eliminate all things over just one.

Bull.

Why can’t you have it all?  Why can’t you have this and that?  Why does it have to be one thing at the cost of all others?

I say you can, or at least you should try, without – and here is the kicker – guilt.

It is not wrong to want to appease all sides of yourself.  You don’t have to be just the analytical one or just the creative one or just the leader or just the team player – you can be a lovely kaleidoscope of everything that you are – and are meant to be.

I was talking to a woman yesterday who had it in her mind that she had to decide on a career path that encompassed either element A or element B.  When I asked her about looking for something that combined factors of the two it literally shocked her system.

She went silent, asked if that was possible and then began to cry.  She said she had only been known for one thing or the other and didn’t know who she should be because she wanted to do both.

Be you.

I was very fortunate to grow up in an environment that didn’t label me as being a girl so I only got Barbie dolls.  I think there were some in the house but they were my sisters, I never really played with dolls.  I was at the elementary school playing basketball and handing on the monkey bars.

I was a girl who grew up without girl limitations.  I had my choice between Barbie dolls and basketballs.  This led me to grow up to be a woman who traded those in for power tools and power shoes.

Oh yes, I have my own set of power tools and I know how to use them quite well.  I put in my own laminate flooring, build a wall of bookshelves and various other things using my very own table saw.

And I’m a shoe whore.  I love my girlie shoes, all colors and designs, at least three inch spike heel with pointed or open toes.  I rock the pump and I love the smell of cut lumber.  But not at the same time.

We can be all things inside, just not at the same time, but in degrees, waves and segments.

When looking for that next step in the job or career market leave yourself open to looking for things that appease all sides of you.  This is when you will ignite passion, deepen commitment and really offer value.

It is okay if these things do not make sense to anyone else – they don’t have to, they are not you.  If you find people trying to discourage you from finding something that has a combination of your elements because “it doesn’t exist” or “that doesn’t exist” just tune them out.  Odds are they are coming from a negative place because they didn’t or don’t have the courage to expand themselves like you are trying to do.

You go do you – whatever that may be – just do you.

You define it, you go after it and you make you happy.  When you find that right combination of Barbie dolls and basketballs or power tools and power shoes then it will bring out the best in you.   It is the best gift can you offer to yourself, your clients, your coworkers, your company and your family?

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

www.CareerPolish.com

 

 

It Wasn’t Supposed To End Like This – Or Was It?

Having and Option and ChoosingLayoff, downsized or downright fired – whatever the cause of the end of employment it is a difficult and emotional situation.  Often times we find ourselves saying, “this wasn’t supposed to happen to me, this wasn’t supposed to be my life, this wasn’t supposed to be where I ended up.”

 

Finding yourself looking for employment can be overwhelming, scary, humiliating, degrading, unpleasant, full of rejection, desperate and that is just Monday.

 

You might start looking at yourself as a failure or just plain lost as to what to do next.  Not just where to go but how to get started.

 

The job search is approached from where you have been detailing in your resume the job descriptions of where you have been and identifying yourself as your past titles.

 

The outlook is clouded by your past, who you think you used to be and were supposed to be; which can be detrimental to not only your career search but also your psyche.

 

It is because you are looking at the last even as an ending.

 

But what if it were not an ending but rather a beginning?

 

One where you get to decide where to go, who to be and what you want to do.  What if it were the starting point to kick you out of a rut, shake you up a bit to see the world in a different way?

 

That would make for a whole different story, wouldn’t it?

 

Instead of identifying yourself as the title you held you start to identify yourself as the value that you brought to the organization.

 

Instead of detailing the job descriptions you gave demonstrative statements of what you did (instead of hired to do) and how you did it?  Supporting the value that you bring instead of providing a cliff notes of where you have been.

 

What if you started seeing yourself in a new role, one that not only you can bring value to but can bring value to you?  That’s a whole new perspective and one that brings life into your search.

