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Friday, February 11, 2005


The Career Change Blues (and Other Colors): Trust Your Intuition

I posted my resume on two days ago on the advice from my sister. I wasn't going to go this route, but she's had tremendous success with it. So, I created an account. As my wife constantly tells me, "What do you have to lose?"

Today I received an email from an executive recruiting agency that got filtered straight to my MS Outlook junk mail folder. It had a credible sounding name and the subject line looked legitimate. It referenced my resume on Monster and seemed to be interested in helping me. But as I read the message, I quickly realized it was canned and there was something wrong. A little voice said to hold on and research this agency. Lo and behold, it appeared to be a scam. Once again, my intuition guided me in a safe direction and out of harm's way.

I learned to trust my intuition at a very early stage of my after-college life. I had just graduated with a degree in history and very little idea of what I really wanted to do professionally. So with a bachelors degree in hand, I did what I was hoping I wouldn't have to do - work retail. But I did that as well as work at a coffee shop and bartend at an Elks Lodge (probably the WORST job I've ever had). After a while I simply got tired of making very little money and decided to look through the classifieds of the local paper. Among all the ads, I found a sales job that looked promising. It was for a new environmentally-friendly products company that promised (early red flag) a good salary and training.

I show up for the initial interview and find that the office is filled with about 30 other candidates. The president and his executives gave us a brief presentation and then each had an interview. Honestly, that's about all I can remember, but I do know that the whole thing lasted around 3 hours. Now that we had more information, we were encouraged to return the next day for orientation. I did my best to make sure the executives of the company remembered who I was.

However, something just didn't seem right. As I drove home, a voice nagged at me to check into this company. It was contrasted by another voice which reminded me that I might start finally making some good money for a change. The nagging voice got louder as the day wore on until I decided to boot up the computer and do an internet search. Now I wouldn't say I was a rube, but I clearly didn't recognize a pyramid scheme when I saw one. My heart sank as I read account after account of the shady practices of this company. All I could think was how close I came to getting caught up in it.

That was the day that I started to understand what intuition is and how important it was to listen to it.

Its something to consider if you are looking for a career or if you are already employed. If something doesn't seem right in your gut, listen and listen hard. It might not only save you money, but save your integrity as well.

Categories: c.Careers; c.Spirit

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