As all of you know, one of my passions in this world is sailing. I not only own a sailboat, but I also do a lot of reading about sailing. From time to time I read historical novels about the world of sailors in centuries past. The interesting thing is that many of the issues and concerns of sailors haven’t changed a whole lot.
One of the concepts applicable to job search is the problems associated with being becalmed. (This is sometimes referred to as a “no wind” situation.)
When the wind is blowing strongly there is always so much you can do. You are moving. You may be scared out of your mind surfing down the face of a wave or uncomfortably heeled over, but at least you are making progress to somewhere. You can change your course. You can reduce your sail area. In short, the forces being applied to you can be harnessed in various ways, more likely than not to your advantage and ultimate goals.
Not so in flat calm. The lack of anything useful you can do is a bit unnerving. If the boat is rolling from some mild wave action, the sails might be snapping a bit and the boat creaking, all of which are very annoying. But, forward progress or control of any kind is not really possible. A sailboat cannot be properly steered unless water is moving past its rudder.
One of the great challenges is trying to figure out what to do. Although not much is happening, if you are underway you still have to be “on duty.” It is just plain hard to relax and have a good time.
And so it is with job search. When the phone doesn’t ring it can be disquieting and unnerving, none of which will be additive to your sense of well being. And, on the day you realize that nothing is happening, there isn’t much you can do about it to change the day.
So, chin up. All these problems have happened before in other times and in other ways. And yet, we are all still here ready to face whatever comes our way.
There should be some comfort in that.
(When there is nothing to do, you can always call a few new members or old members of The FENG, so the day won’t be a total loss. It’s called networking.)