Dump That Job Hunter Anger

by: Joanne Meehl

Sometimes when I talk with a professional in job search, they'll confide in me their anger at their last manager or company. Or their current company and manager. Or at the job search itself. They say, "I'm saying this only to you, and would NEVER say it to a networking contact or employer, but s/he was a real JERK.." And/or: "I could do his job better than HE could ever do his job" or "She had it in for me because she didn't hire me, her predecessor did".

Or your anger and frustration might be about your search, which is very different than you expected it to be, perhaps taking way longer than it ever did before, a search has made life tougher and you're overwhelmed.

I believe you are what you think and that your attitudes leak out despite every effort to cover them up. So it's vital that you say goodbye to your anger, and get rid of it. With most people in this situation, the anger is really visible to others.

That's because the anger has taken up too much valuable real estate in your heart and head. And with its best friend justification, has shoved aside reasonableness so it can't help but leak out. You just don't see it. But others do, and they hear it.

You have got to get rid of that anger before it's audible and visible during a coffee meeting with a contact, or at an interview. Otherwise, it shows and you'll scare off a great employer.

My clients hear me say, "Get rid of it. Talk to a therapist, your clergyperson, someone." Get it out of your system. Or it will come out on its own: You'll be having a vulnerable day and an interviewer with a kind face will say "So tell me more about when you left there?", and your Anger Filter will interpret that sweet look as Best Friend Forever, and you'll gush all about That Day. You'll leave the interview thinking, "I probably shouldn't have done that, but s/he was so nice and such a great listener!"

Except then you get an email from their company that says, "Thanks but no thanks, we feel other candidates are a better fit."

Here are some healthy ways to get rid of that anger. Do more than one if you can:

  • Talk with your therapist about it. No therapist? Get one. And tell him/her that you want to work on letting go of anger, for four sessions over eight weeks (or similar), here's what you can pay. Then in those sessions, work the hell out of it. This will work. You deserve to feel better. If you've not let yourself cry, this is the place. Mourn what is no longer. Then you'll be able to move on.
  • In addition, talk with your clergy person or guru. They are not therapists but they are wise.
  • Notice I am not saying "vent about it to your husband" or "to your girlfriends/guy friends". Why? Because they are hearing it enough from you already. Plus, they'll take your side. It helps to have someone you don't know personally walk you through this.
  • Read a book about forgiveness. OR, do a web search on forgiveness, and read the pro-forgiveness pieces. Then read them again - after all, forgiveness is actually more about you than the other person. You'll feel your anger dissipate. You can't "forget it" but you can forgive and finally leave it behind.
  • Exercise more. Try a punching bag at the gym, especially if you've never done it before. Or chop wood, cut up vegetables. and with every stroke, let go with some expletives. That's why we have them!
    Do a web search on "how to safely blow off steam", and you'll find more ideas.

Do it: you deserve to move on and redirect your life.


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