Glass Half Full

By Cynthia Sutherland

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

-Albert Einstein  (from

Half full or half empty? from Wikimedia Commons (in the public domain)

Half full or half empty?
from Wikimedia Commons (in the public domain)

I re-organized my home office this week.  I found a memory card for a former work colleague who passed away in 2010.  The card was tucked away among some items that I designated as “in process.”

My colleague had a chronic illness for several years.  She continued to work until a few weeks before she died.  It wasn’t so much that she was devoted to work, or even that she had to continue working.  Like most of us, though, she did need to continue working for practical reasons.

Yet I remember that she said she continued to work mostly because she really liked her job, and work projects kept her mind on things besides her illness.  It was a grace she gave her family, friends and co-workers. It allowed all of us to view her as more healthy and happy during her physical evolution.

I say all this because seeing the card again made me reflect about what I liked about Shari:  She really saw her glass as half full, always.

And that made me think about whether I see my world that way.  And also, that it is important to feel positive.  That’s true particularly now, when I’ve been in job search mode for some time.

I realized that often I do see my glass as half full, but not always.  When I let myself get drawn into doing whatever it takes to “find a job,” my glass feels half empty.  But when I see job search as a life growth process that is leading to the next great step, I become energized, and then my glass IS half full.

It seems as if job search is a process that encompasses two ends of a stick.  One end involves getting “a” job, and the other end lets the search process flow forward in a way that is true to one’s personality, values, needs, and the direction you want to move towards.  To me, this end of the stick means not just moving to “one” destination or the first job that comes along, but remaining open to better possibilities.

I really feel positive when I let things take their course and take action when I’m inspired to.  When I listen to others’ opinions or let myself get swayed by the view that finding a job is about taking as much action as possible, or settling for whatever job one can find in this tough economy, I don’t feel quite as positive.  And that’s my signal that my success involves focusing on how I feel.

So over time, I’ve realized that I need to stay true to myself and tune out the chatter.  Then I can trust the process to lead me to the best destination for me.

Cynthia Sutherland is a senior human resources professional, focusing primarily on diversity and inclusion and work-life.

© 2013 Blog to Work/Blogging your way to a job, All rights reserved


4 responses

  1. I really like the focus on your personal skills that can help the company as you seek work. This is great lesson as we seek fulfilling work.

    1. In the end, that’s what helps us stand out.

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