Even before jobs started falling into the chasm created by the workquake, job-search practices were challenging.
Now, however, with the odds against success steadily increasing, the jobthinker who relies on them is very likely to get caught up in an internal monologue that goes something like, “I want a job, I need a job, I deserve a job.”
When he gets to “deserve” he’s in real trouble, because the belief that you deserve something you’re not getting is a slippery slope to feeling like a victim.
Even if he doesn’t go that far, if he sees himself as needy, so will others, and being seen as needy is totally incompatible with being thought of as a valuable resource.
A few years ago, the members of a support group for people out of work formed in response to massive layoffs in an urban area took an action which demonstrated that they had crossed the threshold to victim-hood.
They began to gather at a subway station during morning rush hour, handing out resumes to people on their way to work like political activists passing out flyers or street evangelists handing out religious tracts.
These were white-collar professionals who had gone to good colleges, advanced up the corporate ladder, conducted their job-search just as they had been told, and yet there they were, quite literally out on the streets. The statement they were making came from a deep sense of entitlement, the conviction that they deserved to be hired.
We can understand the anger and the frustration of these workquake “refugees,” but if they don’t find constructive ways of dealing with their outrage, it will take them to the botom of a dark hole which will be difficult to climb out of.