The proper placement of obstacles

Published on Sep 11, 2023 by Matt Bud, The FENG
Being Out of Work

As we used to go around the table at our meeting here in Connecticut (pre-Covid-19), I was always surprised by the time devoted in 90 second announcements to where folks wouldn’t move and what kinds of jobs they wouldn’t take.

I have always been of the philosophy that I will go anywhere to talk to anyone about anything.

Okay, fine, there are limits, but I try not to set them before hand and create reasons why others shouldn’t talk to me. By keeping an open mind as to what the “correct answer” might be, I hope that I receive more information than I might otherwise.

Changing jobs can be a traumatic time. (Actually any change can be traumatic.) Because of the stress involved we can wrap ourselves in beliefs that work against our finding another job quickly.

In working through the process of deciding what you want to be when you grow up, step one (and step two) is to keep an open mind and CONSIDER all the possibilities. Not just the short term ones, but also the long term ones as well.

For example, if you would consider moving at some point, why not consider it at the beginning of your search? By restricting your search to only local opportunities, you are denying yourself the CONSIDERATION of what might actually be viable options. And, who knows, that job you interview for out of town may turn out to be with a company that is planning to move to your hometown. (Believe it or not, this did actually happen to a member of The FENG.)

One of the biggest mistakes I made in my own job search back in 1991 was not taking interviews for jobs that paid less than I had been making. The struggle to grow my salary to an obscene level had taken me a lot of time and energy and I was not going to allow any backsliding. Little did I know at the time that the job market was going to get even worse and I was going to be unemployed for almost 2 years. The irony is that I probably could have won those interviews and been made job offers and been money ahead, but I will never know.

Your goal during your quest for the perfect opportunity is to create options. You don’t actually have to take any of the jobs that are offered to you. If at the 11th hour (or even later), you can change your mind. Companies do this to candidates all the time, and you shouldn’t feel bad if you ultimately do the same thing back to them.

The key here is to create as many possibilities for your gainful employment as is reasonable.

Taking things off the table that you might reasonably consider much later in your search denies you the opportunity to say no and puts obstacles in your path that you may later regret.

Let the world think you will consider anything. What harm can it do?

Regards, Matt