As Hard As You Make It…

Lucy knows this is coming. I warned her fair and square she’d be getting a blog in her honor. Of course, her name isn’t really Lucy, but she’ll know it’s her just the same.

Lucy thinks she has a big problem. Despite her brains, down right likability, dedication and the fact she’s been consistently employed since the age of pimples and Friday night trips to the mall with girlfriends, she thinks one job she left a decade ago is an obstacle for her in her current job search.

“What happened,” you ask? Prepare yourself for a horrid tale of deceit, greed and cataclysmic failure. Lucy took on too much in her professional and personal life and resigned from her job so she could get things back into balance. Disappointed the story wasn’t juicier? Yeah, I was too. By the way Lucy gasped for breath and her pulse visibly thumped in her neck before telling me the awful truth of the matter, I was sure I was in for a Jerry Springer moment. It wasn’t to be. That’s good news for Lucy.

Lucy does have an obstacle in her job search, alright. Like many other job seekers, it’s the self-made mountain she has to climb over every time she needs to explain why she left a job. The reason it has to be explained from time to time is that Lucy’s career shifted as a result of that age old decision. The job she took next led her down an entirely different path than she had planned for her career. She left a job in line with her degree and ended up with something in an entirely different field. I’m sure that hasn’t happened to anyone else, right? Her most recent position was a bridge back to her chosen field. Now she’s hoping to land a job that builds on the experience she gained from the job she left all of those years ago.

So why did I call it a self-made mountain? The mountain isn’t the fact she resigned from a job. Hardly. Most people have made the decision to leave jobs through the course of their careers. In fact, having the good sense to walk away from something when you aren’t able to give it your all ranks as a plus in my book. It’s the fact she insists on making it a bigger deal than it needs to be.

I learned early on in sales customers usually follow your lead when it comes to deciding how upset to be about something. If you think you’ve got bad news or something that should preclude you from consideration, the person you are sharing your story with is likely to believe to the same. How could they not? The best way to ensure something that is no big deal remains that way, is to believe it yourself. Keeping explanations honest and simple while not throwing emotion, drama and perspiration into the process is the best way to go.

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