Running Late

This morning I was running late. Normally I leave the house at 8:00 to get my daughter to preschool on time. It wasn’t to be today. At 8:20 my daughter was half dressed, arguing the need to wear black patent leather shoes with running pants and demanding she have time to finish drawing her snowman so he wouldn’t be heartbroken over the lack of balloons in his picture. 4 year old logic escapes me. Needless to say, we were significantly behind schedule.

Running late brings out certain qualities in people, yes? I’m not proud to say I joined the ranks of those cursing red lights, raging at indecisive drivers, looking for short cuts and entertaining risks I normally wouldn’t consider.  It was a dramatically different experience from the days I’ve been on time. When on or ahead of schedule traffic lights, fellow drivers, obstacles and slow downs barely register.

Once I got my daughter to school and was able to take a breath, it occurred to me how similar my behavior today was to those who are behind the eight ball with their job search efforts. Those who are behind in the process of looking for a job have a frantic sense of urgency, limited patience with hiring managers, a tendency to make hasty decisions rooted in desperation versus strategy and a willingness to assign blame to those they encounter along the way instead of realizing their own contribution to the stressful situation.

So, what’s a person to do? First, accept what you are late for today cannot be undone. Racing like a fool and raging at the world won’t change a thing. You might as well accept your fate and do your best not to make an already unfortunate situation worse with poor decisions and behavior. Second, make a commitment to get an earlier start moving forward. Being late today doesn’t mean you have to be late tomorrow. Unlike a commute, job searches may take more than a day to get back on schedule. You can do it if you stay focused on closing the gap between where you are and where you should be.

That’s it for today. Now I’m off to hunt down blogs offering stellar advice on dealing with stubborn 4 year olds.


  • Adiel says:

    Nice blog with words to live by. I have finally realized that running late means more red lights and slow drivers. This of course cannot be explained by statistics, but by experience. I find it easier to breathe and not get more stressed out by the inconveniences and wonder if it were fate for me to be late on this day. As applied to a job hunt, haste may lead to mistakes that might have been caught otherwise.

  • Lisa says:

    Adiel, thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your remarks. I also agree with your thought about fate. Our lives change by every action we take, good or bad. There is no way to know for sure what the difference would have been. Interesting stuff.

  • Don Drabik says:

    This is a great example of a lesson existing in all things we do. Thanks for sharing. As a father, my main lecture subject is that of consequences. I want my sons to know that every decision they make sets off a chain of consequences with unanticipated results as well as the immediate rewards they seek. Lack of preparedness, focus, or urgency will force suboptimal outcomes and can cause the decision making process to spiral out of control.

    Lisa, your point about starting over is right on the mark. Some times this whole thing seems way too big to me. The next day, though, brings new opportunities.

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