A few weeks ago, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, I fell during a workout on my treadmill. Since the belt was still moving (and I was wearing workout shorts) I ended up with several “road rash” wounds on my left leg. My brother-in-law fell off his bike a few months ago which resulted in a broken leg and a broken wrist. My sister broke her arm in a car accident and is having corrective surgery next month. Talking about all this with my B-I-L, he and I agreed that while we’re glad we’re all on the mend, we also consider our remaining scars to be like “badges of honor,” evidence of a non-passive life.
No-one gets to be forty-, fifty- or sixty-something without making a few mistakes. Without experiencing some failure. Without having a few accidents and acquiring some scars. Some of life’s best wisdom comes in the aftermath of a screw-up. Some of life’s most satisfying moments happen when we look back and realize that the scars are fading, we’ve survived and learned and grown, and we’re still alive and kicking.
As always, I see parallels in job search. First, just being in job search can feel like failure, especially if it takes longer than expected or planned. There’s the sense of rejection that comes every time you pour your heart and soul into the interview process then don’t get the job. And every job seeker inevitably has a few smaller screw-ups: the interview not prepared for, the “what was I thinking?” answer to an interview question, the thank you note not sent.
I like to imagine how good I’ll feel when I do land my next great job. No matter how long it ends up taking I know that I will work again and when I do, I plan to wear the battle scars of my job search like a badge of honor. I’ve earned them.
Kimberly Hanes is a writer with a passionate love for words and ideas and extensive experience in business communications and event planning.
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