Your Waste of Time Could Be Another’s Precious Gem
Recently, a job hunter approached me at a networking event. He looked vaguely familiar, but I couldn’t place him. My first thought was maybe I had introduced him to someone that got him a job, but that wasn’t it. He was still looking.
He told me he had heard me speak on a panel a few months back. I remembered that presentation well. It was held at a South Beach Miami hotel. The venue was nice and included two other panelists. It was well moderated. The problem (for me anyway) was that with the panelists, the facilitator, the techie running the equipment and the bartender, we totaled twelve people. The event was simulcast over the Internet and the techie said “we had a huge online audience,” but I was disappointed. I had taken time off from my day job to speak on this panel. I saw it as a big waste of time.
But the job hunter saw the day differently. He said, “I want to thank you” and explained that he remembered some advice I gave that day. At the end of the panel discussion, the facilitator asked each panelist to share one last piece of advice with the audience. Now those of you that follow my column are familiar with my story. (If not, go to the About Us page and give it a read.) I’ve been through job loss. I know the struggle. It’s what fuels me to keep Career Jockey going and helping job seekers.
Given that, I frequently advise people to enjoy their unwanted time off. I don’t mean it in an insensitive way. It’s just that when I was looking for work, I didn’t spend enough time enjoying anything. All I did was look for work. I squandered time obsessing over email. I spent hours tormenting over the one extra thing I could do to get a job. All this may have helped me get a job faster (then again maybe not), but it was a tough way to live – and what a kill joy.
The job hunter took my advice and made a point of spending more time with his 18 month old son. And since that day, he enjoys the time is now so much closer to his baby.
I want to thank him for helping me see that one “wasted” day in a completely different light. You just never know who is listening and picking up the tidbits you share. We are all examples to others and I’m hoping mine is a good one.
I want to thank this job hunter (and you know who you are) for reminding me of my own advice. Every moment is special. I know I struggle with getting so busy, stressed and overwhelmed that I allow my “Now” moments to go to waste. My time that day was no real waste. It was just a moment I had taken for granted because it wasn’t quite going the way I had planned.
Hope this helps.