I could be quite successful if I would just stop predicting the future. A yarn about assuming the worst, with a worksheet on expecting the best.
In 2014 my position was made redundant and my boss decided it was far better to invite me to a meeting entitled “Your Next Project” rather than what was actually going to happen. As he sat silent in the meeting room, a HR voice came over the phone speaker and advised that my position was no longer required. Hmmm.
Three months later I accepted a Senior Management position overseas. I moved my family, my house and my ego around four thousand kilometres east, only to be sacked on the spot eight weeks later. My boss then had HR escort me off the premises rather than provide me with much needed feedback. Hmmm.
Fast forward three years, and I am working in the same industry, same discipline, same job and thinking that i’m doing pretty well. I walk passed my boss’s office en-route to the loo and he asks me to drop in on my way back. I panic and demand he tells me there and then what’s on his mind but he fobs me off with a ‘crazy lady’ shake of the head.
I have lost my job. Not in the real world, but through my coal coloured glasses. I lose track of time in the Ladies as I organise a lift home, a way to pay the mortgage during my impending unemployment and a possibly untraceable method of slashing my bosses tyres. I forget the knickers around my knees and almost hit my head on the toilet door as I practice the epic speech I will deliver as I walk off the premises with my head held high. I stumble into his office and he introduces me to the new HR representative [pretty sure I peed a little at that point] and asks that I give them ten minutes because they have some paperwork to finish.
At my desk, I scour items that I would have to take with me immediately. Hmmm what to do with the fish tank? Could I fit the ergonomic chair in the car? Damn, I took the bus today. Mid thought, i’m tapped on the shoulder by our second in charge, nicest man on the planet who asks me if i’ll come in for a word with him and the boss. Shite, they’ve brought in the big guns. Should I ring Hubby? Can I stop myself from doing something embarrassing? I grunt and nod and follow him into the office. He closes the door. Oh my, it’s all over. Bastards. They can stick their job up their arse, the amount of time i’ve given them. Arrggh i’ve got a meeting this afternoon and i’ve just been fitted for new steel caps. This is not fair .. I’m sorry what did you say?
"Jedda we've talked with the senior staff and we would like to invite you to join us on our next project. It will be a more senior position of course.
I’m sorry what?
You do a great job and well we want to be able to snag you before someone else does. You look a bit pale. Do you need some water? Have a think about it and get back to us soon.
I drag myself out to the balcony. I cry and cry and cry. I’m so built up with hate and retaliation and negative expectation, that I feel woozy. I was so fixed on one outcome, that I never imagined there could be a different one. My entire view was through Coal Coloured Glasses .. I took the job by the way.
Now you might never have taken it that far, but have you dismissed an opportunity because something similar didn’t work out in the past? Or built up such a negative result that it seems impossible to achieve anything else? Caution can protect us from making the same mistakes again but lets be clear on the mistakes. In the first scenario, over a hundred people in my discipline were made redundant, the outcome was not linked to my performance. In the second scenario, I had broadcast my difficulties regularly and was fed with a constant “you’ll be right”. I needed mentoring to be successful and the project just didn’t have the capacity.
You may very well be right in not going through with an idea based on an educated guess of what has happened in the past, but it is still a guess. So I say, if you’re going to guess the result, why not dream a Chevy instead of a go-cart. It’s your head, you’re in control of the scenery. Download the worksheet and take off those Coal Coloured Glasses. Determine your own next step.