Become the bullfighter, defeat your bull, and be like JFK

by Rich DeMatteo on August 27, 2010 · 8 comments

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I was interviewed by City Sylvester the other day,  and one question asked me to talk about a favorite quote of mine that could be helpful for job seekers.  Right away, a quote that I had read in Sam Sheridan’s “A Fighter’s Heart” stung clear in my head.

Bullfight critics, ranked in rows
Crowd the enormous plaza full.
But only one is there who knows,
And he’s the man who fights the bull

Sam Sheridan had read a book about John F. Kennedy that claimed he walked around everyday with that anonymous poem tucked inside his wallet.  Maybe Sam Sheridan and I are alone here, but this poem is absolutely outstanding.

When broken down, it’s meaning and overall theme points to confidence and believing in yourself.  While job seekers will find great value in these words, I love this quote because pretty much everyone can find it to be insightful.  Here’s a deeper look into how a job seeker should view the poem.

Success in interviewing and your career has a lot to do with your own view of yourself.  While you might have more experience than most of your competition, if you don’t bring confidence, assertiveness, and a little bit of swagger to the interview, you’re chances of success drop significantly.

You need to be the one who “knows”.  You need to be the bullfighter.  When you are unsure of yourself and lack confidence, it makes it easy for the bull to take you for a long and bumpy ride.

And don’t worry about your critics.  They will always be present, and it’s their job to doubt you until the end.  Bottom line is, if you “know” you’ve got what it takes, then they’ll eventually “know” too.

Are there any quotes that you’d consider keeping in your wallet like JFK did?

Who’s winning your fight right now.  The bull or the bullfighter?


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8 comments
staylor75
staylor75

I think the way I understand the poem (and i read the same story) is that no one knows what its like to walk in your shoes but you.

Jamie Favreau
Jamie Favreau

I have to agree. I tend to not interview well but I think it comes with knowing what you want in life and where you should be and if you have the confidence to speak your mind and maybe bi pass some channels where you might not have been able too. I have a strategy for this dream of mine and I am hoping it pays off if it does not than I have a plan that demonstrates I know what I want to do and how to do it.

Janet
Janet

As we approach the US Open, same goes for tennis! Here's what greets me under my mousepad: Are you waiting For someone to lead and inspire you For the boss to recognize you For clients to thank you For coworkers to help you For the world to hail you Well here's a news flash They are all just sitting there too Waiting for you Lead wit ideas and people will follow. (Copied from an ad for IBM.)

Debby
Debby

I love this story! You did an awesome job of getting your point accross in an articulate way. Way to go Rich!

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Jamie - thanks for your comments! A solid strategy will help anyone build some confidence, so Im glad to hear that's what you have planned!

Jamie Favreau
Jamie Favreau

I love the quote which is why I am trying to do something for what I want. I figure if I don't try at least I have said what was needed to be said.

Rich DeMatteo
Rich DeMatteo

Hey Janet - Great quote, I love that! Also, that is great placement for a quote. Enjoy the US open, I'm looking forward to catching some of it!