Thursday, December 06, 2007

Finish Strong

I started my current job about nine months ago, very enthusiastic to be back in the business of technical staffing and consulting after having been out of it for almost five years. The first seven months of this gig, it was tough. Very tough. I had forgotten how competitive it was, and now it seems it's even more competitive than it used to be. It took some getting used to but I kept plugging away. I had sporadic success during those months, but the hits were few and far between. I told myself to keep doing the right things, the tide will eventually turn. I talked to my dad about it, and others whose opinions I respect. I talked to them mainly for moral support, and they validated my beliefs and kept me propped up. My dad, always quick to sniff out and expose an untruth or weakness in a story, told me to keep doing what I was doing and don't sweat what's not in my control. It's our philosophy, his and mine, and we talk about it frequently.

So finally, the last five or six weeks, things have started turning. I've closed a few deals recently, and have some good stuff working for the next couple of weeks. Which is kind of surprising, because business usually stumbles and crawls through the Thanksgiving to New Year holiday season. That makes it even sweeter.

When I'm trudging through the tough times, it's hard to remember not to sweat the things beyond my control. I want to be in control of everything. I want to direct the play and choreograph all the moves, and when it doesn't go my way, I have a tendency to get a little cranky. I'm getting better about it, though. I've become better at stepping back and observing my own behavior, and most of the time I catch myself before I say something I shouldn't say, or otherwise make an ass of myself. Now I try to step back and take a moment to think. Figure out what I can do to improve the situation, rather than participate in its deterioration. Easier said than done, but I'm working on it.

So now that I have managed to gain a little momentum - a combination of persistence and providence - I have to stay focused and finish the year strong. I'll be taking a nice long vacation during the Christmas week and have a chance to decompress then, so now is the time to keeping pushing. Close another deal or two. Finish strong.

Peace and good tidings to all who managed to read this entire little pep talk I needed to give myself...