It’s True – It’s All in Your Head…
Yes, I know. I owe you guys about 4 other posts from BlogHer and my trip to San Francisco in general. I’ll get right on that with my usual alacrity…
But sometimes a concept keeps coming up repeatedly in my life from different avenues and different vectors – and I’ve learned over time that when that happens, it’s in my best interest to pay attention to it – and usually right now.
So there’s this thing, this life-lesson if you will, that has popped up several times this week and I think I’d be more than a little remiss if I didn’t put everything else on the back burner and write about it.
You see, earlier this week, I was having a conversation with one of my best friends. He’s in the middle of a job hunt – but his field is one that isn’t exactly opening up. Rather, it’s becoming more limited and more specialized. Kind of like watch repair. Not many people going in to watch repair these days – because the average person probably just replaces a watch that breaks since it’s either digital or inexpensive. Sure – there’s always a need for those who can repair really expensive watches with internal mechanisms – but it’s not like it’s an expanding field.
So my friend? He says to me the other night “how do I even get started here? All of the guys I’d be competing with have 30 years experience in the field – why would anyone want to hire me over them?”
My response kind of surprised me… but it was something both he and I needed to hear right then, so it boiled up from my subconscious where these things develop until I need them.
“See that’s where your problem is – you shouldn’t be asking the question ‘why would anyone want to hire me over them?’ you should be answering the question. For them and for yourself. Why hire you over someone with 30 years in the business? Maybe because you’re young and still passionate about it? You’re not just going to phone-it-in because you’ve been doing it for so long you’ve lost the drive? That you’re able to blend the experience you do have with a modern perspective? I can keep going if you’d like…” I told him.
He’s a smart guy. He got the perspective shift right away.
There have been a few other instances where I’ve found myself telling someone this week “you’re looking at it wrong – you’re asking the question when you should be answering it.” Don’t say “Why should I go to BlogHer when I’m not an a-list blogger and I don’t already have a group of friends there to hang out with?” Say “I should go because I have my own unique voice to add, and I can learn things too, and besides, I can make a group of new friends to hang out with this year and any other that I go.” Don’t say “Why should they select me to speak at that conference when there’s so many people with bigger reputations and more experience speaking at these things?” Say “they should select me because I’m passionate about this, and I want to share that passion and my knowledge about it with others. I can’t get more experience if I’m not putting myself out there and this is the right time for me to start letting people know that I have a voice worth listening to, too.”
See – I know there is someone who will read the above and think “hey… is she dissing me because I *do* have 30 years experience in my field?” and the answer is not at all. If you’ve got 30 years of experience (and success) in your field, it’s because you already know this part. Intuitively or expressly, you know that rather than asking “Why should someone hire me when I’m getting older and there’s all these hot-shot young kids around trying to climb the ladder?” you say “Of course they’re going to hire me – because I’ve got experience, perspective, and a proven ability to add value. My track record speaks for itself.”
One of the many secrets to being successful in any field is to be the one who answers the question “Why me?” rather than the one asking it.
Think about it for a second and you’ll probably find that you know a lot of people who don’t put themselves out there because they always come up with the “Why me?” questions rather than being able to answer them… and you’ll also realize that they’re the ones limiting themselves. If you can’t answer the question – how do you expect someone who doesn’t even know you to answer it?
Yeah, they won’t. They’ll move on to the guy/gal after you who does have an answer for it. Sometimes, you have to go the step beyond believing in yourself and communicate it to someone else effectively. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself asking “why him/her and not me?” too often.
Okay. Moment of enlightenment over. I’ll get on those other posts next. But I’ve got some company coming over and I’m going to go enjoy myself. Because I deserve it!
~ by Lucretia on July 27, 2008.