Southern Scotch

Southern Scotch

Friday, February 13, 2015

Do the hard thing as if it were easy...

...and do the easy thing as if it were hard.

I still remember that maxim from Miyamoto Musashi's classic text for samurais: The Book of Five Rings.

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The tiny book's a gold mine of pithy lines like that. But that is the line that came back to me this week as I began the most difficult task to tackle so far in Seattle:

Yes, finding a new job.

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After five years of working third shift in Charlotte, the reduced hours and better schedule in Seattle seemed celestial. But the tradeoff proved a grim one, for the neighborhood is hell, running wild with thieves, drunks, druggies and dealers. Still, I decided to wait until after New Year's Eve. Then, before I knew it, I'd spent the month of January tackling all of my goals except this. I'd done nothing but put notes in my planner: Revise resume! Start looking!

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Oh, I could've blamed my dogging it on any number of things: fear of rejection, uncertainty of where to apply, reluctance to lose my job benefits after five years...and so on, ad nauseam. But the main thing, I realized, was that I'd gotten into the habit of seeing myself where I was. This seemed to be my lot in life. Besides, hell only lasted for three days a week.

But...

Do the hard thing as if it were easy...My brain shifted to Musashi mode.


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Step one: to the library, where I forced myself to sit till I'd completed the first new version of my resume--this one geared to retail. Then I printed this to make copies on high-quality paper for in-store visits next week.

Step two: Printed out an application for a store that interests me, completed application and set it aside for a visit next week. They like to meet their applicants and that rings my bells.

Step three: Bought a couple of last accessories for my new shaving regimen and decided on pants and shirt for personal visits.

Step four: Completed one on-line application and one in-store kiosk application for two stores that might be of interest.

Step five: Since I'm out to find more than simply any new job, I decided to gamble at this point on my applications. I listed available hours as a part-time applicant--ruling out Friday through Sunday in two cases, Saturday and Sunday on the third.

Step six: While ruling little out, I began to focus hard on what I want and what I have to offer...not on who will have me and what they say they require.

I'm prepared for setbacks and rejection. But I'm also completely committed to raising the bar with employment...by taking whatever tough steps I must take--as if they were child's play.

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