July 23, 2011


The quality of your life is in direct proportion to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably deal with. ~Tony Robbins

The search for a job is a difficult phase, especially when you are quite new to it as I am. There are so many variables in this equation of interests between you and your potential employers. You you can never have all the data you want before your decision (although you will surely get it after you have decided).

On the employers' side there are mechanisms that try to filter people:
instruments like formal requirements (resumé, cover letter, correct spelling, good grades), personal tests (assessment centers, interviews), and criteria your character should fit (authenticity, honesty, ability to work in a team, analytical thinking, creative traits, business understanding, etc). The aim of any employer will be to find the most qualified and motivated person to fit the organisation's goals and culture for a productive work together. Only problem with this is that there is no perfect applicant and if there is, no amount of interviewing will ascertain to 100% that this work relationship will work out.

On the candidate's side there is even more uncertainty. It starts with the selection of possible future jobs, let alone employers that you could imagine. The most detailed research cannot rule out the possibility that you missed a very important point about your new job: the work environment feels oppressive, you find it hard to deal with your new tasks, you would rather be working at the other end of the world. Of course, few jobs are perfect, and they are not meant to be fun, but being productive and happy depends to a large extent on you doing something you are good at and feel comfortable doing. And there are only very few, if any, people who always know exactly what that is.

I guess what all this means is that while there is no way to know what is the best path, everybody eventually finds some thing to do with their lives. Where you land is hugely determined by luck and how well you can motivate yourself to take action towards the few things you actually are sure about. This is easier said than done, but it may help to look at the situation from the outside and remind yourself that your uncertainty is not limited to you. After all this is what life is about, we just need to take it one step at a time!


CK said...

Hi Robert! I just came-across your blog by clicking "Next Blog" and oh gosh, this article "Uncertainty" is speaking my current state of mind! Though I am not searching jobs but actually going to my first day of work tomorrow (it's 1 am in Hong Kong and tomorrow is Monday), I am now facing much uncertainty and cannot sleep...but I feel much better after reading your words. So thanks for writing this lovely piece and thanks...God maybe? OK, whatever you wanna call it :) Anyway, thanks that "whatever thing" that brings me to your blog :)

Robert said...

Thank you for your kind comment, CK! I am always happy to find that my words find their way through some inscrutable mechanism of the universe to the eyes of people who appreciate them. I definitely hope you have enjoyed your first week at the new job and your uncertainty has diminished somewhat :)
May you be happy! Rob