Directional Feelings

Feb 24, 2014



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Ann carefully brought her boss a full cup of coffee who was intensely reading a draft of a letter she had written, on his behalf, to a prospective vendor.

“This doesn’t mention our experience with powder coating and it assumes they know all about our new facility.” He dismissively passed the letter back to Ann, took his coffee mug and carefully examined its dark liquid contents. “There’s sugar in here?” “Two packets.” Doubtful, he trialed the drink with a slow small slurp then peered at Ann from behind the mug “We need to mail that letter today, so make the necessary changes soon.”

Ann sat back down at her desk with a heavy realization. This incident was about much more than the vendor letter; it was the disappointing indication that this was not the right job for her. When she got this position three months ago, she was elated, believing it represented a way out of her otherwise unsatisfactory life.

Recently divorced, she was not a stranger to disappointment. The feelings she now had in this position reminded her of her failed marriage and the observation surprised her. Sure, the details and circumstances were very different but the core experience was identical: she felt small and lackluster, both provided little opportunity for, well anything, and each waxed oppression. Like her marriage, she knew this job was unable to provide for her happiness and she accepted that she would have to venture from here to gain it.

In the months following she made courageous efforts to find new roads. She daringly went on a couple of dates, arranged by family, and managed to attend a few job interviews during her lunch hour. In each circumstance she recognized traits that similarly existed in the experiences she now hoped to avoid. While she was grateful for her new ability to see these trends, she realized she would have to fundamentally change into the person she wanted to attract, otherwise she would travel the same road and witness the same combination of behaviors.

Paradoxically, the anger and disappointment of her past enriched Ann. She stopped looking for a job to search for opportunity and fulfillment and her experience revealed particular paths on which they would not be found. She changed course. No longer a person of consequence, she shifted her position from passenger to driver, becoming in charge of her life, now proactively steering it away from frustrating trends towards her desired goals.

During a recent job interview, which was going very well, her soon-to-be employer inquired, “Using the experiences of your own history, what advice would you give me as your employer?”

“That challenges don’t necessarily mean failure because they indicate what not to do and can be used to redirect you towards success.”

And with that response, she found herself being the person she wanted to know and the person who would eventually find her rightful path.

Fittingly yours,