 

Life doesn’t always work out the way we plan.  As a matter of fact I cannot think of one person that I have ever heard say, “Yes, my life unfolded exactly as I planned and wanted in every single aspect.”

 

It doesn’t work that way.  We think it should, but it doesn’t.

 

The toughest challenge in job searching isn’t a tight market, sluggish numbers, lack of opportunities – it is our attitude.

 

When we think of the last event as an ending then the outlook is full of negatives, like the ones listed above.

 

When we think of the last event as a beginning doors begin to open, opportunities are created and new paths are forged.

 

The bottom line is the event has happened now the next step is up to you.  It is not so much half empty vs. half full; it more a matter of it needs a refill so fill it up.

 

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

www.CareerPolish.com

 

Do You Have To See To Believe Or Believe To See?

QuestionsJust soak that in for a moment – it is a pretty simple yet strong question.  I don’t know that anyone falls into a strict one category or the other.   For me, there are things that I have to see to believe – it is called actions speak louder than words.  You can tell me anything you want but until I see them in practice, continually and with purpose I really don’t believe it.  Let’s not forget I’m a wordsmith by trade.   Then there are other things that I don’t have to see, I just believe.  That cynicism I guess you could call it is not a factor, I just know.  These competing paradigms can really cause havoc personally and professionally.   We can be very set in our ways in how be choose to take things as truth – either by believing or seeing and when we do not see the results we want we dig our heels in even further to our chosen method.   I propose a truce.  I propose that we find a balance between the two.  It starts with taking your normal method and switching it out with the other.  If you have to see something in order to believe it try believing in it before you see it.   Oh, that will throw a monkey wrench in your whole day, I know.  But bear with me for a minute.   If you are getting frustrated by lack of results sometimes the best thing you can do is change your perspective rather than your expectations.   If you have sent in your resume or had a great interview yet you have not heard anything you are probably getting to a point of frustration.  Frustration leads to jumping to conclusions and those conclusions are based on the way we perceive truth.   They haven’t call therefore I didn’t get the job.  If they wanted to hire me they would have called.  I don’t see it so therefore it is not happening.   But what if there is a situation happening within the company that you are not aware of and it is causing a delay that the hiring manager has no control over?  What if, just this once, it is not about you?  Could it be that it is happening you just are not privy to it?   Try thinking of it from a different perspective can help give your mind a break from the doom and gloom and give you the opportunity to consider different options.   If nothing else it can create a epic battle in your mind moving beyond the job opportunity to such major issues such as if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it make noise, how do you define love – is it something you see or feel and which came first, the chicken or the egg and why do we really care.     Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW Career Coach-Strategist Certified Professional Resume Writer Career Polish, Inc. www.CareerPolish.com

Make Peace With The Pause

Luke & Bandit PatientI heard one of my favorite phrases today, “I love the resume you did for me!”  It is right after “I love you, Mom” and before “half price martinis”.  And it was exactly what I needed today.

 

It has been a slow week for me.  Yes, I know it is only Tuesday; however you have to realize that I work in a constant state of motion so a slow Monday and Tuesday is like an unexpected switch to decaf to a hard core caffeinated 10+ cup of coffee drinker.   It is not pretty.

 

Because I am used to a busy hour, day, week etc I begin to have those annoying little nagging thoughts like why isn’t my phone ringing, why am I not receiving emails, why are my prospects not responding, who is going to pay the mortgage, how am I going to keep the lights on and for goodness sakes who is going to break it to the dogs that we can’t afford the chewy treats?

 

Oh yeah, and I am the Queen of Leaping to Preposterous and Unrelated Conclusions in a Single Bound.

 

I start defining myself based on my activity – not my value.  I started doing that today.

 

But then I talked to my client to review her first draft.  One of the first things she said was she loved it and it perfectly captured who she is, what she does and how she can bring it to the next level.  That, my friends, is what I do.

 

I forgot that.

