It's funny how the words "fired," "unemployed," or "laid off" are taboo enough to make people squirm.
Even today, six months after landing my dream job, when I mention that I was recently laid off, people smile nervously and their eyes dart around the room, like I just declared that I am the president of a Nickleback fan club. Yes, I meant to admit out loud that I've failed. No, there's no Bailey's in this flat white.
We've really effed things up for job seekers, haven't we?
We calculate capability with pre-populated keywords and/or gaps in a resume, and regard job seekers as flighty or broken. The hardest part of being a job seeker now isn't the interviewing process or updating your resume. It's the emotional exhaustion that you have to endure. It's retaining your identity and confidence in the face of constant rejection, frustration, and social bias.
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We need to stop telling you to look outwards for a sign, to wait for somebody to see your value or hope for good things to come. The truth took me thirty years and countless mistakes to find, but here it is.
The most important work you will ever do for yourself starts right now. Hold your heart. Use that beat as momentum. The life that you've always wanted and needed begins from the inside out. I know how Disney-esque that sounds, but it's the most important truth I can offer you.
Here are five traits that you can work on that will not just serve you during your job search, but far beyond.