My three year old daughter cut her own bangs this week.
Actually, the appropriate word is not “cut,” it is “butchered.”
Just like every other kid in the world, she found some alone time with a mirror and scissors, and she had just seen my wife trim her bangs. So it was something she wanted to do.
At first she was pretty proud of the job she did. But as people started noticing and talking about it (with a snicker here and there) she started to realize that her haircut wasn’t “cute” and she started to really worry about it. Tears flowed again and again, and it was clear she was pretty traumatized.
In her young mind she figured she had done a horrible job, and all the world knew it, and many would laugh at her.
It was devastating.
Just like my job loss, and your job loss. I remember the feeling of thinking I had a big sign around my neck that people would look at. I don’t know what the sign said but it was something like:
You know what? I was wrong to have thought that. Just like my daughter was wrong to have thought her haircut was the end of the world. Let me tell you why.
Her hair is amazing. She has this wild, curly hair that is … I don’t know how to describe it other than it is beautiful, like a lion’s mane (okay, you really have to appreciate lion manes, but work with me here). We get a lot of compliments about her hair, and I’ve loved it from the beginning. It really is awesome.
Because she has these big curls, and her hair is seemingly unruly, there really isn’t a rhyme or reason to any particular style she has. She only ever has one style, which is best described as awesome.
Those unruly curls, however, have completely diminished anyone’s ability to see that she butchered the first 2 inches of what used to be hair (it is very, very short).
YOU JUST CAN’T TELL.
Same with my job search. I had that imaginary sign, and it devastated me, and I felt like an outcast, and that was not doing anyone any good. I’m sure it hurt how I presented myself at networking meetings, in interviews, etc.
But it JUST DIDN’T MATTER.
Especially now, in today’s economy, those things JUST DON’T MATTER.
Don’t let your imaginary sign hamper your road to success… take it off and throw it in the imaginary garbage can, and move on.
My daughter has moved on from the drama of this event, and she is back to normal. When you are back to your normal self you’ll perform much better.