Caution – Don’t feed the bears or the doubters!

English: Do not feed the bears An unusual warn...

English: Do not feed the bears An unusual warning for Southern Scotland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A woman I had worked with for more than ten years recently left my company after being offered a position with a great deal more responsibility and fancy new title. She was excited to advance her career but was incredibly nervous. The company she was going to had picked her for the position after only a few brief meetings and some words on her resume. What would happen if she got there and they all found out that she was not able to do the job as advertised?

The days from the time she turned in her notice and her last day passed quickly. Those of us who she was leaving behind had to be trained on her tasks so that at a minimum we could cover the work until a longer term replacement could be found. She grew even more apprehensive. We were planning for life without her. If she failed now, she couldn’t count on a spot remaining open for her.

I was working remotely on her last day and so was not able to send her off in person. I wouldn’t have even gotten my initial interview with the company had she not been the one to pass my resume along to the hiring manager so a brief note along the lines of “and thank you for all the fish” didn’t seem adequate. (Yes that is a reference to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy).

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy cover art

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy cover art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While looking for inspiration I came across a quote by Marianne Williamson:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

While this quote might have been originally directed at women, it is an observation that should not be considered to be gender specific.

I have come across of number of blogs and listened to presentations in which the author or presenter felt compelled to describe, in length, all the reasons they shouldn’t be considered anyone’s role model.  I have to wonder why they are so afraid that another person might try to emulate them? They have families, friends, or colleagues who care for them and are at least moderately successful in their profession. They wouldn’t have an audience if others didn’t find that they had at least something worthwhile to say. Why shouldn’t someone look to them as a possible mentor?

I know from personal experience that hiring new staff is no easy task. The last thing anyone wants is to have to start the process over due to a poor hire. My former colleague would never have been offered the position if the company hiring her didn’t believe that she was capable of doing the work. To be successful in her new position she was going to have to silence her doubts and embrace the unknown.

In earlier posts, I wrote about how grateful I am that I have a strong support network. However as much as they have helped me, ultimately they have their own goals and pet projects. The person who is chiefly responsible for ensuring my success is me.  It is healthy to possess a moderate ego. If I don’t believe in myself, why should anyone else?

Let the bears of the market find easier meat elsewhere. I am feeling bullish.

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