Career Calling

November 19, 2013

Bad News Blues

Many people who are out of work or looking for a new job feel stuck.  Everything they hear on the news is negative.  Whether the topic is business or politics, the news never seems to be good, which is odd.  Over the past couple of weeks, the following has occurred.

The S & P 500 has hit record levels.

Gas prices are down and headed lower.

Hiring was over 200,000 for October.

These stories, if they are discussed, are overwhelmed by negative noise.  I’m not looking for happy talk news.  But reporters who claim to need to tell “both sides” don’t tell us that there is anything positive happening in our economy.

How does this negative drum beat affect working people?  If all we hear is negative news, we are less motivated to look for work.  We apply for fewer jobs, if we apply at all.  It’s hard to get up the energy to network if there’s no hope.  If we get interviews, we approach them in a negative mood, certain we’ll never get the job.

Be realistic about the job search. That means taking both the good and the bad into consideration.  My first suggestion to get around the bad news mood disorder would be to take most news programs for what they are: Entertainment.  They focus more on personalities and hot topics than real factors that affect our lives.  For example, the unemployment number might be discussed as a negative trend, but few news shows discuss what lies behind the number or what we can do to improve the situation.

The second thing I would recommend is to keep your situation separate from bigger issues.  Most of what we hear on the news is macro economics.  The success or failure of your job search has no impact on that subject, and the scary numbers have little to do with your fate.  Stay focused on your life and what you want to achieve.  Listen to the news, but do so with a sense of perspective – and a sense of humor.


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