Why I (might) never apply for a job again…

Cooking at a friend's house and loving it

Cooking at a friend’s house and loving it

Today I had a job interview for a fancy corporate job. And I think I am done.

Since graduating in May 2011, I had been searching and searching for that one job to define ME, to give me what I had been looking for. To make me feel useful.

But I think I FINALLY get it.  It clicked when I got an email from “The Daily Love” which asked what Kennedy originally asked and it was something along the lines of THIS: Instead of focusing on what the world can do for you, ask yourself what YOU have to offer to the world.

BINGO.

I’ve been so knee-deep in trying to find job titles and positions (and a company that will give me one), that I TOTALLY forgot to think of WHAT I CAN OFFER.

So this is my attempt. Off the top of my  head, this is what I have to offer, dear world.

1. I’m a passionate actress and love it love it love it. I will perform for you and fill your heart with the emotions you didn’t know you were carrying and then I will set them FREE! (Actress?)

2. Support. I’m a good listener. And I’m really good at finding solutions. Or even better, helping YOU come up with solutions to your own challenges. (Therapist)

3. I’m an excellent cook. I LOVE crafting delightful things and even more, I like eating them. I have a fine palate and  very high standards. I love criticizing and bettering customer service and food and anything related to hospitality. (Chef? Hospitality Consultant? Restaurant owner?)

And yes, what I have to give is much more than this list. But the point is, I’m shifting my thinking people.

I’m starting to think of what I have to offer and maybe THAT’S the ground-breaking I have been waiting for.

Here’s my Q. What do YOU have to offer? You don’t have to think of them as jobs…

Leave in the comments below :)

xoxo

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16 thoughts on “Why I (might) never apply for a job again…

  1. I HAVE ME to offer!!! Each and every day it is my prayer to make a difference in someone’s life by just what you mentioned… listening, acting (being funny or silly that is, not at your level — you’re a pro!) or cooking!!! LOVE FOOD!!!! Can’t wait to read more chica!!! <3

    • And you made such a difference in my life! With your charm, your grace, your sweet smile and positivity Señora Heard! Thank you for commenting!!!

    • I really like that article, Alissa! I think part of my journey has been opening up to the divine and receiving what comes my way EVEN if it’s not something I ever expected or thought of for myself. Walking through life with an open hand :)

  2. Alia – this is lovely advice, and I am so glad that you are blogging! Keep it up – I will follow.

    Allow me to add a slightly different perspective, though I must say at the outset that the premise of thinking about what you can offer (rather than the other way around) is incredibly useful and, hopefully, fulfilling. I’ll also say that this is specifically about the loosely defined term “jobs.”

    Given that we are relatively young, and I think you and I were in similar positions at similar times in our lives (trying to find a job we like, find our place in the world, etc.), I spent a lot of time thinking of this question. What CAN I give? What do I WANT to do? And also, What is out there for me?

    I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s valuable to ask these questions now because it helps me to create long-term goals and plans for my life. I want to do good. Maybe in a non-profit. Maybe in politics. Not sure on specifics, but I have a direction.

    At the same time though, in fully recognizing my young age and the opportunities ahead, I’ve found that it’s nearly as important to take advantage of what the world offers me, even if it doesn’t perfectly align with what I think I CAN and HOPE to offer the world.

    It’s really just a slight change of perception – but say for now you focused on some fourth thing in addition to your three above, that wasn’t right in your wheelhouse, but presented an opportunity you may be able to take advantage of. Do you think that may help you build skills and experiences vital to success in life, even if you did it for only a few years? Maybe doing something WAY out in left field may help you recognize which of these three things is MOST important and MOST worth pursuing. Maybe you’ll discover something new entirely!

    I’m a realist – and I believe that you CAN’T always get exactly what you want – especially as a twenty-something with little professional and world experience. Does that mean you shouldn’t try? Absolutely not! But you may want to approach the world’s opportunities through a wider prism. You have all your life to work – and hopefully most of it will be on the ONE thing you love. But the journey to get there (and even to discover that one thing) may be longer, with more winding roads, obstacles, and detours than expected. It it takes me 10 years to figure out what I want to do with my life, I’m OK with that. I’ll be hopefully doing that one thing for another 30 years.

    Anyway, that’s my long spiel, and I hope at least it is a conversation starter. Keep blogging!

