What To Do, What To Do?

“The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.”
--Arthur C. Clarke

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”
--Alexander Pope

“Take calculated risks. That is quite different from being rash.”
-- George S. Patton

If one takes the time to troll through the internetz, one will find a metric shit tonne of similar inspirational quotes. I wonder if you would find more quotes extolling the virtue of going forward against the odds or those preaching the wisdom of exercising caution. I suspect there would be more of the former, simply because there is such an industry which has been built up around inspiring people.

It’s really rather remarkable when you stop to think about it. The first thing which comes to my mind when I think of motivation is those horrible posters. You know the ones. If you work in an office building you probably pass two or three framed ones each day. There is some photograph, probably of some wonderful scene from nature like a rainbow or a sunset or some crap. Then there is the big emphasis word like COURAGE or PERSEVERANCE or whatever. Then there is a pithy saying underneath in the same font but smaller typeface. The whole thing is so cliched that there is an entire Demotivational meme base with over 10,000+ entries. In fact this year’s family calendar is a
Demotivational calender from Think Geek1.

That, however, is just the first thing that I thought of.
2 There is an entire self-help industry that promotes inner growth and self-motivation via books, audiobooks, DVDs, and seminars. There are people who make their living going from town to town motivating the masses. They appear on television talk shows. Some have their own radio programs.

I am not putting this industry down, mind you. I have a number of self-help books. Most of mine have to do with writing. They cover topics like unleashing your creativity or how to get over your fear of rejection. I’ve even read a few of them.

What I am saying is that there is a huge number of people who look to other people for clues as to how they can make their lives better. Because of this, I think that if one examines the quotes available on-line, more will have positive, motivational, go ahead and try it themes than those who urge caution.

I could be really wrong on this, but I have already spent way too much time jawing about it.

The actual point of this post
5 is to ask a question about applying for jobs. Specifically, how high is too high to aim?

The reason for the question is simple. I have been out of work for a while now. I have been looking for a job, but I am searching outside of my previous field of expertise so it has been a very slow go. The other day I stumbled upon a couple of interesting potential positions and I am torn between applying for two at the same company. One is a position which I do not posses all of the requirements for but which I feel I could do. I don’t have the experience in the field
6 but I think I could fulfill all of that which would be required of me. The other is an unpaid position, more of an entry-level internship, which might provide me a leg up the next time the first position came available.

As I mentioned, I do not have direct experience in the field, but some of my previous job positions and extracurricular activities have provided me with similar skills which I feel will translate nicely. Either position would involve a bit of up front learning. Naturally, I am torn between the two.

It has been a while since I had the huge inner debate. I’m glad to know that the various portions of my psyche haven’t forgotten how to do their little dance. One part of my brain is saying apply for the first position (the paying one). The worst that they can do is say no. Another portion of my brain is telling me that I stand a much better chance of getting the second position. Yes, it would mean a little more “grunt work” but the experience I gain from it would be invaluable should I try to pursue a career in this new field. Then the first part says, “yeah, but the experience you get with the first job would be even more invaluable.” Then the second part says “Why go for something you have a slim chance of getting when you can aim a little lower and have a better chance?”

Then another part of my brain says “I don’t want to deal with this right now. Let’s go read comic books.”

The good news is that even if I decide I do not want to work in this particular field, the experience I get will help me anyway.

So, on the one hand we have a position which may be a little beyond my reach which I want to try for.

On the other hand we have a position which I stand a better chance of getting but I might not like as much as the first.

On the gripping hand
8, there is nothing other than my ego stopping me from applying for the second position if I don’t get the first.

Hmm...I think I may have solved it.

1 My love for Think Geek knows no bounds. It is one of my favorite shopping websites to just browse. I could easily drop thousands of dollars there in one sitting. I don’t even want to know how much I have spent there over the years. On the plus side, I know enough people like me (or who at least have similar tastes in one area or another) that it has become my go to site when I need a present for someone and I don’t have any ideas of what to get them.

2 Because that’s how
my brain works.3

3 Aren’t you glad your brain operates differently?

4 Can you believe the length of that digression? Holy shit, that has to be a record, even for me.

5 Hidden WAAAAAAAY down here.

6 Yes, I am being deliberately vague. You should be used to that by now.

7 Or read regular books, or gaming manuals, or watch TV, or find an episode of MS3K I haven’t seen, or play video games. I’ve been suppressing that particular voice for a while now. I may have to let it run free soon.

8 Ten bonus Geek Points for those who get this reference.