Knowing Yourself and Knowing Your Limits
Alright, I happen to know an individual that works for a company that happens to be hiring people, so I decided to ask the individual to recommend me for hiring. The individual has worked with me before on group projects, so he knows how I handle myself. Now, due to the individual working directly with me and seeing firsthand how efficient I am, the individual wanted to recommend me for a higher position than I was asking him to recommend me for. Due to the fact that I am in graduate school, and school, in general, is designed to stretch your thinking capacity, I only wanted him to recommend me for a line-level position while I’m still in school. The individual consistently gave me excuses about forgetting, so I eventually stop asking because I knew that he was lying because no fully-functioning adult is that forgetful. Now, while at school, I was having a conversation with two other classmates while we were on break and the individual, we’ll say Mark, that never recommended me for the position came up and entered into our conversation. Now, somewhere along our conversation, I found out that he drives 96 miles, 155 kilometers, one way to go to work every day. Due to this, I assumed that his job must pay extremely well to warrant driving that much. He told me that it does, and that is why he recommends that I start working there, but in a supervisory position or above. He also finally came out and admitted that he was not forgetting, but simply refusing to recommend me for a line-level position because he felt that it would be a waste of my talents. Now, this may sound good-intentioned, but a saying that I often use is, “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.” So, despite his intentions, I took it for he does not want to recommend me because he either wants to do what he wants to do in regards to me. Alternatively, he’s really trying to help the company out rather than me. (Helping me get hired to be a supervisor and coach others along would help the company more than helping to get me hired to do a line-level administrative position.) The other two gentlemen also agreed with him. One stated that if I were to take the offer of being a supervisor I could apply all of the knowledge that I am being taught in school right now. The other stated that “We aren’t getting any younger, and every day younger college graduates are coming out of school, and they are accepting these positions, so by the time I graduate next year the position may not be available, and I will have missed out on an opportunity.”. Now, this could be a reason to act now rather than missing out on an opportunity, especially considering that I am a Black man, so we do not get many opportunities anyway, but I refuse to give into time-sensitive pressure. I told them that I am a veteran, and I happen to have a veteran job recruiter right now that is emailing me heavily about different opportunities that I am choosing not to act on right now. Furthermore, I told them that I happen to be extremely thorough, so I get offered opportunities somewhat often, but an opportunity is not really an opportunity if it comes at a bad time. I view so-called opportunities, opportunities offered at a bad time, as a test of one’s resolve. Are you going to allow this opportunity to change your career plans and lead you off course, or are you going to stay the course you have outlined, which entail your desires?
Now, going back to Mark, it is obvious by his refusal to listen and act in accordance with my wishes that he does not trust my decision-making, despite the fact that we were grouped together several times with me acting as the team leader, and/or he has an ulterior motive. I have made much bigger decisions than not choosing to accept a position that I do not desire currently. Also, most of my decisions have worked in my favor. Moreover, the ones that did not, were learning experiences. Furthermore, to counter the argument that one of my classmates made about younger college students accepting positions that I am not willing to act on currently--I told him that I'm pretty young myself, so it is difficult for someone to be younger with a longer list of accomplishments on his/her resume than I have at my age. Also, to counter the argument of the other classmate, I told him that I once did work full-time while going to school full-time and it caused me to overextend myself and wear myself thin; this taught me to ensure that I balance myself out better. I also told him that most people that wear themselves thin do so because they do not have a choice.
One of the core principles of being in the game is knowing yourself and knowing your limits. If you do not know yourself, then you cannot effectively strategize and maneuver yourself into desirable conditions and
situations, be it with people in general, women for dating, or business opportunities.
I recommend that everyone, from time to time, take time out to self-reflect and look at your strengths and your weaknesses so that you can be in tune with yourself. This way if you happen to have someone come along and try to evaluate you, you’ll be more than capable of handling the situation because you will know yourself better than anyone else possibly could.
The final reason why I will not accept a supervisory (or above) position currently is that supervisory (and above) positions are designed to maximize your critical thinking ability. So, by currently accepting a supervisory (or above) position, I would effectively be utilizing critical thinking in two avenues of my life which would result in me effectively burning myself out. –Derrick Mills (May 30, 2015)