Denial Is A Good Thing

by: Joanne Meehl

Every morning this last week or so, we in the US awake to news that values in world markets have fallen yet again. And at the end of the workday, we hear about how our own markets continue to drop.

Notice I am not using words like plunge, plummet, crash, dive. The media are using them enough. One story this morning has it that General Motors is teetering. "How it goes for GM is how it goes for the country" is an old saying that we may see tested now. There's a gallows humor now among friends and co-workers who are saying to one another that now they'll never be able to retire.

So while times are scary, and I'm mostly addressing this to those in job search right now, I'm going to ask you to ignore what's going on and be in denial.


Certainly if you're a financial planner or stockbroker, denial is impossible. But for most people, "keep on keeping on" is the best path. Companies are still hiring. Clients are still interviewing, jobs are still being posted. There are many healthy companies that are creating things we all need and that others are still buying.

I say this because there's a temptation among those in job search to sit back and wait. Many tasks in job search take energy to do them, and it's easier to say, with all this bad news swirling around us, "Let me see what it will be like after the holidays" or "Maybe I should take time off now because I'll need that time and energy when things really get bad".

Don't do either of those. First, everyone in job search waits until after the holidays to job search, so beat the rush by continuing your search this fall and into the holidays if necessary. But aside from that, I would recommend some healthy denial right now. As in "Everything is fine, I'm going to just keep doing what I'm doing".

Denial because if you become obsessed with all that's going on, your worry will start to filter into your psyche and your language , and then you'll start telegraphing that in your interviews and networking meetings.

The person who gets hired is the one who is "steady as she goes", whether you're a CEO, secretary, Project Manager, or social worker.

So take it one day at a time and keep up all that great activity. You have gifts that some lucky employer out there needs, now you just have to let them know you're there.


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