We recruiters love to talk about elevators. For example, we promote the art of the elevator speech – How would you describe yourself in 30 seconds or less, or about the time it takes to ride an elevator with someone? Other times, we use the elevator to demonstrate career progression, likening it to a clever slogan about getting to the top. We say how great it is to get in on something exciting on the ground floor. Or we say that every career path has its ups and downs. The elevator is a favorite analogy of our trade, and it took on even greater meaning for me today when…
I got stuck in one. By myself. At first I laughed drily at the irony of a recruiter getting stuck with no one to talk to. Next, I panicked slightly, admitting that I didn’t have the necessary resources to get myself out of the ordeal. Finally, I embraced the situation, realizing that it reminded me of three important elements of life that I tend to take for granted (and that’s actual life, not just corporate life).
1) Friendship. As you can see from the picture, my coworkers acted as friends, first by trying to spring me, and then by keeping me company until the electrician came. Once we knew I was officially “stuck”, they stuck by me.
2) Solitude. I think this was literally the first time I had been alone in a very long time, other than a tedious road trip to Cleveland a few months ago, and I remembered how important it was to carve out some time for self reflection.
3) Humor. The entire situation was ridiculous and it forced me to laugh at myself, which was no small feat on quite possibly the most stressful day of my week. Cancelling a noon conference call because you are stuck in an elevator? Now that is something worth smiling about.
Lucky for you, students of America, I eventually won back my freedom, complete with a fresh perspective on life, thanks to a journey that is usually the most mindless 30 seconds of my day.