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Several years ago, I believed I was ready to take the next step in my career. I had achieved the role of Treasurer at my last company but I was ready for something more. While I was there, we merged with another company and I was traveling back and forth to both offices as Treasurer of both companies. Unfortunately, and as I had anticipated, senior management wanted me to move to where the other company was located, and I declined. So, with a strange twist of events, I found myself unemployed. Related: 3 Signs You’re Sabotaging Your Job Search Right as I was leaving my company, a recruiter contacted me saying they were conducting a search for a company in need of a Treasurer. And with my industry experience, there was no doubt it was a perfect match. I met the recruiter, he believed I was right for the job, and he submitted my resume. After three weeks with no response, I contacted the recruiter and he told me the company hired the first person they interviewed! I was astounded! I thought “That can’t be. I am a perfect match for that job! I have excellent Treasurer experience and I have worked at major companies in their industry. This just isn’t right.” Every day, I lamented the fact that I had not been given an opportunity to interview for that position. Finally, three months later, still lamenting the lost opportunity, my computer hard drive crashed rendering it unsalvageable. Also, not one interview, phone call, referral, or response to a resume submission came my way during those three months. Life has a funny way of making a point to us. This was a clear message to forget about the past. I immediately started laughing knowing the message. Therefore, the next day I put the past behind me and re-focused on my networking. Later that week, while meeting with a new connection, I was referred to a particular recruiter. My contact highly recommended I call her. I called her the next day and she answered (that was a good sign!). She told me my background was perfect for a job opening they just received looking for a Treasurer. But there is much more to this story. As I mentioned, I really was looking for the next step in my career, and wanted more than just a Treasurer role. She informed me that this person would also head up Investor Relations, thereby making this a very strategic role. I would be continually working with the CFO, CEO, and senior management because of these two responsibilities. I landed that job. Within three months, I was given additional responsibility: Budgeting, Planning, and then Public Relations. The job was exactly what I had my heart set on. Looking back, it was a massive mistake to be looking back. What I learned was:

1. Looking back is a waste of time and energy

Looking back lamenting what might have been wastes precious time and energy better spent on a job search.

2. You can’t change the past

Spending time wishing the past would be different is futile. By dwelling on it, you are telling yourself the future will not be better than your past. We must always be under the belief our future holds promise.

3. You radiate negative energy

The negative energy you create by looking back and being disappointed gets carried into your conversations, handshakes, and emails. This negativity is intuitively picked up by everyone you connect with and meet.

4. You can only see what is in the direction you are facing

The key is that my desired job opportunities were not appearing in front of me because I kept looking behind me.

5. Creating job search confusion

Because I was looking at a job that in my heart I knew I did not want, I was creating my own dilemma and confusion. I wanted a different type of job, yet was letting myself be upset for not obtaining an interview on a job that was my second choice. Sure, we can learn from our past, but spend very little time there. We can waste precious time and energy looking back wondering “What if?” There is little value in looking back because that is not the direction we are headed. When I put my full attention on my future and was totally committed to where I wanted to be, opportunities appeared. This is a guest post. This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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