Don’t Let Frustration Control You

"I hate this process", the client I'll call "Kim" said, pausing after each word for emphasis, voice strained with pain. She repeated it, with even more vehemence: "I HATE looking for a job", and, "It only makes me feel lousy." And "Why does it have to be so hard?"

I had no answers. She was venting, and listening is part of what I do. Perhaps my listening would help her blow off some of this froth of anger, this negative energy. It IS hard, even for someone as bright and talented as Kim – because it’s not her choice to do it, nor is it her profession which she truly is good at and loves.

And therein is the heart of the job search process: energy. And pain. And in the end, at some mystery date that feels like it will never arrive, joy.

This story is about the energy part. If Kim keeps gathering her energy into her anger and frustration, it will keep that anger and frustration alive. Like a flame with just enough air and fuel, it will continue to burn, and burn. And while doing so, it will take energy away from other, better, and more productive things, like making that cup-of-coffee appointment with a person who's a possible link to a new job. The energy is better spent on such activities because 5 minutes of face time is more powerful than an hour on the phone, more powerful than any email or InMail.

In other words, put the energy where it should be: in effective search activities. No matter how hard it is, you have to do this. No matter how much work it is, you have to do it. Because to do otherwise -- meaning, to do nothing, or to avoid the necessary activities, or to sputter and fume at the process -- will put your energy elsewhere.

And seeing as how you have only so much energy, save it for what's going to help you.

So smother that flame of frustration. When you find yourself thinking, "What's the use?", cut short that thought, and replace it with "I have to do this. It's the only way." Take it on faith -- yours, or mine if you'd like -- that you WILL land a job, that it IS hard work to get it, that there's NO way around the pain except to march straight through it.

And when it's over, I'll celebrate with you.


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