183. A heck of a Dale.

“If you’re going to do it, then do it. If you’re not going to do it, then don’t talk about it. You’re either in 100% or you are not in at all.”

With these words Dale began his explanation of how, in these extremely challenging economic times, he was able to create a situation for himself whereby he could choose the job he wanted from a selection of six companies all vying to become his employer.

It all began for Dale on that day in early February when “I left home at 7:15 to go to work and was back home by 9:30 gainfully unemployed.”

Like so many others Dale had been laid off from his position in a company where he had spent the last 11 years as a project manager.

Being laid off did not come entirely as a surprise as this was the third round of layoffs in the company and he had sadly witnessed several long-time colleagues being escorted out of the building.

He spent the next two days lamenting his misfortune and taking out his frustration on his wife and two children.

Then it dawned on him. He hadn’t lost a job, he simply had a new job. And his new job was to find a job.

And to do so very quickly.

Dale is a project manager and finding a new job was now his new project.

And that meant he was now employed full-time.

He set up a makeshift home office in his basement and spent a few days developing his project plan.

His plan included being at work every day by 8:00AM, taking a 45-minute lunch break around noon and leaving the office only to attend client meetings (interviews with potential employers and meetings to expand his network).

Quitting time, as always, was 5:00 PM unless there was urgent work to be done in which case Dale stayed in the office until he was satisfied that he had accomplished all that could be completed that day. This was an 8 – 5 job and, with the exception of his lunch hour, every moment was to be spent researching job positions, submitting resumes, contacting and expanding his network been doing any and all other activities that could end up in a job.

There was no time between 8 & 5 for socializing with friends, helping around the house, visiting the mall or any activities other than those that could direct him to his new career.

A full-time job.

Dale knew the task was a formidable one but he also knew that to succeed in this project he had to be all in.

There was no time for self-delusion or for fooling himself into believing that applying for a job here and there could in any way constitute serious effort.

He told me of friends and colleagues who would call and talk endlessly of the challenges of trying to find employment.

The one thing that struck Dale as being common to those who were calling to complain of their hardships was that they had all deluded themselves into thinking they were doing everything possible to find new jobs.

They believed they were trying hard whereas Dale believed they were hardly trying.

He shared with me their stories of sending out one resume per week or “making a few calls here and there” in a half-hearted attempt to “get something going.”.

Unlike these friends Dale adopted The Habit of Not Deluding Yourself and his efforts paid off handsomely.

With that level of activity, it was inevitable that his efforts would result in a high number of job interviews and it quickly became apparent to Dale that because of his efforts he was in the new position of being able to reverse the process and interview companies to determine whether they were good enough for him.

His commitment to The Habit of Not Deluding Yourself opened his eyes to the very fact that even in this harsh economy there are still jobs for those who put in an enormous effort to find the ones that are best for them.

Dale will also tell you that The Habit of Not Deluding Yourself applies to everything in life and that if you set out to achieve something and delude yourself into thinking that playing at it will get you there, then you are in for a great deal of disappointment.

And with six great jobs to choose from, who can possibly argue with logic like that?

Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.

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