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I was on a call with my fellow Make Sh*t Happen alumni in June, when the fabulous Jenny Blake posed the question, “From what place are you taking action?” I can’t even begin to remember the various responses we had because I was completely spaced out and focused on trying to voice my own answer. Since then, it has become a sticky note in my office, helping me make decisions and “check myself” along the way.

When the question was originally asked, I remember thinking that I had never actually thought deeper about the motivation behind the decisions I had made along the way. At the time, I had just ventured out on my own and I was struggling to make ends meet. So my surface answer at the time probably revolved around paying the bills.

But this is a critical question to ask. From what place are you taking action?

  • When accepting a new job?
  • When beginning your job search?
  • When networking at an event?
  • When quitting your job?
  • When responding to an angry email?
  • When building a relationship of any kind?
  • When deciding on which products to create?

From What Place are you Taking Action?

Searching for a new job can come about in a variety of ways. Perhaps you are forced to do so because you have been laid off or are unemployed. Maybe you have been passed over for a promotion and are ready to bring your talents to another position. Or perhaps you are ready for a change. Regardless of why you are looking for something new, you are. How are you approaching your job search? Are you coming at it from a place of desperation? Is it simply a means to an end for you? Are you bored?

Looking back at the hundreds (thousands?) of people I’ve interviewed throughout the years, I can pinpoint the place of action for many of the candidates. And here’s a secret – I hired more people whose place of action was more than just surface-deep.

For instance, when a candidate presented an “any job will do, just hire me” position, I passed on them – as did the hiring manager. Their “fit” didn’t seem genuine, it came across as desperation. And when you’re up against a candidate who lives and breathes your company and core values, you aren’t going to win that fight.

But of course, this was us inferring this information. No one comes out and shares the place from which they are taking action. But what if you did? What if you were a little bit more vulnerable and shared a bit more of yourself throughout the process? (Ahem, this is relevant for other aspects of your life too – not just job landing).

What if you were clear with yourself about your place of action? And owned it. And shared it. Regardless of how “impressive” that place is, or how others would view it.

How can we use this question to make decisions in life and keep us on track? That’s the easy part – well, easier than being vulnerable about it I’m sure. Before you do something or accept something, ask the question – and answer it honestly. If there is anything in your answer that feels inauthentic or a niggling feeling in the pit of your stomach, then pass on it.

And I want to start us along the way of being more transparent about this. So here I go…

Recent decision (and for the record, I am beyond excited to share this with you – more in my upcoming newsletter):

  • Should I join “sign-up” to deliver ongoing content and behind-the-scenes coordination for one of my favorite blogs – Life After College?

From What Place Did I Take Action?:

My business is picking up. As in, my brain is a bit in shock with the uptick in awesomeness this past month (YAY – and no complaints mind you). But taking on another commitment, a long-term, ongoing one with major responsibilities is a big deal. Add that to having the opportunity to work closely with someone I greatly admire, and the pressure is ramped up. So that’s the background to my decision.

  • My place of action: I want to be a part of that community. I want to help an even greater audience fall in love with their work and understand how things work behind the scenes of HR. I want to learn more from someone awesome, and I want to expand my own skills through this experience. I am excited about this opportunity, and I am ready.

That’s the place from where I am taking action. I want to be a part of it. I want to commit my time, energy and effort into something meaningful to me – and learn during the process. My place of action is clear and honoring my values.

How about you? From what place are you currently taking action with something in your life? Has thinking about this, changed your approach?