“What’s unique about this situation is its something that came to you versus you going after it.” – Heidy Kwan
The above quote was spoken by a friend from business school 6 months ago when we were talking about my new job. At the time, I was on the fence about whether or not I should take the offer. It wasn’t something that I had gone after. It just came to me. It was just that simple.
Looking back, I think I was pretty crazy for being so apprehensive about taking the job, but it makes sense given the way I’ve “received” things in the past. Up until I was laid off, I pretty much planned my career. Meaning I was a “go-getter”. I took the time to figure out what I wanted, then I went after it. I didn’t always know what the next step would be, but when I discovered it, I went for it. I have a drive and focus that is unmatched when I commit to something. I simply like to make things happen. But what I’m now recognizing is that by doing so, I might be overlooking things that were meant for me.
Have I been so busy running looking straight ahead, that I bypassed an opportunity waiting for me on the side? It’s been a year since I was laid off and that experience completely changed my line of thinking. I was able to slow down and just stop. Stop, and wait for answers. Wait for the next move or idea or trip. Once I started doing this, answers started to come that were so far off from the things I would have planned for. It was slightly uncomfortable, but it was nice. Calming in fact.
I continue this line of thinking a year plus later and I like it. At work, I do seek a leadership position and want to get promoted, but I’ve decided to approach it a bit differently than I have in the past. I’m taking the time to learn the organization. I’m getting to know people. I’m learning about what leadership means in this organization. I’m taking a step back and waiting for the right opportunity. I am really enjoying my current role and am taking the time to enjoy THIS position before pushing for the next. It would mean so much more to me to get tapped for a position, than for me to apply for one. It would mean that the right position came to me versus me going to look for something that might not be right for me. The potential downfall of the go-getter is that in the hasty pursuit to get what they want, they may end up with something worse. It’s a gamble. On the other hand, a bit of patience coupled with strategic positioning has a greater chance of getting what you need instead of only what you want.