I don’t know if any of you feel as I do, but when I have a cold or the flu, it is at once annoying and thoughtful that those who care about us are constantly checking up on us.
Thank goodness I’m not sick very often, but when I am I prefer to be left alone during “the cure.” Human beings vary, of course. Some of us are hypochondriacs, and some of us are foolish to the point of going out when we are sick. The human experience, as in most things, runs the gamut.
So, like I said, if those who care about you “discover” that you are a little under the weather, the constant phone calls or the frequent times they “peek in on you” can be annoying or pleasant. As you can imagine, those who don’t know you all that well find it even more difficult to know how often to check in. (Do they care, or don’t they care?)
Frankly, for those of our members who are active in their search, this classic situation can play itself out in many ways that can add to our stress, through no fault of those “peeking in on us.” Often times those who are asking “Did anything happen today?” are “stakeholders” in our careers as well. As goes our fortunes, so does theirs. The question goes not only to our feelings of insecurity, but to theirs as well.
I don’t know if there is even a happy compromise here. We want those who care about us to ask, but we don’t want them to be invasive about it. I can’t think of a greater challenge for those in constant contact with us, let alone for those we hear from less frequently. After all, WE are more often than not on an emotional roller coaster and depending on whether they hit us at the top of the hill or at the very bottom can make quite a difference in our reaction to the “grilling” we sometimes feel we are getting.
Job search is one of those rare activities that doesn’t have a fixed course of treatment, or a fixed time when the “illness” will run its course. The randomness of it is maddening enough for those going through it. I imagine it is even harder to appreciate or understand for those standing on the sidelines.
When our own patience is running thin, it is hard to give reasoned and soft spoken answers to what are on some days really annoying questions about “How is our search going?” (If it was going well, we would have a job!)
Here is another opportunity for all of us to pool our collective knowledge and discuss how we deal with our loved ones and dear friends who are constantly “taking our temperature.”
In this case I would ask those submitting responses to be especially clear whether or not they want their names used. And, we will try to be alert to publishing them correctly. Please send your thoughts to Leslie Mahoney, our newsletter editor, at Leads@TheFENG.org.