Set Your Intentions
I first met Rick during my last semester of college. I was bound and determined to have a job before graduation. It was fixed in my consciousness. I figured why wait to graduate and compete with all the other thousands of students who would be graduating at the same time. Start now! So in December (I was going to complete the program in April and graduate in late June) I started researching who I wanted to work for upon graduation. I boldly drew up my list of Top 100 companies where I wanted to invest my time and efforts. It was by daunting, exciting, tiring, and exhilarating.
With some interviews booked, I talked with people in Human Resources and several in sales and marketing, plus the owner of a very successful import firm who had a sales and marketing team. After the interviews I went back and drafted up two types of resumes. One resume for sales and one for marketing positions. Then the hunt began in earnest. I started mailing out letters of introduction and my resumes.
However, it does keep you humble when the rejections letters starts coming back. Yes, in my first go round of job search, companies sent back to me “Thanks but no Thanks” letters. I think I got about 12 of them for the 30 or so positions I applied for. However, out of the first 33 applications sent out I got serious interest from three firms. I managed to get two interviews with each of them. One of them decided I was not the right fit, one I decided I was not a fit and the third made me an offer.
During this series of back and forth interviews I kept researching and looking for that first job. It was well into January when a very tiny ad appeared in the newspaper. “Social Expression company looking for front line sales professional, sales training provided.” I did not know what a social expression company was but I quickly got on the phone and turns out it was a placement agency. I had never worked with a placement agency before but I was not going to let that stop me.
I meet with the agency the next day and had an appointment with their client in under three days. Both appointments went very well and at the agency we recapped the interview. I was called back to the client for a second interview and after was asked to stay to meet Rick. This was a life-affirming and game-changing series of events.
Unbeknownst to me then, I was “competing” for this position with over 200 other candidates. The Human Resources Department narrowed the field down to 12 of us. We were interviewed and the field further narrowed to eight. Then Rick interviewed the eight of us and three of us were back for another interview then just the two of us. Among the interviewees was an industry professional employed with a competitor. The company had decided it was time to be more progressive and hire their first female sales professional. Yeah! Oh wait, I did not get the job. My first reaction was “Drats!” but Rick made an offer that I could not refuse that took not only took the sting out of it but offered me a chance to develop, deepen and practise several valuable skill sets.
As I had scored very high on the aptitude test on mechanical abilities the question was put to me: Would I consider starting off as a Retail Installation Coordinator or a RIC? (I later teased Rick that he had named the position after himself). I would be in charge of new and renovated in-store fixture set-ups and on occasion merchandising as well. Exciting times. Plus I would lead teams of up to 12 on the set-up and merchandising teams.
Four Stages of Consciousness
I held that position for 10 months and during that time we opened and renovated well over 32 stores across Ontario. Plus,I was given the opportunity to work in the interior of British Columbia and help renovate a series of department stores. It was a busy time! During these months I drove over 80,000 miles and have since lost track of how many air and car rental miles I racked up. It was starting to get tiring towards the end of the 10 months between travelling, the hours and being away from home. A change needed, however there was also a very big sense of accomplishment. I enjoyed hiring and training each of the set-up crews. I was also very pleased and proud of an exceptional safety record. Zero accidents despite the urgency of the set-ups and the less than ideal working conditions.
However, being called into Rick’s office for a meeting in a week time’s left me to wonder “What’s up?” It was good news. I was promoted and moving from the Sales Support Team into the position of Sales Trainee. Better still, of all the trainers in the firm, I was going to be training with one Trevor Hunt. He had a first-rate track record of working his way up the corporate ladder in England and then came to Canada to work with our company. Mr. Hunt had a bit of experience and was a very gifted trainer.
Rick also shared a piece of insight that helped me better understand myself and shape all the consulting, training, coaching and mentoring I have done since. It really was an “Ah Ha!” moment. He introduced me to the Four States of Awareness, also known as the Four States of Consciousness. They go something like this:
First State of Consciousness: In this state, “We don’t know we don’t know.” So, little stuff and big stuff keeps happening to us. Yet we are 100% unaware of the why.
Second State of Consciousness: In this state,“We know we don’t know.” So, little stuff and big stuff keeps happening to us. However now we understand there is a cause and effect. We know we have some choices and some learning to do. It can be a time of great excitement and or a time of great anger and frustration. “Why didn’t anyone tell me before?”
Third State of Consciousness: In this state of consciousness or awareness “We know we know.” We are not yet 100% aware of the W5 (Who, what, where, when, why and how) yet we are underway. Changing, learning, growing and expanding our awareness and skills. We are becoming competent. We know we do not know it all yet, however we are learning, process, names, skills and expanding our awareness and looking for “What’s next?”
Fourth State or Consciousness: In this state, many would say we are unconsciously competent, We have potentially forgotten the names and process to doing things.We do them as a habit. Not consciously. Yet, at one time we had to learn the process, names, skills and practise to be productive. Now it is a habit. Just happens.
Where Are You?
These four types of consciousness helped me better understand exactly where I was when dealing with personal and professional issues as well as when consulting with business clients or volunteering. So my question to you is: Where do you stand on something in life that is blocking you?
Perhaps you are stuck in a state of unconsciousness like the first one. I had a friend who refused to learn anything about managing a serious health issue even though they had an excessive amount of pain and suffering. My friend refused to move from the physical and emotional pain and discomfort by learning some vital information and then using it. I still do not fathom it. They suffered long and deep for 20 years. Instead of a few classes with a health educator, my friend told me, “Imagine taking lessons at my age.”
Being in any of these states of consciousness or awareness is not good, bad, right or wrong. However, it is potentially expensive and painful to be in the first state, annoying and trying to be in the second one, and liberating and hard work as we learn in the third state. Life is much easier as we have the courage and persistence to attain the fourth state of consciousness. [tweetthis]Learn about the 4 states of consciousness and improve your life now![/tweetthis]
Years later, I decided (quite boldly I would say) that this model from the 12th or 13th century was amazing, yet could be more conciseness. However more on that at in another post.
So until next time, Imagine Yourself with more Resiliency (and consciousness) for life.