I have a delightful announcement to make. I recently got appointed Director of Communications at one of San Francisco’s most reputable art organizations! I started as a part-timer in September in the role of Communications Coordinator. Two months later, I got promoted. Now, how the heck did that happen? Seriously. I haven’t had a boss and regular hours since 2009! How does a guy go from such a huge lapse in employment to now being in charge of any department anywhere!?
It would be easy to just attribute it to luck I’m sure. The truth is, though, it’s not enough to be at the right place at the right time. You’ve got to be the right person – at the right place at the right time. Proof positive that the science in Art Of Hustle is real. Following exactly what I’ve clearly outlined in Survival Advice for the Funemployed and Just F***ing Do It, I have stayed entirely in motion. I didn’t wait for opportunity, I created opportunity. I didn’t wait to be taught, I sought to learn. I didn’t wait to be hired, I hired myself!
Having done so, I fulfilled a principle people often talk about in the business field – I added “value”. I got more practiced, more competent, more knowledgeable. I feel blessed to have been invited to the interview this past fall but quite honestly, at that point, I’d acclimated to going solo for so long, I’d be cool whether this gig panned out or not. I’d already realized that I am NOT my title, or in this case, my lack of one. I wanted it but I wasn’t anxious. This peace of mind allowed me to speak freely rather than nervously about my working style at both the primary and secondary interviews. I was confident of my offer as a potential contributor, no matter what. Whether anyone recognized my abilities would bear no difference on whether I’d strive to get even better at what I do as a trainer and marketer.
The one lesson of many:
“Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.”
Jobs can change, even completely vanish, but you on the other hand… You have the good fortune of taking yourself everywhere you go.
I reflect on everyone else that got hit with similar hardships at around the same time and how a single decision – that’s it, just a simple choice, an outlook, a philosophy – to either act or to idle completely determines if a person goes forward or gets set back by a significant margin of two to three years worth of related professional experience.
I know for a fact that had I paused instead of pushing forward during my stint of funemployment, I DEFINITELY wouldn’t have qualified to get this position. I look back at my 2009 self and even I wouldn’t have hired me to take this role! So, stay fit. Build your skills.
As we shake off the hangover of New Years Day, I would like to tender this simple but important piece of advice for facing current and future difficulties:
Never ask, “Why me?” Instead ask, “For what purpose?”
Getting rejected from the job field for two years in a row was one of the rudest yet all-time best awakenings. It gave me a real opportunity to test my steel on the ground. To walk my talk. To prove my Jedi. To get Bruce Lee with it. My relationship with the meaning of “work”, and “earn”, and “wealth” has completely transformed and continues to evolve. I now know that economic times and political issues don’t determine my ultimate fate. In a pinch, I’m one crafty rascal. And YOU are too. Look, I’m not an optimist because I don’t wanna see reality. I’m an optimist because I do see reality and I have the guts to create my own. Seize the day.
What do you think? Does this resonate with you? Do you have any thoughts to add? Or questions? Say so in the comment field below! Know anyone that would appreciate this story? Please use the “share” buttons to pass it along. Thank you!
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