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There are many old sayings that come into play when you are looking for work and/or trying to find a satisfying career. Ones’ like “the best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray” or Murphy’s Law –“if something can go wrong it will” or even better “if something simply can’t go wrong, it will anyway.” I had one of those recently that has made me reflect on my career path.

This sounds rather pessimistic however the point I would like to make is that nothing is foolproof that we have to be prepared for setbacks on the road to success otherwise we are simply devastated and become stuck rather than picking ourselves up, regrouping, and beginning again.

We can be one of the things that can prevent us from moving on because it depends how we frame the setback. If we have the tendency to beat ourselves up and blame ourselves rather than view the situation from a much broader perspective including the conditions surrounding the situation then we are going retreat into self recrimination and get mired in our feelings. If we blame others and take a victim stance we will also end up in anger and our feelings will keep us stuck.

What we really need to do is to take stock of the situation and if we have difficulty being objective about our situation (most of us do), then run the situation past our friends, family, or a counsellor. What will stop us from doing this is our belief that somehow we failed. DO NOT GO and talk to anyone that reinforces this. Talk to someone who we respect, who understands, and is supportive. Perseverance is the key and not giving up because something is not working.

Maybe your problem is “wishful thinking” or in other words not doing your homework or research. Maybe by some miracle it will work out or in New Age thinking if we put our intention out to the Universe it will provide. Yes do this however you have to do the work and research required to back up your request and make it happen.

To ‘hedge your bets’ I like what Rumi says “Trust God, but tie your camel”. Praying, sending out positive intentions, using affirmations all work but as Rumi says cover yourself with research, knocking on doors and talking to your network. Follow up with employers. Drop off resumes. Do informational interviewing with people in the industry you want to work in. There might be few jobs, maybe they do not hire without certain qualifications and recent experience that you do not have. Then move on if that is the case. Find areas that you do have the qualification and experience or go to school and get the qualifications even if it is one course at night school per semester.

It is a tough job market in a lot of areas, however there are jobs that are going begging usually requiring specific post secondary technical training. If you do not have at least three good references it will be a challenge to land a good job. If you do your research you will know for a fact where the jobs are. If you do not have recent experience in the area you are seeking work it will be a challenge to get work. That is where internships, coop programs, and practicum are great they do give you experience and many places hire students right out of the practicum. There are government programs that provide subsidies as well that can be accessed.

One of the ways that we can counteract the correction or the setback is to mobilize our resources and get help. It is very challenging to do this all on our own and there are counsellors out there to analyze the situation for you and provide you with direction. There are also free resources, books, and research available to help us recover our direction, energy, and passion. Call me for a free 30-minute consultation at 604-562-9130 or Email

About the Author:

Dr.Hall's background includes a Communications degree at SFU and a MA in Counselling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Vancouver and Chicago. The author completed a Doctorate program in Clinical Psychology from California Southern University. In 2015 as a result of Dr. Hall’s doctorate research on organizational health she published in Harm’s Way: Health Care Workers at Risk an argument for organizational change. Dr. Hall took poetry writing at UBC (Lorna Crozier) and Creative Writing courses from Langara College including Free Lance Magazine writing and Write the Wild Horse. The author has published articles through the Rehab Review and Rehab Matters magazine of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association of Canada (Compassion Fatigue, Dual Relationships, and Pain Disorders) and was on their Editorial review board. Dr. Hall has published articles in Cognica (Compassion Fatigue) the magazine of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and the International Network in Personal Meaning (Forgiveness). Both her websites have articles: Http:// focuses on work related and career issues and Http:// focus on personal growth issues, such as stress, depression, analyzing dreams, fear and anger. The author has a newsletter on Substack

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