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Archive for September, 2009

I have heard many similes and metaphors for unemployment, interviews and the job search in general. Interviews are like dates or job searching after a layoff is like dating after divorce. I agree with these sentiments wholeheartedly and wanted to share my own.

For me, the job hunt is like surfing.

Tamarindo Beach Costa Rica
Stay with me here for a minute, let’s see if I can explain…

Sometimes the ocean is calm, maybe even a little boring. You’re looking around for opportunities (waves to ride) but they are few and far between. You aren’t getting any call backs or interviews, and you look out into this endless, flat sea and begin to feel frustrated, impatient and maybe a little hopeless.

Then the waves start rolling in. They start small, the job postings you find or leads you get, and they grow into the surf-worthy interviews. For me at least, the waves roll in quickly and all together. I’ll go a week without hearing anything positive and suddenly in one day I have 3 new job leads.

Of course, so far, I haven’t been able to stay up on a wave. I’ve had the interviews, gotten up on my feet, felt the excitement and thrill… but the wave always takes an unexpected turn and I fall off the board. Of course then I’m stuck underwater for a while, feeling as though I might drown, thinking that wave was my last chance. I swear I’ll never get back on the board because the aftermath is just too difficult to deal with. I decide I’ll just sit up on the beach and watch everyone else succeed.

Eventually though, I always surface. Usually the ocean is calm and I have time to take a deep breath a prepare for the next set to roll in. Then I do it all over again!

See? It’s like surfing!

As an afterthought, I should mention that I’m not a surfer. I have attempted… and I am in the picture above (taken last summer at Tamarindo Beach in Costa Rica). However, I was terrible and I never got up on my feet at all. I know they say the bigger boards are easier, but the 10 foot board I was trying to handle nearly killed me. I even had a nice big bruise on my arm (just in time to be a bridesmaid at the wedding I was there for!) So, while I can make the comparison, the truth is I’ve never gotten up. Still, I rode a wave while laying on my stomach and that was fun and I’ve fell off my boogie board before and gotten caught underwater… so I know what I’m talking about 😉 Plus, I think my lack of success just makes the comparison more truthful. Surfing is hard and not everyone is successful, especially not on their first try. The job seach is also hard and you have to be dedicated to keep on trying before you find success.

What is your favorite unemployment metaphor?

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My new favorite quote

“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.” – Paul J. Meyer

This is my new favorite quote. I strongly believe this statement and couldn’t have said it better myself. I honestly believe that so many things can be solved with simple, open, honest communication. I strive for honesty and communication in my personal and professional life on a daily basis. For me, there is no other way.

Anyone agree or disagree? Share your own favorite quotes in the comments!

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In an interview awhile back I was asked about my major and minor and why I picked them. More specifically, the interviewer wanted to know how I felt my psychology minor related to my communication major. Thinking about the this question made me realize just what a great match it truly was.

For the sake of full disclosure, I have a psychology minor because I was originally a psych major. I took a year’s worth of classes before deciding I didn’t want to be a psychologist. I made psych my minor because I didn’t want those hours to go to waste. I never really gave any thought to how much those classes could benefit me in my future profession.

Different personalities communicate in different ways. My favorite class at Auburn was Interpersonal Communication. This class could best be described as a marriage between my previous psychology classes and my comm classes. We learned about communication dynamics in professional and personal relationships. The lesson about communicating between different Myers-Briggs personality types still sticks out in my head. You can learn more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator here.

I am an INFJ– Introverted iNtuition Feeling Judging

The aspect that everyone is familiar with is probably the first letter – introverts and extroverts. Communication between these two types could not be more different. Introverts are quiet and think (a lot) before they speak. In an argument they prefer to take a step back and hash out their thoughts, figuring out what exactly they want to say before they actually say it. Extroverts are viewed as more ‘social butterflies’ and often say the first thing that comes to mind. In an argument they prefer to spit it all out and verbally sift through the problems. Put an introvert and extrovert in an argument together and the introvert gets flustered and silent while the extrovert does all the talking and become frustrated by the introvert’s silence, often misinterpreting it. See the communication differences?

These differences must be recognized by companies in regards to their professional communication. Any team will be comprised of many different personality types. It’s important to make sure the individuals understand their communication differences. It’s also important to make sure that company communications are fitting to these different types. If you are an extroverted communicator presenting to a group of introverts, your message may not come across the way you planned.

Communication between different personality types has to be a top priority of internal communicators. The most important aspect of communication is the audience that you are sending your message to. If you don’t take your audience into account, even the most thought-out, well planned communications will fall short.

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