Trust the Process

The Philadelphia 76ers are the only professional basketball team I've paid much attention to, and I only follow them intermittently.

Like most Philly-area folks, I watch footage of Dr. J (Julius Erving) and Moses Malone from the early 80s with a heavy sigh; we haven't won a championship since 1983. Some blame it on the Curse of Billy Penn, but most knowledgeable Sixers fans say it's because the Sixers management looked for short-term results.

In 2016 the Sixers earned the dubious honor of having the longest losing streak in NBA history, losing 28 straight games.

But in the past few years, Sixers fans and sports radio commentators have become oddly hopeful. There is a mantra repeated over and over, which can be seen everywhere in the city -- on tattoos, t-shirts and social media hashtags:

Trust the Process.

Wait, I thought this was a blog for career tips? What's with all the basketball? 

Here's the thing.

In basketball and in job searching, there is a PROCESS that must be worked consistently and methodically, even when you see no immediate benefit. You have to trust that in time, this process will eventually yield results.

For the Sixers, the process includes trading key players, signing players with injuries but long-term potential, and waiting for the lottery to bring a #1 draft pick.

For jobseekers, the process includes acquiring skills, building a network, and anticipating setbacks. The process is laborious, painstaking and can be frustratingly slow. 

  • Acquire additional skills. Take a course at your local community college. Get a certification to demonstrate that your knowledge is current. Sign up for an online class. Every workshop, badge or certificate helps establish your expertise.

Trust the process.

Consider the beginning of the season in 2014, when the Sixers got a good #3 draft pick, selecting 7'0" Cameroonian center Joel Embiid. He had a recent foot injury but was still considered a great prospect when the draft was held.

Then we learned his foot hadn't healed as expected. He would be out for two whole seasons.

The Sixers ended the season in 2016 with a record of 10-72. That's 10 wins, 72 losses.

They were truly terrible.

  • Be patient. Build your network methodically. Have lunch with professionals in your field. Grab coffee or tea with as many people as you can. Be generous, sharing your knowledge and expertise while expecting nothing in return.

Trust the process.

Finally fortune smiled on the Sixers. In 2016 Philadelphia drew the #1 draft pick. The Sixers selected Ben Simmons, a phenomenal point guard originally from Australia who was called the "best freshman in college basketball" during the year he played at Louisiana State University. 

Then during the final scrimmage of training camp, Ben Simmons broke his foot. He was out for the season.

I kid you not. 

  • Expect setbacks. Prepare for adversity. Believe that these obstacles are part of the process, that the work required to overcome them is exactly what you need to prepare you for the next step. Not only are setbacks expected, they are required for success.

Trust the process.

Just yesterday, the Sixers announced that Joel Embiid had signed a 5 year contract for $148 million. Ben Simmons is back to health and has once again been compared to LeBron James.

This is our year.

Or maybe next year, or the one after that. We can be patient.

We're working our plan, steady but relentless, never giving up.

Keep the faith.

Trust the process.


For those who have stayed with me to the end of this post, here's a treat via YouTube.

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