Intro by Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter
In what I envision at least a 2-part series on “Facing the Fear in Your Career Search,” my husband, Rob, starts us off with a riveting story on how our journey into a storm created one of our most memorable experiences this summer (perhaps ever).
Likewise, in my nearly 13 years’ experience consulting with, coaching and strategizing career positioning messages for career transition-ers, I hear the fear over and over, and over — that which paralyzes motion and slows career progress, when in fact, opportunity amidst the storms awaits the fearless careerist!
As such, the following true tale, authored by Rob Poindexter, leads into our joint series on banishing that fear!
The last few weekends at the lake have been less then ideal, thanks to Mother Nature. Seems like it’s raining now, getting ready to rain, or just finished raining. What tan I have developed so far this year has been courtesy of the UV rays allowed by a cloud covered sky versus my preference of full–on sunshine.
Sunday morning this weekend was no different.
Easing into consciousness from a deep and restful night’s sleep, my ears were filled with the rat-a-tat-tat of raindrops on the coach roof of my boat. In the distance, thunder rolled long and low from horizon to horizon.
And of course, like cymbals, the lightning cracked at just the right time intervals to add emphasis.
Though I had not opened my eyes, my mind was able to describe the scene quite accurately based on the symphony being conducted all around me.
Had my plan for the day been to sleep in, I could not have asked for a better scenario. However, I did not wear my boss out Saturday afternoon to make sure I got off a little early, wear my wife out for the last two days about being ready to go at a certain time, drive an hour through the most boring countryside on the planet, haul two arm loads of provisions 200 yards down a floating ramp guarded by rabid geese, spend an hour stowing said provisions, cleaning the boat and making sure I got to bed early, just to sleep the day away.
Hoisting myself out of the bunk, I let out a disappointing moan as I headed to the galley. There are three portholes along the way, and I stopped at each one, lifted the curtain and sighed as I was met with the same gray cloudy sky at each one. Reaching the galley, I put the coffeemaker to work, then sat in the cold gloomy cabin waiting for some sign that this storm would soon pass.
I felt lower with each clap of lighting, with each boom of thunder, the speeding up and slowing down of the raindrops. The final gurgling of the coffee pot reminded me that at least something was going right today. So I poured myself a cup, resigning myself to the fact that yet another weekend had been ruined by this most unfriendly weather pattern that just won’t seem to break here lately.
The smell of Columbia’s finest beans drew my girl like a moth to a flame, and soon she was sitting next to me cradling the warm elixir in her cupped hands.
“Well, what do you think?” she cooed.
%@##^%%@#**&*$%#@^%% is exactly what I thought, but I tempered it with, “Well, it’s early yet, we could get still get lucky.”
While the storms continued to rage outside, we set about making breakfast and getting ready as though it were sunny and 80. By the time the dishes were done a break in the clouds has presented itself from the direction of the prevailing wind, and a sense of hope was restored where only a few hours earlier none had existed.
We strolled to end of our dock where a friend of ours sat drinking coffee in the cockpit of his battle-tested sailboat, and the three of us shot the breeze for a few minutes before deciding to “damn the torpedoes” and go for a sail.
Though the clouds hung low all around us, my first mate and I headed back to our boat, shouting over our shoulder, “We’ll see ya out there.”
In no time we had the sail covers removed and stowed, the selected head sail was hanked on, and we were easing out of our slip headed for the open lake.
It’s a funny thing about summer storms, the weather always seems perfect just before and just after they pass, and today was no exception. The temperature was a comfortable 79 degrees; the winds were around 15 mph and coming from the north — the perfect direction and speed for this particular outing and position on the lake.
For nearly two full hours we sailed back and forth, careful not to get too far from the marina and enjoyed ourselves immensely, passing our friend a few times as we waved exuberantly, all of us feeling a great sense of pride and satisfaction at our willingness to shake our fist at the weather gods and deny them the power that kept us too long tied to the dock.
Soon enough our adventure was brought to an end as the weather gods decided to shake their fists back at us. As the first raindrops landed on the deck of our little ship, I ran forward to take in the sails as Jac kept us headed into the wind. I made short work of this procedure doing only the minimum needed to get us safely back to the dock. Once all was done that was going to get done at that minute, I turned and headed back to the relative safety of the cockpit, but not before stealing a quick second to enjoy the view of my wife, standing at the wheel unflinching, as the rain got harder and the thunder and lightning grew more intense.
We were met by applause and friendly waves as we motored past other boat owners who had remained in their slips on our way to ours. The friend we had been speaking with earlier stood at our dock and waited as Jac reached for the lines that would tie us fast, handing them to her one at a time, as I slowed the boat’s forward momentum by using the reverse gear and smartly applying throttle. Once she settled down and all the lines were in place, the three of us ducked below for a celebratory beverage or two. That was probably one of our best sails ever!!!
Too many job seekers choose to sit tied to the dock for fear of the storms, real or perceived, that we all find ourselves in from time to time–afraid to let go and allow their little ship to do the job it was intended to do. So if your resume isn’t up to the task of weathering the storm, it may be time to put it in dry dock for a while and let a seasoned professional make it seaworthy once again. It just may be the most exhilarating thing you ever do.