 

I was too busy making sure I had emergency candles and back up hard doggie treats in case of financial collapse and emergency.

 

This is another reason why I am very good at working with my clients in coaching through the process of job searching – I get it.  We get derailed, depressed and go off on crazy tangents because we get scared in not seeing results.  It is not just that we do not see results – we are not seeing results right now!

 

Oh yeah, and another thing – I have no patience.  None.  Period.  Ever.  I’m the one that burns my tongue on a microwave burrito because I will be darned if I can wait two more minutes for the stupid thing to cool down after I had to wait a whole four minutes for it to “cook”.

 

So in job searching and business building a perfect storm sometime hits: uncertainty and inactivity.  That’s when things can get ugly really quick and we spiral out of control – even if in our own mind.  We get tunnel vision coupled with short-sightedness.  We no longer see the past or the future only the void of right now.

 

We can redefine ourselves by the present moment rather than the culmination of what we have done in the past that has lead us to this pause and prepared us for the future where we can have the opportunity to offer great value.

 

Do not define yourself in a pause.

 

It is inaccurate, it is temporary and it is life taking a breath.  It is not a period and it is not the beginning.  It is merely a chance to regroup.  I heard something once that I absolutely loved, it was something like never put a period where God put a comma.

 

Even with a busy schedule I have learned that if I do not force myself to pause then life will do it for me.  It is my little sign that I need to recharge – there is a lot more coming my way and I need to be prepared for it mentally, emotionally and physically.

 

I can’t possibly help more clients if I am not charged to my fullest.  You cannot take on that new job running on empty.

 

Don’t curse the pause – be thankful for it.

 

This is a hard one to do; I struggle with it all the time.  I get frustrated because I want to do more.  I don’t like being idle, I don’t like not having new projects, not talking to people, not writing, not being active, not doing.  I want more.  Maybe this is why I have four dogs…

 

Anyway, there are often times I curse the pause.

 

Don’t do that.

 

It makes it last longer.  It is like my dogs – when they are hyper and bouncing (literally bouncing, which is not pretty for 70+ pound Lab and Pit) around frantically getting upset and yelling at them to stop does not work.  In their little doggie minds they think that “stop” means “ramp it up”.  And they do.

 

But when I take a step back out of bouncing range and put it in perspective everything changes.  The big goofy puppies are bouncing because they are happy to see me – not as a test of my last nerve.  When I laugh at them and in a soothing, calm voice tell them I love them too they seems to immediately calm down then come over and lean against me.  They just wanted to be noticed.  Soothing “good boys” and a gentle scratch on the back of the ears calms them right down.

 

You might be at a pause right now and be frustrated.  Stop, take a deep breath and say out loud with full conviction: “Thank you!  I needed that!”  Take a few deep breaths, enjoy the peace, and recharge your batteries.

 

Once you are at peace with the pause then you are truly ready.  Now you can fling your arms open and yell out to the world: “I’m ready – bring it on!”  Just don’t do that around 70+ puppies as they might think you mean them, in which case you better have those good chewy treats to distract them.

 

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

www.CareerPolish.com

 

 

 

Don’t Play The ‘What If’ Game

big brother little sisterThis weekend was my brother’s birthday, he would have been 49.  We lost him at 28 so it is difficult for me to fast-forward him 21 years and imagine what he would be like right now.  He never met my son and I always wonder what kind of relationship they would have had.

 

My brother was the one that introduced me to jazz, George Carlin and sarcasm.  With that last part I imagine he and my son would have gotten along just fine.  Intellectually he was the smartest person I have ever known and very math-oriented.

 

When I was in elementary school he taught me to memorize our phone number (which ended in 6219) by telling me 6+2+1=9.  When my nephew was a toddler he took his little squishy connector toys and showed him each of the various money symbols (“this is a yen, this is a pound, this is a euro…”).  He humanized math for me and encouraged my natural inclination with a healthy dose of fascination.

