Self-Reliance vs. Relying on Others

No Man Is An Island

Identifying and securing fulfilling work is a very complex challenge. Meeting the challenge requires that we integrate two very different mindsets. Consider these two quotes:

  • “To rely on others is to be uneasy.” – Zen saying
  • “No man is an island.” – John Donne

I am continually encouraging my clients to define themselves in the job marketplace. Most job seekers are focused on responding to every online job posting that even remotely fits their skills and experience. They are reactors, trying to fit themselves into a mold created by someone “out there.”

Each of my clients is unique; there is no one exactly like Sam or Sarah. The successful job seeker will look within and design a job and career that fits his/her knowledge, skills, values, and preferred environments and market that vision within the job marketplace. During this part of the career development process, they must rely on themselves to create their ideal job description. Even when they employ me as their coach, I tell them I am their tour guide in the process, showing them the way while pointing out the various sign posts as we journey together. I am also a catalyst to help them access their inner resources as they create their career vision.

Finding work in any economy is stressful. It’s natural to feel fear and resistance as we enter the unknown of the marketplace. In a lingering recession, it’s often overwhelming. Yet it’s critical that we confront and work through our fears. Again, I serve as a catalyst and support to my clients as they learn to tap into the healing modalities they possess within themselves. They learn to trust in the approaches I teach them. But ultimately they must rely on themselves to cut through their fears.

When it comes to developing and implementing a comprehensive search campaign, my clients must learn to shift from relying heavily on self to seeking help from others, namely those many individuals who comprise their networks.

People know people. People introduce people. People refer people. People hire people. Once my clients create a vision of their ideal job, they must utilize the resources of other people to gain access to the decision-makers with the power to hire them. They must ask for the help of others.

Moreover, they must actively recruit, teach, and empower a select group of their network members to serve as their personal prospecting and marketing team. Indeed, none of us is an island; there are times when the help of others is absolutely essential. The search campaign is one of those times.

And yet, successful job seekers learn to take responsibility for both cultivating and managing their relationships with others.  They learn and apply strategies for actively helping their marketing team by sharing information, volunteering for special causes, and otherwise helping those that are helping them. They acknowledge and manifest their interdependence with all beings on Planet Earth.


Comment from Ed Sumrok
Time: March 3, 2013, 3:27 am

Boy, you got this right! Sure it’s fine to put yourself out there, but you really should know yourself. Not the easy task many may think. To dig deep, and be critical of one self, yet being able to give accoladades to the small victories you achieve is no small task. These are the things you need to bring up in interviews as the opportunity arises. Go for it. And always remember, enjoy the great comedy of life!

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