Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Patience and Good Manners

One precious asset in the job search is patience. By patience, I mean the ability to work steadily toward a goal in spite of an unreasonable emotional desire for immediate results. Very often, the most valuable things in life come about only after a long period of sustained work, sacrifice and humility. Getting a university education, building a marriage, raising children and developing a career all call for tremendous, ongoing patience.

The patience of nature: centuries are needed to produce a waterfall
Nothing is more harmful to a job seeker than displaying impatience. No one is interested in working with a person who can't control his or her personal feelings, unless that person is immensely talented or pays his or her employees very handsomely indeed!

Closely related to cultivating patience is the use of good manners. In any culture, good manners are based on putting the consideration of the needs, feelings and responsibilities of another person above one's own needs, feelings and responsibilities. Many years ago, the Copy Center of a university where Sara worked had a sign:

"Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

For the job-seeker to be able to act with good manners (rather than harrassing people to do what he or she wants them to do IMMEDIATELY) requires patience. And patience requires developing the ability to stand back from one's own situation and consider the pressing needs of others.

Patience also require faith that all will work well for the job seeker. Religious faith is quite helpful in this case, but other kinds of faith are also acceptable; faith in one's own capabilities, faith that good manners and courtesy will be rewarded, and faith that the current "crisis" is not so very important in the overall scheme of life.

a patient, old tree produces new growth
Another word for patience might be "perspective." By removing oneself from the center of the universe, a more balanced perspective gained, one in which it's apparent that personal desires are just that: personal. Such desires are not the responsibility of others, and should not be insisted upon, if one is to be taken seriously as a potential employee.

If patience in social situations is not possible, then the job seeker is best served by scheduling some quiet time alone.Taking the time to consider one's problems and opportunities in a peaceful, serene setting is very healing, and helps one develop patience and faith.

Patience and good manners are ancient virtues, but never more up-to-date than in the job search. Practicing patience is good practice for successful living! and good manners are just plain good sense.

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