March 23, 2013

Flying Just Like Rocky BalBoa

[Minor spoilers follow]

One of the advantages of being in the "job market" (and yes, you have helped me use the power of social media to get employed, haven't you?) has been the opportunity to catch up on many of the movies in my collection, as well as at the local library. (Well, that and Doctor Who.) Although I am following the admonition that "finding a job is a full time job" (I spend about 30 to 35 hours a week on that), sometimes, I need to take a break.

One of the movies that I've found particularly inspiring, believe it or not, is Rocky.

That's right, Rocky

Admittedly, there is a tinge of nostalgia - after all, I did have a Sylvester Stallone poster in my room when growing up. But the film itself....actually, it's a lot better than I expected and remembered.

Ironically, the original Rocky is not the traditional "underdog comes from behind to win" movie - in fact, much of the movie is a street-level examination of a man only learning his full potential. Rocky Balboa is....well, he's a mug; when he's not sparring at the local gym, or attempting to flirt with a worker at a local pet shop, he's an enforcer for a local crime boss. (Think "thumb breaking" not "cement overshoes"). When a more flamboyant boxer selects Balboa as an opponent for a bicentennial-themed fight (ah, yes, this was the 1970s, after all), Rocky finds himself with a unique opportunity to live up to his full potential.

And that's....well, for years I had poor memories of the film, believing that Rocky put his all into the fight....and lost, and that the message was that sometimes, even with a shot, you still lose. However, in a key scene, Rocky himself puts it into perspective: he doesn't expect to win, but to "go the distance". He isn't so much concerned with the outcome as the fact that, with this opportunity, he can focus on preparing himself physically and mentally for such a high-level fight.

And that's part of the outlook that I am trying to adopt with my job search: with two interviews in the past month (neither of which panned out), it means that I'm doing something correctly. It's meant pruning some job search resources which have done little (if anything) to move me forward. It's been taking honest feedback seriously, and being patient with those who provide...well, poor guidance. (So many people have sent me links to when I've asked for contacts....but that only means that I need to use Linked In more effectively.) It also means taking on work which will potentially bring in some income while I continue to look, and which can serve as a side gig once I gain full time work

But like Rocky, my goal isn't the "big job" - it's going the distance and finding work which not only fits my talents, but also allows me to grow and develop. It's often not about winning so much as performing....and that, I can live with.

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