I remember specifically thinking this several years ago after an extensive interview process to work in leadership development for MGM in Las Vegas.
I had been in leadership at UNLV but felt the time had come for a change. I stumbled upon the MGM job, applied, and was eventually offered a position.
Throughout the process I felt conflicted about whether or not I would take it but it wasn’t until I had the offer in hand that I knew it was a bad fit.
Upon further reflection, the environment wasn’t aligned with what I was looking for, I would be teaching someone else’s curriculum, and I wasn’t confident that the department was really much of a priority for the organization.
I declined the offer and instantly thought, “What a waste of time!”
Here’s the thing: Two months later when I was deciding whether or not to accept an offer to work for Rice University I relied heavily on my MGM experience as a point of comparison. What did Rice offer that was different than MGM?
The environment was different, I would have more curricular autonomy, and the energy around leadership development was high. I accepted the job.
In other words, MGM served a purpose. It helped me clarify my values, strengths, and especially my ideal environment for thriving. I was able to compare the two opportunities which gave me more confidence in my Rice decision.
No application process is ever really a waste of time. Each helps you clarify who you are and what you care about. By their nature, application processes are set up to test and challenge you.In times of testing, we get clear about who we really are.
I used to give this advice often to students at Rice: If you feel, even remotely, like you might want to apply for something, DO IT. Don’t ever preemptively disqualify yourself from a job without at least throwing your name in the hat.
The greatest thing you get from an application may not be an offer at all.
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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