Mar 5, 2018

Crossing the dissolve

If my life were a movie (and I’m not convinced it isn’t), I’d be right in the middle of a “dissolve,” that blurry moment when one scene fades into another. I'm focusing on finding my next job but I’m busy with my current one, and compromising either way won't do me any favors. So it’s all about getting myself out there as efficiently as I can, as honestly as I can. I want that next scene to be great.

The trick is showing how eager you are without appearing too desperate.

In my experience (as I have no one else's to share), being professional is all about walking that area "in between." In a work situation -- especially a corporate work situation -- getting comfortable means "business casual." We want to be (here’s that worrrd) authentic, but we don't want to risk disapproval. We want to show initiative, but we don't want to make mistakes. And as much as pain and loved ones teach us that admitting vulnerability is a strength, it’s not a skill we highlight on our resumes. No interviewer has ever asked me about the last time I cried.

However. Who I am at work is a way more comfortable fit than who I am when I'm looking for work.

That’s the fuzziest part of this dissolve: where I'll be next. I've never known which ladder to climb, and I'm staving off a sense of shame about not setting my goals higher. I'm very good at what I do. Which is whatever's in front of me.

Years ago, I read books and listened to webinars and tried to Vayner-crush my way to success, but it didn't stick -- the same way I try to be a "morning person" every couple of years and it always lasts about four days, with the pre-dawn workouts giving way to the snooze button. What I'm sure I can do is share what I know, accentuate the positives and trust I’ll go where I’m needed.

We all want to be needed. Just don’t tell anyone.