Oh Mr. Nightingale thank you for your regal tale. I laughed out loud when you said a certain man decided to add the wood after there was a fire. Thank you for teaching me to build a fire within my soul, one that I fuel with positive thought and back up with hard work. As Earl Nightingale repeated from Dr David Harold Fink . . . set yourself a positive goal, stop running yourself down, stop thinking of all the reasons you cannot be successful and start thinking of ways you can, look back into your childhood and see what’s stopping you, if that’s the way it is, think about the type of person you want to be and start acting the part. “Pay the price by becoming the person you want to become,” said Earl Nightingale.
Nightingale also said: as surely as you breathe, you’ll get back what you put out, it may take some time, but it will happen. There are no exceptions to a law. So let me tell you a story . . .
In a lowly Night Audit job, I decided to do my very best and created extra projects for myself. I was actually selfish, I wanted to become a technical writer and I needed to build a portfolio. First, I wrote Cautionary Notes for my co-worker, then I wrote out an extra task list for the team, then I wrote a training manual for the breakfast bar . . . then my boss asked me to write out another extra task list, and write a telephone greeting for the hotel chain, and write a COVID-19 manual for the hotel chain and so on . . . then I was unjustly let go.
Of course this hurt, it hurt a lot. And I didn’t understand it. For several months I reeled in pain and confusion and anger. I was totally unproductive, applying for many jobs and being denied even an interview. Then I applied for the lowest skill jobs I could find, I received a few interviews but I wasn’t hired. Spirling into a vortex of negativity I made one last push towards the light and contacted an employment agency. Unbelievably, the counsellor assigned to me was an incredible employment coach who I had actually met at least ten years prior at a different agency and immediately remembered him as someone who was generous, knowledgeable and personable; and very good at his job. I was elated he agreed to be my coach.
It started with me sending him my resume and portfolio. I sent him so many pages he needed a week to get through them–I included the training manuals, cautionary notes, a telephone greeting, sales letters, email exchanges with my boss regarding the marketing ideas I came up with, copies of guest reviews, and my creative writing portfolio. He was impressed. It didn’t take long for my employment coach to ask me if I really did all those things for seventeen dollars an hour. When I confirmed, he told me it was management material. I finally understood why I was let go, my boss was worried I would try to take over her job as she had succeeded in replacing her boss approximately four years prior.
At first, I was in awe of what my counsellor said. Then, I say sheepishly, I got a bit of a swagger to my step, then I settled into reality . . . I realized with hard work I could achieve good results. I started applying for better jobs than I had previously, actually good jobs that I would be proud to tell others about. And, believe it or not, I got interviews. No, the jobs were not offered to me at first, I had to learn to interview. The game changer was a little Alberta Health Services temporary job that I applied for and successfully navigated through the first interview. At the close of the second interview I was pretty much told I didn’t get the job because I was not a certain visible minority, but the interviewer offered to pass my resume on and told me I was qualified to apply for higher level jobs, including management. She also told me I interviewed very well. Greatly encouraged, I made a call to my favorite employment counsellor and he told me he was just starting a new position in Alberta Health Services in the talent acquisition field–he deserved a lofty position. He offered to push my resume through as well.
So . . . we do get back what we put out, just it’s not always the people we do the work for who reward us. The key is to have a good attitude.