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Creativity and Optimism: Practical Applications (part 1)

 

I read once that optimistic people who believe that good things are coming their way appear to be lucky because good things repeatedly do indeed happen to/for them. Turns out just as many good things come down the pike for all people on average but only the optimistic people are looking for them and notice them and are therefore able to pounce on such opportunities more frequently.

Can you teach people how to approach life with optimism and creativity? I’d like to think so but studies are inconclusive. Well actually that’s a lie- the studies *were* inconclusive when I last reviewed the matter for a term paper as an undergrad in the 1990s. It’s entirely possible that science has come to a firm conclusion on the matter by now but I can’t be bothered to look it up.

In any case, I wanted to provide you two case studies in optimism and creativity, drawn from my personal experience to illustrate their practical applications.

The first case shall be documented by way of a thread of email correspondence that I was involved in about five years ago while job hunting. The end result was a job interview offer which I turned down because I accepted a position elsewhere and didn’t want to string anyone else along. Watch how this unfolds and see if you can identify where optimism, creativity and dare I say a bit of boldness opened up an avenue of opportunity.

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From: Susan xxx
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 2:00 PM
To: jenni

Cc: (lots and lots of other people)
Subject: Robertson
Since Mr. Robertson did not complete his SF-85P Security questionnaire, he was asked to go home to complete it.
Mr Robertson promised to complete and fax you today the completed SF-85P and will bring in a hard copy with him tomorrow.
Mr. Robertson will show up at our office tomorrow at 8:00am.
Thank you.
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From: xxx, James
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 2:13 PM
To: Susan xxx; jenni; xxx, Scott
Cc: lots of other people
Subject: RE: Robertson
Maybe Mr Robertson is not the right candidate after all for our office! Jeanne has had several conversations with this guy--if he doesn't get it right today then I say let's not waste our valuable time with him! By all indications and his inactions I question his reliability and dependability.
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From: Jenni

Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 2:14 PM
To: James xxx

Subject: RE: Robertson

Hello this is Jennifer’s automated spamfilter. Only messages from recipients on the whitelist are delivered to Jennifer. Please take a moment to add yourself to the whitelist by replying to this email with ‘whitelist’ in the subject field.

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From: xxx, James
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 2:130 PM
To: jenni

Subject: RE: Robertson

You need to read my email but I don't have time to register with your whitelist. This is important to our office!!!
JAMES xxx, Director
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Jenni M. Parks

Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 2:58 PM
To: xxx, James; 'Susan xxx; xxx, Scott
Cc: lots of other people
Subject: RE: Robertson


Hello,
Just a note to let you know that you’ve somehow pulled me into your chain of emails. I’m not sure how that happened. I only know Susan because she contacted me about a job opportunity last week to inquire whether I was interested [I am currently job hunting]. It looks as though she may have inadvertently added me to an outgoing email and then you all hit “reply all” when responding.
My comments:
I am glad I am not Mr. Robertson :)
I am still job hunting, should you have any opportunities available for a seasoned Windows/AD IT Director with government experience.
Have a great day!
Best Regards,
Jenni Parks
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From: xx, James
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 3:09 PM
To: jenni.parks
Subject: RE: Robertson
Hi Jenni,
I apologize for the tone of my earlier email.
Please send me your resume and salary requirements. I am also the xxx for the CIO. We are rapidly expanding our project nation-wide and experienced AD folks are hard to find. I'll get your resume to our IT Director for review.
Give me a buzz if you have questions.
Jimmy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Jenni M. Parks
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 3:15 PM
To: xxx, James
Subject: RE: Robertson
Jimmy,
Resume, project accomplishments and references attached. Thank you. Salary is negotiable with a floor of $xxx for consideration.
Best Regards,
Jenni M. Parks
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: xxx, James
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 3:29 PM
To: jenni.parks
Subject: RE: Robertson
Jenni,
Are you looking for a contractor or a permanent government position; or, a contractor-to-maybe government position?
Jimmy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Jenni M. Parks
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 3:43 PM
To: xxx, James
Subject: RE: Robertson

I’m looking for permanent employment, whether it is with a federal agency, a federal contractor or even with a private firm that has nothing to do with the federal government.
I love the job I hold currently and what I do, but I am a political appointee and after the November elections should the chairmanship of this office change my job will likely be filled by a new appointee of the new chairman.
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From: xxx, James
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 3:47 PM
To: jenni.parks
Subject: RE: Robertson

Understand Jenni. I have passed your resume to our IT Director, and with your permission, will share it with my extensive network of government and private sector contacts. There should be something good around here for someone with your background, experience, and abilities. :-)
V/R
Jimmy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Jenni M. Parks
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 4:03 PM
To: xxx, James
Subject: RE: Robertson

Jimmy,
Excellent. You have my permission to share my resume with anyone you deem fit. I look forward to hearing from your colleagues and contacts regarding any opportunities that may be a good match for my skill set.
Poor Mr. Robertson!
Best Regards,
Jenni Parks
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From: xxx, James
Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 4:16 PM
To: jenni.parks
Subject: RE: Robertson
Good Luck and stay in contact. Look for Robertson in line at a food bank near you soon. :-)
Jimmy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Jenni M. Parks

To: xxx, James

Sent: Mon Jun 05 16:58:44 2006

Subject: RE: Robertson

Sounds like a plan. Have a great afternoon Jimmy. Pleasure meeting you through this very bizarre chain of events.

Best Regards,

Jenni M. Parks

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From: xxx, James

Sent: Monday, June 05, 2006 5:01 PM

To: jenni.parks

Subject: Re: Robertson

Jenni,

The pleasure is all mine and I'll try to help you as much as I can. Smile

Jimmy

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