Do you ever feel like you’re banging your head against a wall?
I do, a lot of the time.
In my line of work, it’s sort of expected. And in this economy, we’ve probably all spent more time pounding the pavement than we’re used to, or more time than we expected.
Just the same, chosen profession and economic circumstances aside, sometimes you’ve got to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?”
And you might choose to make some changes in your life. If the better part of valor is discretion, as Shakespeare said, then when the going gets ridiculously tough, perhaps the tough decide to forget it and take another route.
But not me.
Call it perseverance or call it perversity, but I’ve got to see what’s around the next bend, even if I’ve every reason to think it could be even more dreadful than what I’ve already slogged through.
I’m not saying this is virtuous on my part. I’m just hoping it’s not a vice. This is one of my favorite quotes, from George Bernard Shaw, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
Can the stubborn really save the world?
Well, who else would even try?
However, if your immediate concerns are a little more, well, immediate, there’s still a lot to be said for sticking to your guns.
For one thing, you’ll never have to ask yourself what might have been. You’ll know, even if it was terrible.
More importantly, if you dig a little deeper while you’re digging in your heels, you’ll discover what’s really important to you – and this means more than just being right.
You might realize that you really need to be your own boss, work in a specific field, or work in an organization which encourages employee input.
This is the kind of self-knowledge which leads to successful career choices.
I once committed this essential job-hunt sin at an interview with a multi-national corporation when I was right out of college the first time. As I sat in a chair in a very big building and confronted my disturbing realization that all these hundreds of people came there in the morning and never left until it was time to go home, the wise and kindly hiring manager asked me, “If I offered you this job, would you take it?”
And I said, “I don’t know.”
If you’re spending time at a career website, you know better than to say things like that.
But, stubborn and stupid as I might have been, I was at least telling the truth to myself and the hiring manager.
And I think that’s one of the great things being stubborn can do for you – force you to be honest with yourself and others.
What better foundation could you find for a career?
by Danielle Dresden