Does the Shoe Fit?
Every New Job Is Like Getting New Shoes
There is nothing like unpacking a box of well-crafted boots. My new Frye boots arrived in a beautifully crafted box, cushioned in layers of padding, with a gold embossed card tucked inside the gilded tissue paper. It made me feel so special that I wanted to keep the packaging forever. (Alas I am beginning to understand all those unboxing videos on YouTube!)
Inside, I met for the first time these beautiful leather boots, the perfect fantasy of the person I am about to become. I imagine how confident and abundant I would feel, and how they will make me feel like a new person.
But new boots -- just like new jobs-- need to be broken in. They are new and stiff and formal around their owner. Like new friendships, we need time together to soften in each other’s presence, and space to form around each other. If your new boots look great, but break your feet, are they really the right boots for you?
I remember a poem I wrote for my boss, the last time I was promoted.
Today I got me some bigger shoes | That make me look a little taller! |Yet look more closely | These shoes have lower heels | Cuz these shoes – they are for dancing, | Not kicking or stomping or… oh heavens… not racing | And definitely not tripping. | These shoes are made for bending | To dust, to shine, to clear a path more adventurous.| These shoes are made for tippy toes | So that I can reach more places.
I wear these shoes for you | So that we can go to more places together.
Today I got me a new stripe. | And it’s just a stripe. | Can’t do much with a stripe. | The shoes are much, much better.
Choosing the shoes or boots you walk in, and choosing who you walk alongside, are some of the most important and defining choices in life and career. Make sure they fit, because even a half-size too small will be the wrong size altogether.