I want to think that everyone has had at least one person in their life who really believed in them. You know, that person who told you that you were a wonderful person. Maybe they said you had great things in store for you ahead, or that you meant a lot to them. Like I say, I hope everybody out there has had the good fortune of having at least one person believe in them. And here’s a positive way of looking at things if you haven’t had this experience; it just means that you’ve still got this one person who believes in you in your future.
Now this isn’t a blog about finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, and I’m not talking about finding a soul mate or life-long partner. I’m talking here about one person who thought, (or thinks) you’ve got what it takes to become employed and do meaningful work.
One of the easiest things to do is put down or dismiss others. You’ve overheard no doubt in your lifetime people make comments like, “She’ll never amount to anything”, “He’ll never get a job” or “Who’d hire them?” These are the broad kind of statements that when on the receiving end, can demoralize even the most determined person. Think about it for a moment; imagine these kind of comments and others like them coming from your teachers early in life, your friends and their parents as a child, possibly even your own family and parents. Then this trend carries on to include employers who consistently reject or ignore your applications, and those who don’t hire you if you are lucky enough to finally land an interview. All that reinforcement of your low value and worth. That’s got to hurt.
One more extension of this could be that upon reaching out for help, you find yourself being told things similar to the above by various social agencies. While the words might come more gently, the message might be received as the same; you don’t have what it takes.
Fair enough, lets start rebuilding your self-esteem and hope for the future. What you are really in need of is that one single person who sees something in you that with some effort on your part, and some patience on theirs, can grow and flourish.
I do think it important to realize that you are going to need some coaching in order to be successful. No matter much an athlete believes in themselves, nor how much raw talent they have, it takes a coach; sometimes a team of coaches to take that raw talent and develop those skills to the level necessary to realize the athletes’ potential.
So the first thing you can do to help yourself is tell someone who’s offering to help you that you are open to listening to them and taking their ideas in. And this means being open to constructive criticism. To move forward and get a job might really mean not actually even applying for a job for a while. There may some foundation work needed first; work necessary so that when you do apply you not only have a good resume for example, but the proper interview skills to compete, and the job maintenance skills to keep a job once you land it.
In short, you might have it suggested to you that you work on things in stages; talk about what employers are really looking for in the people who hire them, what it takes to get along with co-workers and other people, how to deal with conflict professionally and effectively when it inevitably does come up, how to dress, talk, act, walk, speak and oh yes, get a better resume and interview skills.
Does this seem like an extensive amount of work just to get a job? Isn’t all you needed just a resume? If it seems like a lot of work to you, imagine the effort being put in by the person who thinks you’re worth investing all that time and work in. Somebody must think you’ve got what it takes to be successful if they are willing to work with you this much.
Can you walk away if you want at any time from this kind of pre-work training program? Sure you can. But thinking back to the athlete analogy, no professional athlete in any sport plays at an elite level without attending practices. In fact, the ones most successful and truly great are often the ones who show up before anyone else and stay after the rest leave. So how can you really expect long-term positive results if you aren’t willing to put in the work to work on things that you need to improve on?
You see having one person believe in you does not necessarily mean they say, “You’ve got what it takes to go get a job right now so go get ’em.” It may in fact mean they say, “Sure I can help you, but the plan will take some commitment on your part; perhaps some workshops, a haircut, some self-esteem and skill development seminars.
All it takes is that one person to believe in you, but do yourself the biggest favour and first give yourself some credit and believe in yourself. It can get better, you can be successful, you can reach your goals. It takes effort, it takes work and learning means replacing old ways with the new. Believe.