This weekend my cousin came over to help me with my beehive. The good news is that he easily identified the solution to my problem. The not-so-good-news is that the solution is going to be kind of a big one… a bit costly and it will take a while. But this will be an important measure in ensuring my bees live through the winter, which they apparently weren’t set up to do.
We suited up and I asked for a picture because many, many years ago, my grandpa was a beekeeper. If he were alive today, I’m sure he’d be thrilled to know that two of his grandkids, and two of his great-grandkids were beekeepers (to one degree or another :p). Here’s that shot:
I’m on the right. Can you tell that I have my glasses on? It’s hard to tell because of the black screen that’s around my head… the little black lines make it hard to see the black lines of my glasses. I broke my ankle in January and it’s still not back to 100%, so I find myself looking down a lot when I walk, especially in my backyard, which is not flat:
In this picture we are walking from where we suited up to the “North Forty,” or the part of our backyard that is not landscaped (and is to the north). During this whole walk I alternated between looking down and forward… so I was on the right path, but also so I wouldn’t stumble.
As I did this my eyes had to adjust between what was a few feet away (the ground) to what was many dozens of feet away (towards the beehive). As my eyes adjusted again and again, sometimes they would get stuck focusing on the mesh netting of the beekeeper suit in front of me.
If my eyes stayed focused on the mesh netting I could see what was immediately in front of me, just inches away from my face, but everything else would be out of focus… the dip in the rocks where I might roll my ankle, or the path to get to the bees, and I might take a wrong turn.
I had to make sure I was focusing on the right thing so I didn’t get in trouble. I could be intrigued and focus on any of the three things my eyes went to (immediately below me, or the mesh, or far ahead of me), but I couldn’t stay focused on any one for too long.
Isn’t this just like the job search?
The mesh is like our immediate needs. It’s paying the bills this month. We can’t close our eyes and ignore that, or we’ll be kicked out, have our utilities shut down, or have bad stuff happen to our credit. We have to look at those and take care of those, but we can’t consume ourselves with those or else we might stumble, or get on the wrong path.
The ground below us is related to the very movements, or tactics, that we make or implement in our job search. I had to put one foot in front of the other, in the right place, and not step where I might roll my ankle. I had to watch out for the dips and hills because my bad ankle is just not good enough to handle those well. In our job search we have tactics, even micro-tactics, that we have to pay attention to. How are we writing follow-up emails? How are are leaving voice mails? How are we dressing when we go to network events? How are we doing the big things, and the little things? You have to pay attention to these and do them with care and purpose.
The view far, far ahead, towards the beehive, is similar to our vision and hope for when we land a job. Yes, we have to pay attention to immediate needs (bills), and to the tactics we employ, but we also have to know what we are looking for. When we stop looking to the future, when we lose (or give up) hope, we forget the why. The tactics become less meaningful, we don’t value ourselves correctly, and we shoot lower than we should. Having a vision, and having hope, helps us have spirit and purpose in all that we do. It helps us weather the very difficult lows (like rejections) in our job search, knowing that there is definitely, indeed, something better out there for us.
Saturday, when I was first experiencing all of this, I was thinking about how important it was to look out, past the mesh, and focus on the future, but as I’ve thought about it, I’ve realized that focusing on any of the three, at the right time, is what’s really important. Don’t ignore one or two of these things because they are hard or uncomfortable… take care of all three.