He snarled, snapped and stomped his way in my office. His attitude and demeanor didn’t surprise me much because I’d seen glimpses of it earlier that week in my workshop. Before I could even say, “Good afternoon” he proclaimed he was in a nasty mood.
I asked him why. He then launched into a tirade on how everyone in this city was an idiot, a bumpkin or non sophisticated clod. He went on to tell me how difficult it was to find work in our city and how he regretted moving here. He declared he wouldn’t be happy until he was back in a major city. I just waited out the storm.
Our meeting that afternoon was to help him revamp his resume and cover letter. He’d more or less attended a Resume Writing workshop I’d presented earlier in the week. I say more or less because he’d spent most of the time with his arms crossed and his lip curled into small snarl. He didn’t like what I was saying about selling himself on paper. I believe he didn’t want to hear any suggestion that his not finding work may have something to do with the quality of his resume.
He then tossed down a local newspaper’s classifieds section. On it were three jobs he’d like to apply to. I looked at the three jobs that were circled and then pushed the paper back to him. He looked quite surprised.
“Why are we putting effort into finding you a job in a city you hate? I can’t see how finding you a job, that you’re not that keen on doing in a city that holds no appeal for you, is going to make even a little happy.”
“But I have to find a job” he said while looking at me like I was one of those idiots he’d referred to earlier.
“That may or may not be true. What you really need is a source of income. That might come from a job or it could come from some form of enterprise you create.”
His ears perked right up. I pointed out a section of his resume that contained the key to a possible business he could start. By the time I explained how it could be done very simply and for little cost on his part, he was pumped about the possibility. When I mentioned that a venture like the I’d proposed could take anywhere from 3 to 12 months to get established he said, “That’s cool. I’ll just grab one of these jobs and it will pay the bills while I make the business work.”
In less than 15 minutes this fellow went from being angry with a negative view of what his employment prospects were to being totally optimistic of what was possible in our city. What had changed? The city was still the same city. It hadn’t suddenly grown into a major center. The idiots and bumpkins hadn’t suddenly gotten personality transplants.
The only real change was his perspective. It was a simple case of changing what he was focusing on. Oh and fixing up his resume too!