I’d like you to meet Cherise, a new character in this edition of the book. Like Bob, Cherise is a jobseeker, but Cherise has zeroed in on her dream job. Its’ the perfect job, at the perfect company. She feels like she’s been preparing for this job her whole life. She even gets to be one of two final candidates and nails the interview.
Then … they offer the job to the other candidate. Cherise is beyond disappointed. She’s devastated. Crushed. She says that she is not sure she can even get out of bed. Why even bother looking for another job? What will everyone think?
From my sidewalk-psychologist’s chair, I believe that Cherise has allowed her self-identity to be consumed by her job and her career. In this state, she might label herself as an unemployed woman, rather than as a woman who is currently unemployed.
Bob tries to help because he knows that Cherise is wrong. She will get up tomorrow, take a shower, get dressed, and get to work finding a job. She will continue to care for her family. She is more than her job. She is a bright, talented individual, and while she thought that job was perfect for her, someone else disagreed. It wasn’t that she was an awful person whom they hated. They simply made a business decision that they felt the other candidate was the best one for them. In the long run, they may learn that they made the wrong decision, but by then, Cherise will have a new job, that she loves and life will go on.
Remember, you are not your job. Jobs are important because they provide the income we need to live our lives in the manner that we choose, but we are so more than what we do to earn a living. In one of my favorite poems, Desiderata, Max Ehrmann writes, “Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.”
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