Yesterday I had a wonderful radio show with Susan Whitcomb. We talked about a lot of cool stuff, and the Recruiting Animal jumped on and added some great info (digging to “why I didn’t get a job if I’m such a smart guy, and so driven??”). You can download it, or just listen to it online, at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jibberjobber.
Susan’s ending thoughts revolve around what she calls “Providence,” saying that in the end we just can’t lose faith that things will work out. I truly believe this… can you think of anyone who is completely left out to dry, with no way to survive? While some people may feel like it, things somehow work out (even if we don’t end up with the boat, and ATV, and other toys that we think we should have).
I’m not going to talk about Providence… you can listen to Susan’s interview here.
I want to talk about what happens to the professional as the job search goes longer and longer. I went through this myself, and experienced some of the lowest days of my life. And almost daily I hear from professionals who are in serious pain.
At the beginning of my job search, I knew I was pretty hot. My credentials were strong, including a Computer Information Systems degree as well as an MBA. I speak Spanish fluently, my past job titles include general manager, VP, CIO, IT Manager, etc. I was involved in some very cool projects, and saw significant growth/improvement, etc.
I did not have a problem with feeling good about myself.
Until a few weeks went by… and I was not getting any return phone calls or emails. I was sitting in my chair, with my laptop, wondering why people weren’t responding to me. Couldn’t they see how incredible I was, and what I’d add to their company, and why they should hire me????
I started to doubt myself. Was I really that good? Or maybe I was just in the right place at the right time, and lucked out in the previous part of my career.
I lost self-confidence. If companies weren’t interested in me, even for lesser jobs than I had in the past, maybe I wasn’t worth anything? Did I go to the wrong school? Was my employer badmouthing me when called as a reference? Where my skills just not useful anymore? Was I the commodity I never should have been?
I compared myself to others, in a really bad way. People who I thought I was better than, but guess what? They had jobs and paychecks. If *they* could get work, and I couldn’t, what was wrong with me??
It was easy to lose perspective. You can read over 200 comments on my Depression Clouds Everything post, which talks about depression in the job search. You can read why having this happen to you will only prolong your job search in my post about HR and recruiters being able to smell blood a mile away (like a wolf can smell blood of a wounded victim… are you a wounded victim? HR doesn’t want to bring a wounded victim onboard).
Some things are in your control. Like what time you get out of bed, what time you shower and get dressed, and how you take care of yourself. You control what activities you do in your so-called job search. Is it to sit on the computer and apply online all day, or will you do the right (and hard) stuff like pick up the phone or go out and meet people face-to-face?
One of my mom’s favorite sayings is “this too shall pass.” Meaning, no matter what we are going through, we’ll get through it.
I KNOW you will get through your job search. Does it suck? It’s beyond sucking. It’s a demoralizing state. But it’s also a very common state, and many people are in it right now, and many more will be in it soon. And you’ll be in it again.
But please, please don’t lose faith in yourself. This job search will pass, and soon enough you’ll find yourself employed, pulling in a paycheck, and okay. You may not have hit the bottom yet, but you will find that job you are looking for.