A football game can teach us a lot about patience and small successes. I’m not a fan but family members are. Watching a game recently, I saw a bunch of guys running around who looked like they didn’t have a clue about what was going on. But I was wrong. They had a very clear idea of what they’re doing. And, more importantly, they knew what to do if things didn’t turn out as they planned.
What’s even more interesting is that most of the time, football players are moving this ball, bit by bit, up a field only to find that someone gets in the way of their progress and the field changes completely!
I thought of this while working with a client who is getting in her own way, feeling depressed by looking for a job again now that her short term contract position is done. She’s unable to see what she’s accomplished since she first tried to re-enter the workforce a few years ago. She’d been a successful executive in a multi-national financial services firm before illness (severe chronic and life threatening asthma) led her to leave.
Going back to work meant reinventing herself on multiple levels. Her former experience, resume and contacts weren’t enough.
She learned to think about employment in new ways. She had to identify what was possible and how to go after it. She learned to network rather than use job boards. At age 55, she developed skills, knowledge and work experience in an arena she knew nothing about.
She has developed a rich and diverse network in a new field and increased her knowledge and experience through volunteer work. Most importantly, she’s learned what matters to her. She’d rather keep testing her body, as she said, to “live with fear”, rather than choose not to leave her house. She’s worked in jobs that have helped her see what she can do and learn more about her limits.
She has yet to reach her goal, a permanent, part-time job. The economy is still lousy, her age doesn’t help and she could use even more solid experience in her new field. But these are just the Defense – the linebackers who can get in her way. She has to think like Adrian Petersen, so she can keep moving the ball down the field. That’s how you reach the goal.
What keeps you moving toward your goals? How is it going for you?