What Does It Say About You?

This is one of those tough love posts that requires me to say some things that normally make me squirm. I hate name calling. Assigning a negative name to people’s actions/judgments is one thing, but out and out calling another person a name bothers me. I’m going to have to do it in this post to make a point though.

Let me tell you the story of Megan…as always, not her real name. Megan is a sharp cookie with lots of offer potential employers. She’s not doing the best job selling herself, isn’t consistent with good strategy and has allowed her frustrations surrounding the economy, some companies and other people to compromise the effectiveness of her search. In short, she’s going nowhere fast.

Whenever Megan and I speak she has a long list of examples of how stupid the people and companies are that she’s connecting with in her efforts to find employment. She’s got an hour’s worth of quotes of all the idiotic things people have done or said to her in the course of her job search since we last spoke. Interestingly enough, many of the people/companies she’s referring to are the same one’s she told me about the last time we spoke. Know why? She’s gone back for more.

Megan has a classic case of idiot magnetitis. The term may be made up, but the condition is very real. When navigating difficult or frustrating situations some people are drawn to those around them they feel are idiots. They spend all of their time engaging people whose views and actions they don’t respect so they can find more evidence to support their low opinion of them. Megan can quote, at length, all of the people she thinks are dumb. How many people can she quote who she respects? Has she even taken the time to find people and companies who fit in that category? When she finds them, is she listening to them or using the time to tell the people she respects about all of the idiots she’s met along the way?

For those of you constantly telling stories of how idiotic some people or companies are, stop for a moment to think of what that says about you for continuing to listen or reach out to them. It falls right in line with the old, “fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me” bit. Not all companies and people are idiots, you know. I’d dare to suggest idiots are in the minority. Change your focus and reprogram your magnet. If I am on a mission to get something done and I encounter people along the way whose drive, knowledge base and business practices don’t align with what I’m looking to accomplish, I move past them. The real idiot, if we’re calling people names, is the person choosing to focus on those who aren’t going to get them anywhere over seeking out those who can and will.

1 Comment

  • Cindy Kraft says:

    It seems like Megan is either a) afraid, or b) walking around with a big sense of entitlement.

    Fear is a funny thing, and it can include fear of success at any level. It’s completely self-sabatoging.

    On the other hand, a sense of entitlement, that we’re owed something just because we breath, means that we have the luxury of constantly assigning blame to others rather than bearing any of the responsibility ourselves.

    Either way, it’s sad for her.

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