Too Good To Be True and Being Positively Pessimistic

Call me a pessimist, but I don’t really trust things or people that come on very strong and overwhelming.  Little flags start going up all over the place and the dark side of my brain starts asking questions like, “what’s the goal here, what’s the plan, what’s the real motivation” and “how long until the façade ends and the downside shows itself?”


Okay, yes, in this instance I am a pessimist.  I’m okay with that.


Whether it be a new opportunity, a networking connection or a potential date – too much is just too much.


If you are interviewing for a job and everything – and I mean everything – sounds like all sunshine, rainbows and ever-blooming roses then you should start to wonder.


Everything has a downside.  It doesn’t mean it is all doom and gloom but nothing is 100% perfect.  There are quirks or differences in opinion or viewpoints that don’t match up with our own.  The downside doesn’t have to be major, just know that there is going to be something that gets a check in the “con” side of your pros and cons checklist.


Perfection isn’t all it is cracked up to be.  Without the challenges or differences life would be boring.  It is the little negatives that give us the opportunity to grow, learn and experience things in a new way than we are used to.  Negatives can be a really good thing.


More often than not these negatives will begin to appear and when they do they should be given the same amount of positive consideration as all the wonderful points.  Weigh your options carefully.  Most of all keep in mind your checklist going into this venture – what do you want, what will you compromise and what are your deal-breakers?


It is important to stay true to what makes you happy.  Sometimes it is necessary to bend a bit to stretch outside our comfort zone in order to take us in a new direction which ultimately leads to a whole new happy place.  Bend – not completely contort.


Experience has taught me that when things or people come on so very strongly they also burn out just as quickly.  In my positively pessimistic manner I have found it best to take a step back, let the overwhelming happy play out then you have much better footing when they crash and burn.


I’ve met plenty of people in networking that as soon as they find out what I do are overly eager to help.  They tell me that have all sorts of people they are going to refer me to, they are going to do this and that for me and it goes on.


When I first meet someone I do look to see how I can help them; however there is a difference in “I just met you and I would like to help,” and “I just met you and I can make your whole year in the next two weeks.”


They are almost setting themselves up for failure.  If you buy into the sunshine and rainbows it is much more disappointing when expectations are not met or their behavior or the situation completely changes.


Sometimes my clients get frustrated with me when they call me and tell me they have the most fantastic opportunity – it is perfect, and I respond with much less enthusiasm.  I start to play devil’s advocate just to keep them off the lollipop train and they don’t like it.


I should be more excited for them and supportive.  I am, that is why I ask the questions.  I want them to be able to see the full picture, get a complete understanding of the situation.  If the negatives uncovered are minimal than I know they will be completely happy in the new opportunity and not be blinded by all that sunshine.


How many times have you taken a position only to find out what they said you would be doing and what you actually ended up doing are two totally different things?  Some recruiters, companies and people are really, really good at painting rainbows and fertilizing the roses.


It is easy to get swept off your feet but it hurts like hell when you fall off that knight’s horse!


When an opportunity or person presents themselves as too good to be true, enjoy the moment; however, just remember to keep your feet on the ground to make sure you are seeing the complete picture and have braced yourself just in case it is not all that it appears.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


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