May The Job Be Ever In Your Favor: Why You Should Ask For Feedback
(This image released by Lionsgate shows Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen in a scene from the film, "The Hunger Games" Image credit Lionsgate)
In October, I will begin the job hunger games. The odds are not in my favor, as job applicants compete in zoom waiting room cornucopias. Tributes sacrifice time, energy, and mental facilities to be victors (the people who get the job). But what happens when you become a victor? The supposed post-massacre bliss is short-lived when you have to work nine to five.
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There is a common fallacy in your twenties. People believe that simply going through the motions merits adulation. I don't blame people for this philosophy. The mind distorts people, situations, and experiences to skew more to the negative side. Thus, when people accomplish the task assigned, they want others to compensate for their mental house of mirrors. Yet, when people do not get recognized for their efforts, their mind confirms that the image in the house of mirrors is actual. Your eyes wander to people that are not good for you. Your head is too big for your shoulders. Your nose is in everyone's business. Consequently, people run away from the professional house of mirrors to the next carnival tent. They do not recognize that sometimes the new doors of the new fun tent can lead to a James Bond-style piranha tank.
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But, Rachel, how can you avoid this fate? If we inevitably have to fight a gladiatorial fight for a job and work in a house of mirrors, why should a supervisor invest in my success? In graduate school. My mentor Heather encouraged me to ask my teachers for feedback. After all, if your asset them at the end of the semester, maybe their assessment can provide you with insight. My friends and family know that I have no fear of new experiences. But this was different. Instead of talking to the cute boy in the smoothie shop or emailing the random VP of a company, I would have to ask people who knew me from a limited avenue what they thought of me.
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The fear of rejection stemmed from knowing the consequences of my actions. I was tittering on a line where I wanted to know my pro and growth areas, but I did not want to fish for compliments. When I asked my first professor for feedback, I think she was taken aback. What she said mirrored the words of Jedi Master Yoda, " Do. Or do not. There is no try."
(Image credit Lucas Films, George Lucas, Starwars.com. Image was found https://www.starwars.com/databank/yoda)