I’ve traveled near and far and met with thousands and thousands of professionals who are in pain.
People who lost their jobs and their identity at the same time.
People who are feeling around in the dark, trying to figure out where they are and where they are headed.
People who are not sure if they fit into society anymore.
People who feel worthless.
People who are anxiously chasing the illusion (defined: an erroneous mental representation) that they are looking for their next job.
Unfortunately, the government (and governments across the country) perpetuate this illusion. They report economic statistics, make baseless announcements, start meaningless programs, and celebrate over the creation of fake jobs, all leading us to believe that there is indeed hope.
Hope in WHAT?
I have an image of a job seeker running, chasing a job, or the concept of a job.
Just as a hound chases a rabbit down a rabbit hole.
But, could it be that the rabbit hole has branches, and the rabbit will never be captured by the hound?
Could it be the rabbit never went into the rabbit hole, and the dog is fruitlessly fighting to get deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole?
Maybe the dog chased a sick rabbit, or a small, puny rabbit, or some other varmin down the hole, instead of a succulent rabbit.
You get the point… what if you, as a job seeker, are fighting too hard to get down a rabbit hole that has no rabbit?
Or, what if what you are chasing isn’t a rabbit at all?
Maybe you should be chasing something else.
Maybe your journey, in this job search, will lead you on a completely different path.
Maybe that means starting that business you have been thinking about for years.
Or buying that franchise.
Or scaling back on your expenses (moving, selling a car, etc.) and taking a lower paying, less stressful, more rewarding job that isn’t a defining thing, but something to pay your bills and somehow giving you more personal reward and fulfillment back in your life.
Maybe it is changing professions or industries.
Maybe it is taking risks that you wouldn’t have taken before.
Maybe it is reevaluating EVERYTHING you ever thought about your happiness, your career, etc.
Maybe it is serving in more volunteer, community or society and charity organizations.
Maybe it is ____________________.
I think you already know what it is. Deep down inside, it’s been screaming to get out, and you’ve been pushing it back with “but I already have a job!” “but I’m an accountant, and I can’t do that!” “But _____.”
Maybe this year it is time to let go of the BUT and do what you already know is the right thing for you.
And maybe that means to never have a traditional job again.
Is it time to take “the corporate ladder” down, put it away, and do something else?
Maybe, for you, it is the opposite of anything I wrote above. I can’t know that for you – but you can. And you should.
The question that will be on my mind all year is this:
Are you running down the wrong rabbit hole?
8 thoughts on “2011 THEME: The Job Search Rabbit Hole”
Great post, Jason! I am sure it will make some people uncomfortable but you and I have both seen so much of the rabbit chasing and we have both seen the other side. It isn’t easier to give up all sense of security that having a job supposedly supplies but I think there are thousands, maybe millions of people who now think that no job really supplies security anymore. I like being in control of my own destiny. It probably isn’t for everyone but then they need to really look at the other alternatives… moving, changing professions, going back to school (if you really do your homework to see where the schooling will take you) but I see no reason for people not to give some new choices a try.
Love the analogies!
What many job seekers need now is hope. I like the rabbit hole theory. In my career I’ve lost my job on 3 different occasions due to cut-backs. In each case, I moved on to something better and a little outside of my comfort level. It was a forced growth exercise that I wouldn’t have made if I hadn’t been “pushed out of the nest”.
If people are working fruitlessly to find another job in the same area that they were in before, they may be better off adjusting their target and seeing where their current skills could be applied in other markets that are hiring, such as consulting or healthcare. A recent CNN/Money Magazine study (https://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2010/) listed the top jobs in America including highest growing sectors. This would be a great place to start. Good luck!
Lew Sauder, Author, Consulting 101: 101 Tips For Success in Consulting
A really interesting post to say the least. I actually had a job seeker this week tell me that she felt like she went down a rabbit hole and can’t find her way out. If you are searching for a job in this economy you may have to think out side the box and go for something that you have not done before, just like the accountant you mention in the post. Keep up the good work and I look forward to your future posts.
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