I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday. She made the decision a few months ago to look for a new job and did all of the right things. She updated her resume, had it professionally checked, connected with people in her network and scoured every source she could think of. Still, weeks went by and while she did get the opportunity to interview and even received a few offers, none were quite what she was looking for.
So she waited and continued her search and yesterday she got the call she had been waiting for. This opportunity was just what she had been looking for! Her patience and willingness to find a situation that met all of her needs had paid off. The interesting twist to her story was that this job wasn’t one that she had initially found or sought out. It came about because of another opportunity that she had turned down. That’s right, she found her way to what she wanted by saying ‘No’ to something she didn’t. More specifically, it turns out that it was how she declined that offer that made all of the difference.
The first recruiting manager had been disappointed that she didn’t accept his offer, but he was impressed with the professional way that she declined it. She made enough of an impression that when he heard of an opportunity in another part of the organization that would have been a perfect fit, she instantly came to mind. Every step she took in exploring that first opportunity turned out to be crucial to lead her to the one that she was looking for.
At times it may feel like so much of what we do is wasted effort with no visible results, but the opposite is really true. Every step we take, every decision we make, alters our trajectory in ways that we may not ever be conscious of. For my friend, saying ‘No’ in a gracious and professional way may have only felt like the polite thing to do, but that action sent her off in the direction of the ‘Yes’ that she was looking for. She didn’t know that she was planting a seed that day.
What seeds will you plant today? Today your life is heading in one direction and tomorrow if may be headed in another because of something you do today. Everything you do matters and nothing is wasted.