Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Lion of Discouragement

The greatest predator of today's job seeker is the roaring lion of discouragement.   It slowly feeds on the carcass of  non-existent feedback from potential employers. It soon becomes the king in a den of bitterness. No employer response. No call back. No indication of connection. No return email. No interview follow-up.  

Like a devastating storm, certain variables easily converge forming a turbulent self-defeating mindset earnestly believing no employer is hiring.  The pattern is the same: 

1. See a posted opening.
2. Apply online.
3. Wait for employer response.

Soon, there is a decrease in motivation, focus, engagement and follow-through. The anxiety of being chased by failure is palpable. 

How exactly do you break free? 

Create a positive climate for success

The number #1 reason for discouragement is no reciprocal contact from a potential employer. Let me illustrate the point in this all too common scenario.

Jane was down-sized and has been looking earnestly for employment over six months.  
She searches the yellow pages and finds a career counselor. In a moment of intense exasperation, defeat and self-doubt, she expresses her raw emotions.

"I've never had to look for a job in my life! I put together a resume, applied for openings and have tried to get hired for over 100 openings.  Not one single call from an employer!  What is wrong with me?"  It is depressing and humiliating to get laid off.  Finding work is even worse."

Jane represents a lot of today's unemployed workers. Many feel the bite of betrayal, deep anger and discouragement.  They rhetorically ask, "How can you invest your life in a company for so long, do great work and still be let go?"

There is no simple answer to this question.  It is a consequece of an emerging economy that demands productivity and doesn't validate perpetual longevity. It demands knowledge and a short term relationship of high productivity.

Job-seekers like Jane can send 1,000 resumes to employers and never hear a word.  It isn't that they aren't hiring.  

The obvious gaps:

1. Jane's mode of job search is obsolete.
2. Jane needs to know the effective method and embrace it.
3. Jane needs to know somebody does have a need for her core competencies of a strong work ethic and organizational expertise.

Yet, before Jane experiences job search success, she must first slay the lion of pessimism and discouragement with her bare hands of optimism and endurance.
In the next post, I'll tell you how.