Jumping to No

A recent student of mine is talking about looking for his first EMT job. He tells me how he’s thinking about an ER tech job but he explains how much competition there is for the limited number of jobs. Then we talk about some of the local ambulance services and he explains that they’re mostly looking for folks with previous experience. Finally and I stop him and I say, “John, why don’t you let them decide why they don’t want to hire you?”

Sometimes we’re so quick to say no to ourselves to avoid ever encountering the possibility of someone else saying no to us. Showing up and saying you want the job, the promotion, the raise or anything else in life feels a lot like failure. And we all know how scary failure is. Let’s face it, it’s easier to just say no to ourselves…in private

Then we can move on to something else that’s less fulfilling.

Or here’s another idea.

Let the hiring panel decide why they don’t want to hire you.

Let the hot-looking gal or guy decide why they don’t want to go out with you.

Let the administrator decide why they don’t want to promote you.

Let the field instructor decide why you’re not ready to be a paramedic.

Let the quality assurance manager decide why you shouldn’t have done the right thing for the patient.

And…in the meantime,  just keep asking for the stuff you want. And just keep doing the things you want to do.

When you just do the stuff you want to do, you’ll be surprised by how often people are willing to let you. When you just ask for the stuff you want, it’s shocking how often people say yes.

What do you think?

Read Onward:

Authenticity and Incongruity


“I’m Only an EMT Basic”

6 Reasons Why You Should Be a Better EMT

Five Rules for One Shift


  1. Thanks Steve, just motivated me for the rest of the week!

  2. Thank you Steve for this motivating post. I send lots of information requests to EMS agencies. While it sucks to be told NO a lot I know someone will say yes, see my website EMS Compare for examples of successful requests.

  3. Agreed, very motivating. I think we all can relate to you student, John. Thanks.

  4. This is so true! When I got my EMT status, I figured no one would hire me. My wife forced me to apply to a few places. And now I sit here in my ambulance, full time, paid. Instead of working at Target on this black Friday like I did last year, and the year before, and so on.

  5. I’m glad I stumbled on this post. I’m waiting to hear about a new job as a paramedic, and I’m already keeping myself awake at night worrying about the FI process. Thank you for this reminder.