 

I remember coming home from college and he and I sitting in my grandmother’s apartment staying up late just talking.  He was small in stature but one of the few people that I admire greatly.  His courage, enthusiasm, commitment and convictions were par to none.  I often think about “what if” with my brother.  What if he were still here today.  Having the opportunity to go to Chicago to visit him and having those late night talks again and him whipping up some amazing meal, as he was also a fantastic cook.

 

This is the only time I play the “what if” game.  Because this is the only thing that I absolutely cannot control.

 

It is easy to play the “what if” game when job searching.  What if I would have taken that other job, what if I would have gotten this degree instead of that one, what if I would have taken that promotion….

 

It comes down to one thing – it doesn’t matter now.  Like Rafiki said in the Lion Kind, “It doesn’t matter, it is in the past.”  He also said, “Oh yes, the past can hurt, but you can either run from it, or learn from it.”

 

You can’t change it, but you can change the now and tomorrow.  That is why the “what if” game is so distracting and destructive to your job search.  Focus on what you can do now and going forward.

 

Perhaps you had an opportunity to learn a certain skill set or technology and you passed on it and now you realize it is biting you in the butt.  Well, you can’t go back so what are you going to do about it now?

 

The first option is find the training and get it yourself.  That can cost a lot of money and that may not be an option; but that is not your only option.  You can do some research and find out if there is information on line or nearby that will give you a start on it.  Is there an organization you can volunteer for that would give you an opportunity to learn that skill?  Do you know someone who is proficient at it that you could ask to teach you?

 

There are lots of options – but you have to get off your butt and do something about it.  How bad do you want it?  That will determine what you do about it.

 

Another thing to consider when playing the “what if” game think about this: if you had chosen any other path you wouldn’t be the person that you are today, with the people in your life, with the knowledge and experiences that you have at this very point.

 

I don’t know that I would really change anything about my past, for the first 23 years any slight change could have changed the fact of me having my son.  There is nothing in this world I cherish more than my child.

 

After that, well, there were questionable decisions, bad decisions and just plain old “oh my goodness what the heck were you thinking” decisions.  But with each one I learned something.  Maybe not at that point in time, but eventually.  And that knowledge is invaluable to me now.

 

A couple months ago a friend and I were having a discussion about love.  He doesn’t believe in it and he pointed out a particularly horrible time in my life and asked how I could.  I told him that even thought it ended very badly the point before gave me as much happiness as the end gave me grief.  To me it was worth it.  I learned from the good and the bad.

 

Learn from your good and bad and embrace what your experiences have left you with – strength, courage and wisdom.  Use those to move forward.  Stop looking back at what you might not have or could be lacking and look forward with renewed strength that you have the ability to go do what you want now and this time really appreciate it.

 

That was another thing my brother taught me: know your convictions and if they are truly your convictions you will have no problem in standing up for them.  And when you do stand up for them do so with strength, courage and wisdom because they are not wrong if they are your own.

 

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

www.CareerPolish.com

 

Can’t Someone Just Make The Decision For Me?

There are days I don’t want to be a grown up and made decisions.  It is just too hard.  There are times I want to call up my best friend and say, “tell me what to do.”   She in turn would tell me in the kindest and gentlest way to suck it up.  So as a grown up I pop in my earbuds and dance it out until I exhaust myself and it seems to make it easer.

 

The problem isn’t that the decision is hard; the difficulty lies in the possible repercussions could be brutal.  Because there is a loser.

 

There are all sorts of theories and suggestions for making a decision like writing out the pros and cons, go with your gut, sleep on it for a couple of days or ask for opinions of knowledgeable people.  All of these can be valid depending upon what works for you.

 

Sometimes you have to employ different techniques to make a decision based on the situation.  I for one have never felt quite right about listing out the pros and cons when making a decision about a person – it seems kind of weird to me.  If I have to reduce someone to a list I think that should tell me something right there.

