You Can’t Run and Hide

“Sit down, take a look at yourself
Don’t you want to be somebody
Someday somebody’s gonna see inside
You have to face up, you can’t run and hide.”

Little River Band, “Lonesome Loser”

Don’t some songs just hit you as great career/life advice.

I recently reached a point of decision in my career (don’t worry, you’ll have many).  I struggled with the decision.  The offer was enticing.  The responsibility great.  But I was haunted by saying yes.  Took me a few days, a few beers and a few friends to figure it out.  It started with understanding who I was and what I treasured.

An undergraduate student I work with (and am especially close to) recently went in for a mock interview in her career office.  She said she nailed it, except for one question:  tell me about yourself.

Career decisions, interview answers, networking–all start with “sit down, take a look at yourself.”

I’m a big believer in understanding yourself.  At Darden we advocate creating a comprehensive list of recurring patterns in your life, your life themes, before you begin a job search (or make a career decision).  Why? LRB says it best:

”Someday somebody’s gonna see inside
You have to face up, you can’t run and hide.”

The biggest problem we all face with self assessment is that someone else will find out the truth, right?  And then what…rejection?  So, it’s this fear of rejection that keeps us from looking inside, or letting someone else look inside.  But in my experience in my own job search, and interviewing, it is the intimacy of revealing what’s inside that creates the opportunity for breakthrough—in a relationship, in a decision making process, in a negotiating standoff. 

So, my career advice today:   ““sit down, take a look at yourself.”

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