After a job interview for a teaching position some years back, I was escorted out into the hall by the school principal where his daughter, about 6 years old, was playing quietly. The interview had started at the end of the school day and had lasted about 90 minutes. He introduced me to his daughter and I said hello and complimented her on waiting so patiently. The principal replied rather sternly, “Patience is not a virtue.”
It really took me aback as I’d never heard that before. I didn’t know what to say to that and had a strong feeling that I’d just blown the interview. I really wanted to be a part of that school because of the excellent job they were doing bringing along students who had not succeeded in the past. I’m sure their achievements were due in part to this principal’s impatience with the status quo. Even though I wanted this job very much, I was sure I had nixed it with my casual remark.
We’ve all heard that patience is a virtue, and we’ve latched onto versions of it. “Good things come to those who wait” is one that can really sabotage your initiative. Growing up I was under the impression that if I was a good person everything would just fall into my lap. It took me a long, long time to find out that was not enough.
If you are a religious person you probably have faith that God will take care of you. That’s great, but you still have to do a lot on your part. I remember a saying on a bulletin board from my religion-affiliated high school. It said something like, you can pray for rain, but you have to plant the seeds and pull the weeds. So true, so true.
When it comes to finding a job, you can’t sit back and wait for that perfect job to appear on your doorstep. If you are unemployed, looking for work should should be a full-time job with you putting in a solid 8 hours a day on it.
You’ve heard to “work smarter, not harder.” It takes both, in my experience. You can work smarter by researching jobs, career fields, and geographic areas. Do your homework by reading all your can, make notes, read about job search skills, find job search websites, find out what job skills you can learn now. Make a to-do list and keep adding to it, reorganizing it for priorities. Cross off at least 1-3 items every day, and try to make them the most important items on the list. Keep good records and use a good filing system for papers. If you invest the time and effort, I’m sure you will find a job that will be a good fit for you.
By the way, I did not get the job. I can’t help but wonder what the principal’s reaction would have been had his daughter been banging on the door demanding to go home because she was bored!