Be What You Want But Adapt


Isn't it fascinating how sometimes we become so fixated on a particular matter that we cannot see past it?

 
 
 
 
This will be my first properly "motivational" post in what I consider the most important feature necessary in order to succeed (whatever ''succeeding'' means is a separate issue): adaptability.

Business dictionary defines it as "Ability of an entity or organism to alter itself or its responses to the changed circumstances or environment. Adaptability shows the ability to learn from experience, and improves the fitness of the learner as a competitor."

Let's move away from failing the BPTC for a second. Let's make the scenario much more generic and imagine there is a particular way one wants to go about their career or one wants to work for a particular employer. If one has that ultimate goal and that goal is very clear, that is great. But I learnt the hard way that it is not necessarily the case that there is only one way of going about it, there is "146 other things"!

In the last 8 months I met a lot of people who didn't quite get what they wanted either at all or yet - but they are going in some direction, which they chosen and are very happy pursuing either something completely different or decided to redefine their old plan. I have also met those who are so insistent on the one and only idea and it reminds me of me and what I was doing not that long ago. There is nothing wrong with being persistent and I admire it greatly, but when something eventually goes sideways it can do greater damage unless one makes an adjustment.  My adjustment was forced on me and I decided to redefine everything starting from my education, through employment to relationships.

Really good friend of mine is also in a challenging position. She never had any professional or academic epic failure so to speak. She is insanely clever. The ultimate best. I could even go on and say the one to watch as she maybe a rising star now, but future leader in her field. I know she will have everything she wants one day. The way I see it is that in the next 10 years her bank account will look like a phone number (Yes, I got that phrase from Instagram). I know it. I can feel it. I can see it. I know her potential and it really annoys me that she doesn't 100% believe in it herself. And then there is lack of willingness to adapt. What is great about my epic failure is that I had no choice and I had to make changes or otherwise where would I be now? I would be a paralegal doing the same shit everyday. I would be pushing paper until the age of 75. I would have settled. I would have given up entirely. The highlight of my life would be 2 for 1 Prosecco. I decided I cannot have that. I decided it is my obligation to make this situation work and find a way. You too make the same decision everyday: Stay or go? Pursue or eschew? Adapt or persevere? Insist or let go?

Back to my friend, I am going to give her a super-heroine name: Invisible Girl, is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics also there was one character called like this in Fantastic Four movie. I picked this name from a list on Wikipedia so draw no inferences/references to/from the fictional character.

So the Invisible Girl (IG) has it all, but doesn't want to adapt to the changing situation around her, she insists on her ultimate goal of one day being employed by for company Z. She does not want to do anything else. She isn't looking for anything else. She is not exploring anything else. She decided to carry on working for company X and will not move until the very exact and "correct" opportunity presents itself with company Z. She is waiting for the opportunity. She is afraid of going backwards. She is waiting for the right time. She does not get out there to make her own luck, so to speak. She isn't trying other things. She isn't applying to other companies. She is not doing all of that simply because she already decided she isn't interested. In my view rather pre-maturely.  

Very quick and completely unscientific Google search shown that there is easily over 60 global brands in her desired industry, who are direct competitors of her chosen company Z, then there are smaller companies not necessarily with a global footprint and then there are companies which do other things alongside what she is interested in, this gives 1000+ possibilities and that is not exaggeration. It is easy for me to say because I am a bystander in all of this and of course it is much harder to get in to insanely popular company within incredibly competitive industry. But still, what are the odds? 1/5000 or 1/800000? What is it?  Is it a lot? And the chances "low"? Is this even an excuse for not trying? Why not increase the odds and change them to 75/5000 or 75/80000?

If only IG would look for other things and other ways, think more openly, remove the blinders, stop waiting and see how much this world has to offer. This would be the first step to get ahead of those thousands in "competition" with her. By looking above and beyond her goal, she would in fact elevate herself beyond the competition. She would make herself even more valuable employee. Wouldn't that be changing the odds dramatically in her favour? How many employers are interested in individuals who can see a bigger picture and who can adapt, work with what they have, and make the most of it? Wouldn't she be much happier as she would be making some progress? At the end of the day forward is forward. Wouldn't that separate her entirely form other career obsessed individuals who don't remotely care? Wouldn't some extra experience and an open mind make her more interesting and intriguing candidate? The way IG can get ahead is to get in the door. Or some other door and work with what she has, either way move closer to get into the door of company Z.

Let's imagine one is driving from A406 outer London ring road Chiswick Roundabout to Hanger Lane (allegedly the most congested stretch of road in London), one wouldn't stop on Chatsworth Road, abandon the trip and call it a day? Option one is to wait patiently and drive in a straight line to the selected destination. But that's boring and fails all of us most of the time. Option two is to drive around: there is 5 other reasonable-looking routes! No idea if they are any good for a daily commute, but hey, the key morale of the story is that there are other ways!

You don't settle. You don't wait for things to happen to you. You don't just abandon your goal entirely. You reconsider and redefine.

Option three could be just get out of the car and walk, run, crawl... Do whatever you have to, in order to get to that Hanger Lane! But I do appreciate this wouldn't necessarily be a popular one in reality but I am redefining here... You have different routes, you have different means!

Therefore, what IG should not be doing is sit on her arse working a job which she cares less and less about, because she isn't challenged enough. What she should be doing is get out there and make things happen for herself. Yes, it is that simple. Get out of her own head. Let shit go. Put herself out there and make things happen. By all means insist on company Z but appreciate other things that are out there as well and the opportunities they offer. Try different things and do not by any means settle for company X knowing it NEVER was not and is not the ultimate goal.






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