Job Search Advice: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

By Deb Bryan

It’s the Christmas Season; dawn is at my back and fourteen hours to go.  As I drove through the Allegheny Mountain Range the warning sign blinked down at me through NJ and PA, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”.  Driving through twists and turns, huge rock formations and long mountain valleys, I thought how much this terrain is like a job hunt object lesson: job seekers get serious about the education or get pulled over by a set of unforgiving consequences.

Allegheny Mountains, Bing

Allegheny Mountains, Bing

The Rocks – Towering rock walls of layered rock are menacing to drive through.  Near the Poconos, the walls of rock had nets over them to prevent them launching onto the pavement.  Nets were only meant to redirect the fall because rocks that size don’t ask permission.  So what to do?  Focus on the well-traveled road, trust the safety nets will do their job, and remember the destination.  “Yea, though I walk through the darkest valleys I will fear no evil.”

The media loud announcements of ending government unemployment, Obamacare, 2014 stock market, ageism are like looming, intimidating rocks; they will fall down or they will not.  They cannot be the focus during job search.  Besides, fear talk, hype, and direr predictions are how they keep their jobs.

The Trees – Hung over the tops of rock cliffs leafless and brown.  At first the barren trees reminded me of the daily grind, draining the life-blood out.  It was spooky until I thought again and realized, it is Winter time.   The green will return and brown doesn’t mean dead.  Brown at this time of year means hibernation, waiting for Spring to come as it always does.  Similarly, successful people under difficulty grow strong by simplifying, enduring, and remembering this is but a season of life.

The Road – Dixie Overland Highway, US80, is no accident.  Hugh machinery, thousands of man hours, and planned engineering made the road I was on.  Picturing myself playing cowboy; drive off the road through deep valleys and across the rivers would make a great TV ad.  In real life, US80 at 70 mph was the fastest, most effective way to reach my destination.  This course you and I are on?  It isn’t an accident either.  Stay the course; focus on the goal.

Fellow Travelers – Huge trucks were on the road; sometimes in tandem, one pulling three trailers.  Cars came from all over the country, all shapes and sizes.  But when vehicles were parked at rest stops, the drivers who got out were people just like me, even the guy with the marine emblem in the back of his SUV.   They threw their McDonald’s bag in the trash, they refueled, and they purchased coffee.  Just like me, they got back in their vehicle and hit the road again.  Got any fellow travelers on your job search road?  Appreciate their company.

Two decisions lay be for us; soberly trust the journey and keep moving or pulled over out of defeated and bitterness.  Isn’t it good to know we have a choice as we hit the road again?

Deb Bryan has 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.  She has a passion for writing and Toastmasters International.

© 2013 Blog to Work/Blogging your way to a job.  All rights reserved

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