    • Beautiful, Alex :) You always offer a challenge and new perspective to my thoughts. I used to think through my whole time in university “what can Carnegie offer me? What are the opportunities for me out here?” and it’s amazing what universities can GIVE: grants, funding, thesis support, (ALL of which I took advantage of) and the list goes on! When I graduated, I was pretty shocked at the lack of support. I think it’s there just in different forms (job security?). So now, I’m trying to balance those two. But not rely on the world to give me what I want and perhaps CREATE it! That’s my ideal :)

  3. This is great! It’s nice timing, too, since I just found a somewhat similar quote and posted it as my Facebook status: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive” (Howard Thurman). These are very similar ideas since they both make us focus more on ourselves and what we want and what will make us happy rather than worrying about how we will fit into the world.

    To answer your question, the things I have to offer are compassion, empathy, and a strong desire to act in the face of injustice.

    • Danielle! So nice to hear from you! “A strong desire to act in the face of injustice”
      What an incredible thing to offer.

  4. You’re great at all these things my girl! I see you acting in New York, coming home to your fab apartment to cook crazy Alia inspired meals, and then calling me up on skype to give me some therapy… how does that sound to you? Keep it up, love hearing about the things rattling around in your head! much love x

  5. I make the most amazing truffles in the world. I leave people feeling uplifted after they speak with me. I give awesome advice. I have serious makeover skills. And I have a secret super power. Thank you for this wonderful post!

    • Oooh la la, firecracker! I must try those truffles! And makeover? and secret super power? where can I sign up? What a delicious trio! And you do give awesome advice… : ) I hope to see you soon!!!!! MISS YOU xoxoxox

  6. Hey Poony,

    I agree with you. Now being in a position where im trying to find what it is I want to do I feel i have to succumb to the pressure of society to find it fast and be specific (esp in the job market)..but it really is not that easy!

    Honestly I feel we are hidden entrepreneurs. We are so driven and smart and have our own arrogant spirit to do things we love and well we need to be unleashed…we don’t fit a job position we have to make one for ourselves:)

    Keep writing hon..

    • Meow, thanks Spoorthi :) I do feel like an entrepreneur! And I think to being one (for now) is not to think too much and just START. Hence my blog. To me, it was the first baby step to something bigger in the future. IN fact, the inventor of Diesel (the clothing brand) wrote a really funny little book I bought at his store in Boston. It was called something like “BE STUPID” because he says that being an entrepreneur involves SO many risks and that SO many things could go wrong, that really, no one would enter if they thought too much. And that many successes came from following GUT and instinct. Of course there are failures, but keep on moving. I liked that book alot haha. I hope I see you soon in NYC or somewhere else. And let’s support each other in this time of doing vs. finding! love you :)

  7. Alia! Wonderful blog and wonderful post! I can’t wait to read more of your words. I also really enjoyed reading the posts of your super cool friends and family! Cool, good people attract other cool, good people. :D Thanks for being such a cool beautiful person! Just reading your responses to everyone, I definitely agree with your talent at being a therapist. You know, for your fondness of food and ability to listen and council, you could easily combine the two, ya know! We truly are what we eat and it seems to me that you would be great at helping others understand that! Also, as a therapist you could also use acting to help people break out of their ruts and try something different. But I do agree that one should just act on their passions and roll with the punches that the world gives you. As they say, when life gives you lemons — make lemonade!!! I even “wrote” lemonade once by listing all my “lemons” and then squeezing the “lemonade” out of them. :D I

    As for me, I guess I attempt to offer kindness, the opportunity to be treated fairly and in a friendly manner (especially to strangers), enthusiasm, a great imagination, and some ability to be diplomatic. My problem is that now that I have a job that seems to match more than less of my “requirements,’ It’s hard to remember my abilities as I blunder through struggling up the super high learning curve of a new job.

    What you and others have pointed out is something we should all remind ourselves every day: what do I have to offer and how will I make it shine today. Thanks for reminding me to do that. Hugs!

    • Thank you, Kaia. You are so right that you offer kindness and a friendly manner. I think the challenges of a job might be softened by remembering to BRING what you have to it in as many ways as you can instead of feeling you have to succumb to how you should be. I think that is a challenge I have teaching. Being ME in the classroom and teaching my students in MY style. But I digress. You are sunshine, Kaia! I hope you are having a wonderful day… :)

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