I know we don’t mean to do it, but as financial types who come to our decisions the hard way (usually the long scenic route), we often react to information being presented to us by others in a dismissive, “oh, I knew that” manner.
I suppose there was a time in my life when I actually thought I did know everything. As the Chief Financial Officer of a top 50 Advertising Agency back in the 1980’s, I was expected to know the answers. People looked to me for solutions to problems. There was a constant parade of folks trooping through my office all day long trying to persuade me about this or that. Talk about “analyze this.”
As I have gotten older I have learned that I know less and less, or perhaps I have grown up and I am much more open to hearing the ideas others present. If there is one thing I have learned is true, it is that if I listen to the suggestions of others without reaction, no matter how stupid they sound when they first start explaining something to me, I usually find out something I didn’t know.
While I sometimes feel I must have heard everything there is to learn about job search, I used to ask at every meeting for members of the Westport chapter to share a job hunting tip with the group. Of course there was a lot of repetition in the ideas that were presented. Still, a meeting never passed where I didn’t pick up on some new twist or turn to things I THOUGHT I knew.
As you are out and about in the world doing your networking, it can at times become tedious listening to suggestions about how to improve your resume. Learn to relax. Paper is cheap. Ideas are hard to come by. Let your friends write all over your resume. Let their imaginations run wild. You know, you don’t have to take ANY of their suggestions if you don’t like them. You will find that any document you have read as many times as your own resume has hidden problems that more reading won’t solve. It takes a fresh pair of eyes with a brain that has gotten more sleep than you may be getting to see what in retrospect are obvious errors.
The only thing you have to learn how to do is to put on your best “poker face” and not react to the idiotic dribble (Did I say that?) coming out of your friend’s mouth. You may have to put up with more of this kind of “criticism” than you think you can stand just to hear ONE great idea. That said, it may be the one great idea that makes your resume 10 times more impactful.
They say that God gave us two ears and one mouth with the idea that we should do twice as much listening as talking. While I am not sure this issue came up at the beginning of time, it just may be true anyway.
If you come off as being a Mr. Know-it-all, you aren’t going to be getting much information sent your way. Ideas are what really make the world go around. (I’ll bet you thought it was money. Money only comes from great ideas.)
So, be patient with those around you. Some day, if they listen to you, they just may end up being as smart as you are.