 

But today I am talking about making a decision in terms of job searching and career advancement.  Many times I talk to clients and they tell me they really are not sure what they want to do right now or going forward.

 

It is almost as though they have been beaten down so much that the thought of trying to determine what a positive next step would be seems too grueling.  Almost as though they do not trust themselves to make that decision because their latest ones haven’t worked out so well.

 

Let me offer another suggestion when trying to make a decision – think about what you don’t want.

 

Sometimes it isn’t about finding something that fits all ten of your requirements for must haves rather finding something that doesn’t fit any of your absolutely nots.

 

In determining what you do not want it allows you greater flexibility when evaluating opportunities.  It helps you break free of your box.

 

For example if you know that there are certain aspects of jobs that you absolutely detest then make a list of them.  When you evaluate job opportunities check to see if any of these show up.  If they do not then take a second look at the job to see if this is something that might excite or interest you.

 

It could be in a new industry or completely different position – and since you may not be very clear on what it is you want why not give it a shot?

 

I hate filing, I hate follow-up paperwork and I really detest playing politics.  I do file, I complete my follow up paperwork and I am good at playing politics but if I had my choice all three would be completely eliminated.

 

So if I were looking for a job I would steer away from anything with heavy emphasis on the paperwork aspect and also probably stay out of large corporate arenas.  Knowing my limitations helps me build upon my strengths and discover new opportunities for learning new things.

 

If you have a decision between two offers look at your absolutely not list – which one has fewer checkmarks?  Approaching it from a different angle could help you make a decision and help you clarify the opportunities that are in front of you.

 

If nothing else – try dancing it out, just make sure the blinds are closed if you want to avoid awkward future moments with your neighbors.

 

 

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

http://www.CareerPolish.com

 

“How Do I Know if I Need Help?” – You Do.

I have had several people ask me this relating to resumes, networking or interviewing and my answer is always, “Yes, you do.” If you think you might then odds are you do. Normally it is a nagging feeling or doubt that makes you wonder this in the first place. Many would call it a gut feeling and if it is nagging you than there is probably a reason.

I have that feeling about a lot of things. The IT side of my business or marketing are two examples of areas where I might think to myself, “I’m doing a pretty good job, but I wonder if I need help…” The answer is yes. Of course I do, I am not an IT or Marketing expert. Why would I think that I could do it better than people who this is their life’s calling?

Yes, I said calling. You see, I prefer to work with people who are passionate. Their primary reason for being in the business they are in is because they love it, they are good at it and it is truly what they want to do. There are many who are wonderful at marketing, but I sense right away that their passion stems not from a love of what they do, but a love of growing their bank account. I prefer not to work with them. No offense, it is a personal decision. I want someone who is going to take my concerns and needs personally.

I am not faulting anyone for trying to make a good living. I am doing the same thing so it is not the pot calling the kettle black. Actually, I had an interesting lesson last month. I believe that we all learn lessons throughout out life and the important ones are tested now and again to make sure we got it and stick to it. I had my test last month.

I had the opportunity to really have a great pay month, the problem was, I was working 16 hours a day, skipped too many work-outs and meditations and did not eat or sleep well. I was all consumed with deadlines. I could do very, very well for myself if I had chosen to continue that path, but my personal health and happiness, and sanity, were worth far more than any paycheck. So I chose balance. I reminded myself what I was willing to do, sacrifice and enjoy to life the life that I want.

Part of living the life that I want is to stop stressing over the things that I know I need help with and just go get the help. I’ll be talking to IT and Marketing gurus until I find the right one for me. I have asked myself the question, “I wonder if I need help” and knew immediately the answer was yes. Sure, I could put in the research and effort to maybe find out the things they know, but my time is better served doing what I do best and using my expertise to help others, not figure out my IT issues.

