May 2023
The art of losing

Recently I read a poem of the famous American Pulitzer-Prize winner poet Elisabeth Bishop (1911-1979) and it made me think about “The art of losing” in our lives and especially on the labor market today.

Experience with “change management” is very welcome on the labor market, but are we really prepared for changes? Are we prepared for losing colleagues, for losing jobs, for losing market segments?

Recently I got several calls from managers who lost their jobs because of market changes/changing company strategies, and they stay shocked in front of unexpected new situations of becoming job seekers from one day to another. Some of them have been at the same company for such a long time that they need advice how the job market works today.

On the other hand, when I call potential candidates, I often get to hear “thanks, no intention for changes for now”, not even a curiosity what a new position can offer.

Of course, candidates get nowadays a lot of offers, not all of them would fit to their working experiences and situation and it’s also not so easy to screen all possibilities.

But are we not a bit too lazy on our current workplaces to look around at least every 6 – 7 years? Or is it not rather the fear of unknown situations which leads us to keep the status quo? What happens when the world around us changes?

Among my acquaintances are people who plan only for the next 6 months in their private life because they mean everything is so uncertain that they are better off to stay so flexible. This kind of life attitude might be in minority, but in my opinion something in between these extremes would help us to react to unexpected changes more easily – like learning the art of losing. Take a change as a chance!

How about you? How flexible are you?

By Dominika Kelemen-Raths – INAC Germany II

For those who want to light up their day with some poetry, please find the mentioned poem below:

One Art

By Elizabeth Bishop

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

— Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident the art of losing’s not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

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