I am prideful. I’ve known this for a while, but then I went through a stage where I thought that I squelched my pride. That was silly and arrogant. One giant step back because it’s a belief rooted in the assumption that I don’t need help from others. I’m embarrassed to even type the sentence, let alone take ownership of it. Because really…
Who thinks that way?
Evidently, I do. Guilty as charged. Two thumbs pointing back at me.
Fortunately I think I realized this before the latest opportunity passes me by. Not long ago, at my part-time job, a work friend looked at me skeptically and asked, “Why are you here?”
I was just about to give her the canned response — perfected for rehearsal dinners and happy hours — when I decided to change course and give her the complete, unabridged play by play. Then, still steering away from my normal mo, I reciprocated the question.
(A moment’s digression: I’m not really an insensitive louse, but I have a tendency to ask really probing questions. They are often received with mild horror. I am fully captivated by what is going on beneath the thin veneer of small talk and rush to get to the juicy stuff. So after being told I can be too direct and interrogative, I have adopted an equally ineffective style where I ask nothing that can be remotely construed as invasive.)
And you know what I learned? She is a recruiter. The full implications of which I’m just starting to realize. She kindly offered to review my resume and responded with some great suggestions. When many of her comments addressed some of my personal concerns, I started to realize how much I needed someone with her experience. It was like opening a present and receiving exactly what you needed, but didn’t even know to ask for!
Yesterday, I asked if I could send her a posting so that we could talk through the art of “tweaking” resumes. I feel like my inability to sharpen this skill has affected me in the application process. She agreed and today I sent her some information. I welcome her suggestions and knowledge because I think that her experience can help me be a more prepared applicant.
I hope that I am able to give something to her in return. Because my ability to receive is only as good as my ability to give.