Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Not Getting It

The Proverbial Fork In The Road
Imagine coming to the proverbial fork in the road. If you go one way, you continue to struggle, facing one hurdle after another. If you go the other way, the struggle subsides. There's still work to do and in the process there are good days and bad, but the endless grind of fighting it fades. Energy that would otherwise go to the struggle is now used to get on with the actual search.

In a way this is what happens when job seekers awaken to the fact that they are Free Agents selling their services in the Marketplace - the struggle stops. In its place is clarity which allows one to actually see the route forward. Not being awake on the other hand ensures a reactive approach. The seeker continues as a participant in the Marketplace but does so without knowing the rules. Put another way, they're clueless but don't know it.

But what's new, people can and do perform in this mode while fast asleep. Take a good look around you. The problem? It doesn't last. Eventually something happens. It could be a big something, such as a personal implosion or a train wreck blowout - or less dramatic, like a series of never ending sideswipes and scrapes.

Of course being awake doesn't eliminate life-bumps and sideswipes; after all, people are people. However when one is aware in this way there will be understanding (mindfulness) concerning what is actually happening. When awake and aware, motivations originate from within and not from without (the catalyst for reaction). A positive byproduct of this is acceptance. Being able to accept things as they really are is the great diffuser of harmful negativity that so easily builds up as part of the not getting it cycle.

For those that know and live by it, the Serenity Prayer instructs, "accept the things I cannot change ...". Yes and to that I add "for now". Accept until you can appropriately and effectively do something about it Vs loading up to the point where there's a destructive blow up or melt down.

For example, take rejection. Job seekers experience rejection continuously. It comes about overtly in the form of rudeness and obliquely when one is simply ignored. Regardless, if the seeker is unaware, asleep, and clueless, the situation is easily (and usually) taken personally. To them, the "Me" in me, has received a blow. Its been nicked and bruised. And so it goes, happening again and again. To the frustrated seeker it's one put down after another. The pressure builds. Before they know it, they're once again at the fork in the road.

Now which way? The left fork, leading to a Pity Party, the Poor Me, a Whine Buddy session? If so struggle, angst, and agitation are sure to remain. Carried forward, the seeker paints himself into a corner, taking anything in order to put a stop to the pain (or so he thinks).

Selecting the right fork however leads to acceptance, adjustment, and re-engagement. Heading down this path doesn't t mean rejection is overlooked or downplayed, hardly. Instead rejection is taken seriously and is analyzing - but then quickly digested. Something is learned and this leads to a recalibration followed by re-entry back into the game.

Look, I realize approaching job search from this perspective may seem a bit much. After all, the job seeker is being pushed, judged, and kept on edge throughout. It's inherently a supercharged situation and the last thing most want is to get cerebral about it. But I believe this makes the point. When one is unaware and sound asleep, its impossible to take control of your search. It's easier to sink deeper into unconsciousness, pressing forward with one reactive move after another.

There's a far more effective and satisfying way to go about searching for a job. A way aimed at achieving the short term objective while keeping longer term goals in mind. However this approach requires awakening, something many people are not yet ready to do.

Travel well.
John Jeffrey Lundell

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