From the Author: Thoughts on staying positive while job-hunting
It may be the most incredibly cliché thing in the world to compare a difficult, life-changing emotional experience to that of a physical endurance activity. And yet, this analogy fits so perfectly that I’m going to go ahead and use it. Once upon a time, I got the crazy idea to run a marathon, so I have that experience to also use as an analogy for something so painful yet … character-building.
In hindsight, it’s easier to talk about painful events as if they were no big deal. “I ran the Boston Marathon in 2007. I trained every weekend throughout the dead of winter; Temperatures during my training runs reached negative 7. I went to the hospital after I got dehydrated and blacked out after my 20-miler. And then, it rained and snowed on Marathon Monday. No big deal.” (This is all a true story).
However, in reality these events actually are painful. They force us to discover the limits of our character, and they give us no option but to stretch these limits. Also, these events make us stronger.
Of course, the emotional journey I’m thinking of is that of unemployment: a subject so unpleasant that it is still taboo to speak candidly about, despite the fact that the economy our generation is living through is the worst it has even been since the Great Depression.
Graduating from school and not being able to find a job was like climbing halfway up a mountain and getting knocked back down to the bottom by the evil hand of Satan. Satan, you suck!
One piece of advice I’d offer is to keep busy. If you are unemployed, don’t let yourself fall into the trap of doing nothing. We live in a world where we are always short on time. If you look at it that way, unemployment can have a really powerful silver lining.
In my case, I wrote an amazing book that I am very proud of. You should take this opportunity to do whatever time-consuming thing it is that you’ve been dying to do. Limit your job-hunting to just a few hours each day, and then spend some time doing things that excite and inspire you.
Author’s note – in the marathon finish picture, there isn’t any snow to be seen. I think it’s because I took so long that the snow had all disappeared by the time I finished. But the weather really was horrible, I swear – http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/16/sports/othersports/17cnd-marathon.html