“You cannot receive what you don’t give. Outflow determines inflow.”
– Eckhart Tolle
About a month ago, I lost my job completely out of the blue. I was given no explanation, and no warning – my employee evaluation two weeks prior had been exemplary.
Truth be told however, I had been yearning for an escape. Hollow days were dripping into shadowy weeks and months of numbness. Where was the time going? It was as though I were holding myself prisoner, tethered to a paycheque and petrified of change.
Although my escape arrived unannounced in a guise I wouldn’t have invited, it arrived nonetheless. For the three weeks following, I dedicated an immense and relentless effort to my job hunt. During those first weeks, motivated by a sense of barely-suppressed panic, I crafted an impeccable resume and arsenal of cover letters. I built a portfolio website, updated my art blog, re-vamped my LinkedIn profile, and applied to over 100 jobs.
What were the results?
Well, I was invited to one interview, didn’t get the job, and then…zilch.
Like any sane person, I allowed myself several days of wallowing in self-pity, googling ex-boyfriends (my advice: don’t do this), critically analyzing my past failures, and second-guessing all of my life choices.
Then, I re-doubled my efforts in a different way. I sent out another fifteen custom-tailored resumes, to select positions that I knew I could bring passion to. Re-discovering the joy of creativity, I began practicing the piano again and writing creatively. Inspired, I launched this blog. Freelance opportunities began to twig my attention, and I posted an advertisement offering piano lessons. Thinking about all the great people I had worked with in the past, I began writing recommendations for these connections on LinkedIn. Old acquaintances who had reached out to me over the past 6 months (lost to the haze of drone drudgery) I re-connected with, sharing coffees and real conversations. I began to enjoy my freedom.
It was then that the magic began to happen. In the course of one week, the following things occurred:
1. An old friend got in touch and invited me to become a part-time curator for their online gallery.
2. An acquaintance reached out to me, looking for some marketing help at his company.
3. An artist I used to work with presented me with an entrepreneurial opportunity.
4. Another artist I used to work with met me for coffee, and I learned that his wife works in exactly the industry I’d like to get into. He offered to set up a meeting with her.
5. An artist whose work I had critiqued in a positive light years ago on my art blog reached out to me to express his gratitude for my article, and to suggest that we collaborate.
6. I began receiving responses to my ad for piano lessons.
For the most part, these results were far removed from direct “job hunting” efforts that I had made, which is not to say they were unrelated. To the contrary, it really is strange, beautiful, and nonsensical the way in which the universe feeds back you the energy that you have contributed. But the fact is that it does, which is why it is so important to just DO SOMETHING if you want something to happen. Do something, ANYTHING, related to what you want. Think about it, read about it, practice it, and most of all talk about it. By doing so, you accomplish several things:
1. You alert your own subconscious mind to the fact that you want to be/do/have this thing.
2. You alert your network to the fact that you want to be/do/have this thing. Another lovely little truth about life is that most people want to help you succeed because it will make them feel good.
3. You begin to transform yourself into somebody who is capable of being/having/doing this thing, becoming conscious of opportunities and confident in your own ability to grasp them
4. You build momentum. The more you have the more you get, and vice versa. It starts slow, but increases exponentially, so the important part is just to start.
For good measure, because quotes are great, I’m going to end with another one:
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”
– Lao Tzu
Ps. If you’re also tackling a job hunt, I’d highly recommend checking out this blog for some advice.