“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of embarrasing bravery.”
Recognize this quote at all? If so, you might place it from the 2011 movie “We Bought a Zoo” starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson. In this clip, which you can watch on YouTube here if interested, Matt Damon utters these words of wisdom to encourage his son to make his feelings known to a girl with whom he’s been secretly infatuated.
One of my clients, however, recently shared that this clip has actually served a great source of inspiration in his job hunt, as well. Notably, every time he gets cold feet about engaging in an anxiety-inducing job hunting step like cold-calling, responding to an interviewing objection, or networking with somebody he doesn’t know well, he says he plays this movie scene in his mind to get psyched up. Almost anybody, he says, can act boldly and muster up 20 seconds of nerve when circumstances require it — provided they’re allowed to revert back to their more timid, reserved state immediately afterwards!
I thought that was a pretty cool way to look at things, so I thought I’d share the story as an inspiration to others and raise the issue of courage/bravery for anybody out there who might want to chime in and talk about this aspect of the search process. How about it, folks? Have any of you been engaging in any brave or heroic acts during your job hunt? Have you been regularly getting outside of your comfort zone? Have you figured out any other creative ways (aside from channeling your inner Matt Damon) to get fired up and motivate yourself?
Most importantly, do you have any encouraging results to show for your burst of bravado?
Now, in all fairness, in the “Zoo” movie Mr. Damon’s character goes on to finish his famous quote with “…and I promise you something great will come of it!” which is a bit beyond my power as a coach to guarantee. But in general, it’s safe to say that risk-taking during an employment search will usually pay dividends.
At heart, job hunting is a sloppy, serendipitious, and opportunistic process where “creating your own luck” by bold action is a huge part of the success formula. As the majority of folks who land new jobs can attest, the sudden breakthrough that leads to your next job often comes from where you least expect it. Additionally, keep in mind that almost everybody you’re competing with is likely engaging in the same safe and conservative job-hunting activities you’ve been conducting to date. So unless you take a chance, and try a few gutsy maneuvers here and there, it’s going to be hard to stand out from the pack and shave any significant time off your search horizon.
Ultimately, this “20 seconds of bravery” philosophy is just another good riff on the earlier topics I’ve blogged about here and here (point #10) — so you might give these additional articles a quick read, if you haven’t already. And who knows? Maybe 2013 will be the time to suck up your courage, bite the bullet, and take a shot at performing that scary self-promotion step you’ve been putting off these past few months!