“Be the chooser”. I remember the first time I saw that phrase. It felt arrogant and controlling, perhaps because they were talking about how to find your soulmate. As a woman, a Southern one at that, “to choose” was not a verb phrase. We were taught hourly that to be chosen by a man to be his wife…now that was the ultimate brass ring, and everything we did was to that end.
People who are in between jobs or who have been unemployed for long periods of time can move from a place of feeling very secure about themselves into quiet desperation. Not only do they feel powerless, but when not chosen over and over again they begin scrambling for anything. You see, work is more than earning a paycheck. It is our identity and gives us a sense of purpose, making life feel worth living. What replaces those feelings when we are without work?
Going to job boards and sending out hundreds of resumes, job searchers believe that companies like LinkedIn and Monster really care about them. Nothing could be further from the truth. You, your resumes and all the “Send” buttons you hit are simply data that brings the company a very high yield from advertisers and marketing companies. Nothing they do comes from the moral high ground of helping you find work.
One thing virtually all of us do or have done when we are looking for work is to go on Craig’s List. There are SO many apparent positions listed and we feel like we have a pretty good chance at getting them because, after all, it is pretty easy to score a set of golf clubs or a kitten there, isn’t it? So, we do our due diligence all day, scanning until our eyes hurt, rewriting the “cover letter du jour” and tweaking that resume until we find that we have dumbed ourselves down sufficiently. Wherever it was we started out that morning, by the middle of the day we are diminished somehow, having forgotten most everything about who we are and what we want to do.
My first piece of advice is “STOP IT with Craig’s List!” and get back to who you are and what you want to do. That’s how you will restore your self-esteem and recall just who you are and what you have to give to the world. It is then that you will become the chooser.
Choosers believe in themselves. When they finally do get that job interview, they go knowing that though they really want that job, the prospective employer will be really fortunate to have them!