I almost committed career suicide. Here’s what I did.
“Why are there no blacks and only 3 latinos out of 1200 employees?” I figured there was a good reason, and the president of the 25,000 person company gave me one. However, my manager got me into his office and yelled at me. He really yelled at me.
I left his office, grabbed my coat and walked out. I had a choice to make as I got in my car. Should I replay the incident over and over and get madder and madder, or should I concentrate on something else?
I chose badly for 15 minutes. I got madder and madder. Then I realized what I was doing. I figured out that something must have triggered that outburst. The president was not bothered by my question. The manager that yelled at me was badly embarrassed. I forgave him and started concentrating on something else, anything else. In 10 minutes I was enjoying life on my terms again. And, yes, I found out three months later that they were now actively recruiting and training blacks specifically for that division.
Most jobs you apply for, you won’t get. That’s just the statistical truth. So how do you handle it when you lose? You certainly have to notice what happened. It is great to try to figure out what went wrong, if anything. After you’ve evaluated what happened, start planning your next job success.
If you keep replaying every negative thing that happens while searching for a job, you’ll go crazy. When you concentrate on what went well, you reinforce your positive behaviors. When you relive the things that went wrong, you reinforce the negative. You also feel worse. Work at feeling better.
To find yourself jilted is a blow to your pride. Do your best to forget it and if you don’t succeed, at least pretend to. (Moliere)
My wife is a good piano player. When she is learning a new piece she is careful NOT to practice known mistakes over and over. She slows way down and practices it right. Then she speeds up. In her mind and in her fingers she concentrates on minor victories. It can take her a month of practicing 2 to 4 hours a day to get a piece just right. She’d go crazy if she concentrated on her mistakes. She enjoys practicing because she celebrates every minor success. She can find a success every minute.
You need to look for successes in your job hunting. If there is something you know you did wrong, slow down. Instead of rehearsing the errors in your mind, mentally see yourself doing it right. Find a quiet place and relax. See yourself correcting mistakes and getting a positive response.
If someone else screwed up, slow down. Concentrate on what you did right. You can’t control the other person. You can’t change history. You can find a quiet place and relax. You can rehearse in your mind what you did right. In your mind you can practice correcting any mistakes you made.
Good mental hygiene is the difference between self improvement and self destruction. It also just plain feels better.
Something To Do Today
Get the book The NewPsycho Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. It has a lot of great ideas about how to control your thoughts and happiness.