“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away, know when to run.”
~Kenny Rogers’ The Gambler
As I embark on my last week of employment with my current institution, I’ve started to reflect a little more on my time here. I think I’ve learned some things about myself as well as a lesson in the importance of fitting in to the environment where you work.
Now, I don’t think it was either my fault or my employer’s fault for us being the way that we are. While I know I’m not old, I do know that my identity at this point will not evolve as dramatically as it may have when I was younger. My beliefs, thoughts, or base of knowledge will continue to evolve but I just don’t see it changing my core.
When I arrived a little over a year ago here, my vision of what my experience would be like never really came into fruition for a variety of reasons – some of it has to do with me and some of it external situations and/or people. However, I quickly realized that things weren’t what I expected. I tried to remain optimistic, but I knew this place was not for me. I started peeking at job postings but never applied to anything because I wanted to see if things would change, if I could possibly change – but it didn’t happen. So finally, I decided to start looking with the intent of actually applying to postings that I believed would be better for me.
Life in some ways is like a game of cards (I’m a big fan of poker): You get dealt a hand and you have to try your best to win. Just because the hand dealt is poor, doesn’t mean you will lose. However, you have to be able to recognize when there’s just no way to win that hand and it’s best to fold because there’s another hand waiting to be dealt to you.
So, as in poker, make sure you maximize your winning hands (opportunities, resources, mentors, etc) but make sure you can recognize when you’re in a losing situation and fold. Folding is part of the experience and if you do it right, you will still come out a winner in the end.