Value yourself, value your time and treat yourself to hiring an expert when it calls for it. It may cost a bit up front, but your sanity, health, and peace of mind are worth more than any fee they might charge.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Polish, Inc.
http://www.CareerPolish.com

Job Searching – Stay Flexible and Protect Those Eggs!

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – do you remember that phrase? When I heard it as a kid it did not make sense to me because the only time I thought about putting eggs in a basket was on an Easter Egg hunt and, well, wasn’t that the point to make it easier to carry?

Now that I am older I understand the phrase, still not sure of the origin but I will be looking that up as soon as I finish this blog. However I get it now and that’s my point. And since I now get it, I have to share.

Generally I find people who are putting all their eggs in one basket have one of two baskets: the first is hoping for just one job and one job alone. This is the one they want: they know it is going to come through for them so there is no need to look further.

The second basket is settling for one job and one job alone. If an opportunity comes up after accepting a position they do not consider it because they have already piled their basket high and wide.

I am here to tell you to stop carrying around that one basket and loading it full of eggs. People are talking and the eggs are starting to stink. When you are in transition you must learn to do one thing that is extremely uncomfortable – be flexible.

Regarding the first basket – I know an opportunity will present itself and you really want that position. I mean really, really, really; stomp your feet; close your eyes and silently say, “pretty, pretty please” want it. Been there, done that.

It is wonderful to get excited about an opportunity, it really is. You get jazzed for the first time in who knows how long; you see yourself in the position; you know you can do that job better than anyone else. But remain flexible and open. You may think it is perfect but that does not mean hiring managers think the same way you do. And alas, there may be disappointment.

Even if you think you are a shoe in (another phrase that I am curious about) for the job remember: do not stop networking, searching and keeping your opportunities open. Life happens; people make mistakes and hire the wrong person. It happens.

If happens to you, and I am so sorry if it did, here is another way to remain flexible and open. Call them back after about a month. There is nothing wrong with calling someone you interviewed with and were in the final running for the position to just check in. Tell them how much you really liked their company and to see if there are any other opportunities available because you really want the opportunity to work within that firm.

What are they going to do, tell you not to call back? Seriously. Swallow the pride a little bit and give them a call. I have actually done this and although when making the call I felt like I was begging I was so glad I did. The woman I interviewed with was delighted that I called and the first thing she said was, “Thank goodness you called back, the other candidate is not working out at all – when can you come in?”

As to the second basket – once you have a job and another opportunity comes you way, it is perfectly acceptable to check it out. If you were just throwing your resume against the wall to see what would stick odds are it may not be greener on the other side of the fence. However, if this is an opportunity that you would really like to pursue, then you should consider it. Do not, and I repeat, do not disrespect your current employer to investigate another opportunity. This means do not take long lunches to meet with people, do not call in sick two weeks after starting the position, and do not walk out thinking you have the new opportunity made. Remember, someone did hire you, they found value in you and this new opportunity might be great, but it also might be basket number one. Be flexible, be willing to listen but do not jump ship just because someone else caught your eye.

Sometimes it takes people a while to be able to seriously consider you for a position, whether they just got approval to hire, the right people just got back in the office or the need is now a priority. Timing is not always perfect so you cannot hold that against them. So hear them out as to what they have to say and you can determine for yourself if it is a right opportunity to consider, while you are still employed. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush you know. I’m not sure if that applies or not, but I am on a roll with these sayings today!

Job searching is frustrating and the timing rarely works out the way we want it to, but that is where being flexible comes in very handy. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that the world does not work on our schedule. I have to remind myself on a daily basis so trust me, this I know. Think I’m just saying that? Does the fact that years ago my brother once gave me a shirt that said, “I want it and I want it NOW” tell you anything?

Just remember what your priorities are, what is important to you and what is not, and what you really want to do. There is nothing written in stone that says you have to take the first job that is offered to you or that you have to remain on a path that is not conducive to your goals. Take a breath or two, weigh your options, remain flexible and it will all work out in the end.