When someone is looking look for a job, he sends his resume around, replies to advertisements, and finally, he gets invited to interviews. Being the employment market what it is, candidates are rejected in nine out of ten cases. A week after the interview, they receive a phone call informing them that another applicant has been chosen to fill the open position.
The role of motivation is overrated
Sometimes, there is a good reason why another person
has been selected for that post, but a certain element of randomness
influences a large proportion of hiring processes. On many occasions,
the choice cannot be rationally justified and one should not waste time
trying to figure out mysterious reasons that do not exist.
element of arbitrariness is not foreign to those cases, as it happens in
countless human activities. Why did you buy this make of car and not
that one? Would you repeat that purchase today? How did you come to
choose your family doctor? Do you remember how you met each of your best
What is surprising is people's reaction to failure and
rejection. Chances are that the candidate who has not been selected for a
particular job will get to hear from his family and friends that he
should improve his attitude, manners, clothing, hairdo, and who knows
how many other aspects.
A good attitude is not everything
Salesmen who go through a difficult
period also get served a menu of motivational speeches and meetings to
discuss their attitude. In other professions, such as sports, acting, or
management, the story runs a parallel course. The problem, you will be
told, is in how you see the world.
Well, luckily, this is not
true. Motivation and attitude play a certain role in performance, but
their importance should not be overemphasized. If you pause to think for
a second, you will realize that the professionals whom you most trust
don't seem to be excessively driven or motivated.
What you expect
primarily from your doctor, lawyer, plumber, or car mechanic is not
that they are greatly inspiring, but that they do a good job and deliver
competent service. Action is what we want to see. Service is what we
want to receive. Predictable, rational action is one million times more
valuable than attitude and motivation.
The primary factor
Action is the essential
factor that gets things done, sold, and delivered. The candidate who has
not been selected for the job should not spend too much time wallowing
in self-recrimination about what he could have done better. If he can
draw some useful lesson for the future, so much the better, but in most
cases, a failed interview was just a sale that didn't close.
devote your worthy hours to speculate about undefined psychological
factors, arbitrary theories, and nonsensical advice. Professional
salesmen know that, given enough time and effort, they will find more
customers. Watching, hoping, and talking seldom help. Only relentless
effort can bring you closer to success.
The essential ingredient
Athletes are motivated
when they compete, but in the end, it is their past training what
usually determines who will win the race. Instead of speculative advice,
choose the wisdom of rational action. Let others wonder if the world
should be this or that way. Move on, redouble your attempts to reach the
place you want to be, and let your actions speak for themselves.
For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living
Image by Tony the Misfit Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us