I recently bought some “Zenguin” coffee mugs. Each mug has one of four meditative penguins drawn on it. The penguins are trying to find their own sense of calm. Each mug has a Zen proverb written on the inside of the cup so you read it while taking a drink. The one that resonated the most with me said: Do Not Fear The Shark If Your Feathers Are Dry.

worryOftentimes we are drawn to worry about what might be. For example:

  • What if they don’t call me back for the job?
  • What if I take the new position and I don’t like it?
  • What if I am passed over for that promotion?
  • What if they don’t like my resume?

It is absolutely true that we cannot control many aspects of our career progression or job search. However, worrying about them before they take shape does nothing to aid us in the process. Instead take the energy spent on the ‘what if shark’ and plan how you can positively impact the areas over which you have control. Prepare for how you can negate or lessen the impact of the shark.

This is a great use of your energy. Remember, there are many aspects of our career that are in our control, even though some are not. Spend your energy and time on preparing for those aspects of your job search in your control. While you may try to follow that advice, it is difficult to change patterns and behaviors quickly. Inevitably many of us will find ourselves worrying about what might be. When that happens to me, I can look out at my mug that is sitting on my desk to remind me. When those thoughts arise in you, I encourage you to remember the Zen proverb and remember you are still on dry land.


, Do Not Fear the Shark if Your Feathers are Dry

Amy Wolfgang

Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.

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