POSTED BY: Don Oehlert
Managing Partner, eCareerCoaching.com
“Practical advice on your next career move.”
Sometimes it’s hard to write
On my way into the home office tonight, I was asked what I was going to write about tonight.This is a great question, actually, because there are so many topics to consider writing about when you’re talking about job search. While thinking about tonight’s topic, I came up with “logic vs emotion.”
Well, there are a large number of ways to think about job search logically, and just as there are many ways to think about one emotionally.
Let’s do the easy one first – emotions. More than likely, when you’re early (or very late) in your job search, you’re emotional state of mind is based on fear. Fear of the unknown. Where’s your next meal coming from? Your next mortgage payment? Your next car payment? How can you afford the kids’ college tuition and fees right now? Were you and the significant other (S.O.) planning a vacation trip soon?
The other emotion that many people feel is shame. People are ashamed about losing their jobs. Somehow they feel as though they weren’t good enough to remain employed. They feel their friends will look at them differently because they are now unemployed. Shame is a powerful thing that is hard to get by with. Logic vs emotion can easily be tipped into disarray by shame.
Some people have been known to keep getting up each morning, and leaving the house as though nothing has changed. Only when checks start to bounce, or payments are no longer made, does the spouse even know that their S.O. is unemployed.
Others will feel doubt. Doubt about their abilities. Doubt about their value as a human being. If they are late in their careers and never been separated from their jobs before, they may feel as though they may never find another job that was as good as that last one. This self-doubt can lead to a sense of dread.
This sense of dread derives from their feeling that they may not find another job that pays as well, so they’ll have to pull the kids from private school. They may have to sell the house and downsize earlier than they thought.
Another side of the coin is anger. Let’s talk about it. Anger at their former boss. At their former customers. At their former teammates. There are so many people to be angry at, it may become hard to keep them all straight.
The final emotion we’ll suggest here is the sense of loss. Losing one’s job is almost like losing one’s friend – you have to navigate through the 5 stages of grief that we’ve all heard about.
The reason for these last two thoughts is because people on the other side of the table can sense desperation. They can sense anger. They can sense shame, self-doubt, and dread. The problem with all of this is, these are the antithesis of the calm confidence that people need to succeed in business today.
Including job search.
Especially in job search.
Please think of it this way: would you hire an angry person to be on your team? How would they treat others inside your company? They’d likely be very divisive, and therefore, upset the rhythm of the team. Worse yet, how would they treat your customers?
Shame, self-doubt, dread, and lack of self-confidence are all fairly similar, so I will treat them that way. These all look like weakness to the hiring authority. Timidity. Lack of conviction. Flat-out fear.
Again, if you were hiring someone, how would these make you feel?
Yes, you’re right. You’d move on to the next candidate.
I would suggest that if you haven’t finished that “5-stages of grief” navigation process, your job search will be longer than it needs to be, and it will be more painful than it needs to be. Working the balance with logic vs emotion is tricky because you do need both.
Next time we’ll talk about Logic
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