The 3 Ds That Constantly Lurk Around the Job Search Corner

The unfortunate fact of any individual who engages in a job search is that the 3 Ds – despair, denial and doubt are constantly lurking around the corner to pounce when you least expect it.  Of course it is quite difficult to maintain a positive mental attitude at all times, even when you are employed, but during the ups and downs of employment search it is vital for individuals to mix it up and be determined not to fall into a rut or a routine.  There is nothing more debilitating and depressing than doing the same old – same old over and over again and expecting a different result.

Despair – Merriam-Webster defines despair as to lose all hope or confidence.  There are two quotes about despair that will make you more positive in your daily life – almost immediately:  “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won.  There have been tyrants and murders and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall –think of it, always.”  – Mohandas K. Gandhi.  And, “I like living.  I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” – Agatha Christie.  Life is much too valuable and quite honestly too short to wallow in despair, job seekers may indeed find times difficult, but if you continue to visualize the final goal one can certainly move beyond temporary negative emotions.

Denial – when you are in job search mode, denial is the most difficult mind-set to overcome.  Denial in the sense that you are unable or unwilling to change or be flexible and most importantly not willing to see yourself as others see you.  Society is moving much too quickly and one needs to adapt or you will find yourself in an untenable position.  It is also important to acknowledge that you will be denied in numerous searches.  These rejections will be for many different reasons and one can be humbled but must always move forward and like any good salesman worth his weight, you cannot take rejection personally or it will just eat you up.  There is much more to denial than the famous quote from Mark Twain: “Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”

“At the approach of danger there are always two voices that speak with equal force in the heart of man; one very reasonably tells the man to consider the nature of the danger and the means of avoiding it; the other even more reasonable says that it is too painful and harassing to think of the danger, since it is not a man’s power to provide for everything and escape from the general march of event; and that it is therefore better to turn aside from the painful subject till it has come, and to think of what is pleasant.  In solitude a man generally yields to the first voice; in society to the second.  – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Doubt – It is only human to doubt oneself.  Matter of fact you probably should question yourself on a daily basis -it gives you the opportunity to analyze and substantiate your beliefs.  It also gives you the opportunity to determine why and how you do what you do.  However, doubt can be a cancer that can overwhelm your persona if you allow it.  As William Shakespeare once wrote: “Modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise.”   Doubt is always present but confidence must be maintained.  When you are job searching it is vital to always show an aura of confidence; who wants to hire a person who doubts his own worth?  However, there is a thin line between confidence and ego-centric.  Unfortunately, many of us know too many people who think the world rotates around them.  Let’s be honest, those people are not the ones we willingly invite to our house for dinner on more than a rare occasion. We just don’t like being around them.

When you are searching for your next great employment position it is important to maintain a positive mental attitude.  If you allow the 3 Ds to overwhelm you, you will be forced to take a detour that will only prevent you from your ultimate goal.  You need constant discussion on these points, preferably with your spouse or a close personal friend but ultimately the most meaningful discussion will be with yourself. 

To overcome the 3Ds you need to believe in yourself and your talents and your abilities.  Without your own internal understanding of your capabilities, the chore of finding a new employment home will only be even more challenging.  Believe in yourself so that others can believe in you!

Dan Borschke is a Certified Association Executive who has been a CEO for 3 distinct trade associations in his career.  He currently is between positions and has written more than 50,000 words or 70 blogs on the topics of job search and career transition.  He can be contacted at:


One thought on “The 3 Ds That Constantly Lurk Around the Job Search Corner

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