It’s Like The ‘F’ Word

My husband says the ‘F’ word. A lot. He doesn’t realize how often that little monster of a word works its way into his conversations. He is desensitized to the word from years of working around military personnel with a flair for colorful metaphors. If you asked my husband, he’d tell you he is good at self-censoring. He believes he is careful only to say such things in appropriate circles. Wrong. Whatever the appropriate circles might be, I can assure you he has F-bombed in situations that wouldn’t have qualified.

Just like the ‘F’ word, people often become desensitized to negativity. I often find myself on the receiving end of job seekers who “just need to vent.” So they do. They vent and vent and vent and vent and vent. When the venting is done, and both of us are exhausted, I cautiously throw out the suggestion the negative baggage they are carrying around may be contributing to their lack of success with their job searches. “Oh no, I’m just venting to you. I’d never be negative like this in front of an employer or anything.” Wanna bet?

I’ve encountered job seekers as someone doing interviewing and as someone trying to be a helpful resource. I have been on the receiving end of vents in both circumstances. When you allow yourself to become comfortable with things like venting, gossiping, and F-bombing, you just never know when such habits might sneak through your filters.

Venting is usually counterproductive behavior. It may feel good to point out how everyone else is wrong or how impossible things are, but it does little for convincing people you are a solutions-oriented, problem solver with an attitude capable of overcoming professional and personal obstacles. Add to that, most people who end up on the receiving end of a vent have no business being there. Friends, co-workers, coaches and the like could all contribute to you finding your next job. Their impression of you counts too. It’s great to want to make a good impression with prospective employers by not venting, but consider the importance of coming off in a positive way with those who aren’t employers. They are valuable too. Their impression of you could make things easier or harder.


  • Marybeth Poppins says:

    F Bombing husbands are a pain in the arse! LOL I completely agree with this post though. I usually tell my husband to vent to me…and then let it go. You don't need to sound like a baby to your boss!

  • Kris Krol says:

    Great post! I've read Dan Miller's "48 Days to the Work You Love" and "No More Mondays." Have you read those? If not, you should. If so, do you recommend them to your clients? You should. Those books had much to do with my career shift.

  • Chef Jen says:

    What a great reminder, we so often don't see our own bad habits.

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