How you can accidentally make job search success impossible

This story relates directly to your job search, phone calls, interviews, writing your resume, and getting a job offer.

Complete panic, worry, and unhealthy fear were created by my 17 year old daughter as she graduated from high school. In an hour she was going to get her wisdom teeth removed. She’d kill me if I use her name, so let’s call her Gina.

Gina and a friend spent a few days swapping stories about cowardice in the face of needles. They talked about it often enough to amplify their concerns. So Gina was panicked about getting the IV before they put her under. The thought of getting near a needle is horrible to her now. Her friend was bragging about cowering against a wall while she was restrained two years ago to get an inoculation. Gina was fantasizing about how badly she would react when the needle gets close.

Gina came back from the oral surgeon alive.  She had tears streaming down her face before the needle even touched her. She had three holes in her arm because they didn’t get it right. I think part of the problem was hers. Competent nurses became incompetent when faced with her dread and complete lack of faith.

People who need to leave their job are often the same way. They focus on visions of starvation and divorce for months and years before they leave.  All the horrors stories they have ever heard play through their mind over and over.  The will to better themselves is frozen and then shattered by fear.

Even worse than mere fear, you can attract all your worst dreams to you.  As you concentrate on horrible possibilities, you will be drawn to those situations.  The characteristics you concentrate on, will be in your new company.

I don’t know the exact mechanism, but most people get the job they think about the most.  If they concentrate on finding a great job, they usually find at least a good one.  If they concentrate on avoiding horrible, mean spirited, lying, deceitful people in their new company, the usually join below average or horrible companies.  They get the coworkers they dreaded. They are trapped in job after job in companies of despair.

Instead of spending your time talking to someone unemployed who lost their job in November of 2011, talk to someone who just got a new job. Talk to people who have made great job choices. Reminisce with folks who did things right.

Look for a job while you are still employed.  Find out about the company you are moving to.  Talk to your new coworkers before you take the job.  There is a lot less danger than you have been worrying about.

If you concentrate on the positive, you will find the good in every experience.  If you concentrate on the negative, you won’t have a good experience, no matter how good the experience is. You can make good things possible or impossible.

Something to do today

Make a list of the people who tell horrible war stories about job changes.  Stay away from them.  Stay away from everyone who teaches you fear and panic.

Buy The New Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz, or Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.  Read it. Absorb it.


Later: The rubber band solution for nervousness

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