The candle of the year burns down toward the midwinter mark (Solstice of winter–December 22 this year), but before it is at last snuffed out– some final observations. Non-employment, the winter of a career cycle (it may be early winter,midwinter, or winter’s end for you), is the time for examining the seed collected from the past harvest, so, it is now appropriate to pause in the job search for a seasonal reassessment:
Has the vision of the new career changed some way over the year?
Is the vision moving toward a new direction or a new target?
Have targets been discarded? Why?
Things happen during a year. All the best job search books emphasize the virtue of “focus”, but over a year focus becomes harder to keep. Life happens during a year. Personal growth, though often ignored in a long search for work, continues like a plant continues to grow in the darkness striving toward the hope in a pin of light. Then, an illness; a life event; a happening positive or negative of significance snatches the spotlight from the time-attention greedy job search. Personal growth becomes primary and the job search secondary.
How to keep focus while “snow blind” –when old, familiar career markers disappear– becomes the question in a longer-than-one-year search. Keeping focus in a longer search gets harder for the same reasons keeping your arm upraised gets harder. It’s a human thing. It becomes a strain to sustain interest on one subject over time especially a concentration upon something as stressful as a job search. Knowing the reason for the longer time frame does not help. When I was in grad school, I threw out idea after idea searching for something I could stomach researching for a year.
The imminent danger becomes boredom. I have a hunch that this is what really happens to people whose search for work is unsuccessful for a year. Not, “I give up”, but, “I’m bored; I’m tired of it; I want to take my life off hold;life is passing by and I resent it; it’s time out of my life spent doing this I will never get back”. It is not a sudden “I quit”, but a slow, fading away like footprints in the snow on a windy night or muscles quivering to get out of a position they can no longer hold.
Dream winter dreams; plan, research and visualize this holiday. I will be.
Have the happiest of holidays and I will see you in the new year,