I’ve read more articles about job searching than I would like to admit and I’ve seen the same sentiment echoed over and over again: You must treat your job search like a job in itself. It must be a full-time thing.
Well, I can’t say that I’ve done full-time job searching, as I have a job already, but I did spend many evenings after work looking at job postings into the wee hours of the night. I’ve decided to take a break from it, though.
I’ve learned a lot during this extended period of self-doubt and reflection. One thing that I’ve realized is that sometimes, despite what everything/everyone says, trying really hard pushes what you want away from you. A colleague of mine described it as some sort of “anti-gravitational pull” that pushes things farther away from you the more you reach. It’s like two magnets of the same charge–the closer you try to push them together, the more they want to stay away from each other. Perhaps this is due to the fact that sometimes the things we think we want aren’t really what they seem. Perhaps things don’t work out because they shouldn’t. Maybe this is the Cosmos’ way of saying, “Turn in another direction!”
Then again, I think there may be a more practical explanation for this phenomenon. Oftentimes, we get so blinded by the things we think we want or need that we get some sort of tunnel vision. When things become so habitual that we can’t think outside of the box, we become less efficient (despite what habit seems to make us believe). We lose creativity and the ability to discern what the world shows us outside of our limited viewpoint. In other words, maybe things get harder when we lose the ability to see the big picture. After all, we are creatures of habit, as is so often said. We like to do what is familiar. Our brain rewards us for it.
So as a result of my getting settled into a metaphoric rut, I am stepping away from all of the job search stuff momentarily. I’m choosing to explore my hobbies again without the self-imposed guilt from not spending time looking for jobs. I need to reorient myself. I need to reconnect. And maybe as a result of this brief mental vacation, I’ll better understand who I am and what I want.
Everything happens for a reason, right?