Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Persistence Pays

There’s nothing to develop character like a tough job search. Not necessarily fun but worthwhile on multiple levels.

Take persistence, for instance. A noble quality but look what a person usually goes through to develop it. Tough times spent sloughing through difficult circumstances.

Actually, an article written last year (before my personal blogging era so did not keep the reference) listed persistence as the number one quality which led to eventual success. Makes sense. But it’s sometimes easy to overlook the obvious, especially when you’re in the middle of stuff yourself.

So in talking about persistence, I often ask the person to recall a time when they had to be persistent. What was going through their mind at that time? What helped them to keep going?

As I said in my first post, I’ve been through a lot of this stuff myself. So one of my major lessons in persistence happened when I was training for my first triathlon. (triathlon/old…sounds like an oxymoron, I’m sure)

I had registered for a well known but local tri. Running, biking, swimming all summer. Having a great time. Two glithces, however. I found part way through the summer that I could no longer “run”. Walk fast, maybe. But my body would not run. And, prone to freaking out as I am, as the race date approached, I got more and more nervous. Yes, I did pick up my race packet the night before, only to skip the race the next day.

Fast forward a few months. A doctor’s appointment. Major surgeries (knee replacements next step for me) followed by the physician’s comments to effect that I’d never be able to walk again (as in recreational walking). We’re talking devastation here.

Following summer: completed my first race.

Miracle? Yes. Grace? Yes. A gift. Totally yes.

Obviously, I’m cutting out tons of details for the sake of brevity. (and so that I don’t get totally sidetracked)

But what I learned from the whole painful—on many levels—experience was persistence. Never give up. If one way is closed, find another. Hit a roadblock, reroute and keep going.  Draw from every experience, large or small, where you’ve had to be the least bit persistent. And then apply that to the here and now job search.

Posted by Bonnie Speyers on 08/10 at 09:37 AM
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