Does It Hurt Enough Yet?

Recently I have noticed and commented on quite a few articles to be released soon on job searching with a sense of urgency in securing that next position.  I gathered that the authors assumed urgency is a fueling factor for motivation.


I disagree.


I find that anyone who is job searching has a sense of urgency no matter what stage they are in or no matter how long they have been looking.  The same applies for building a business.  You know you need to find a job or more clients in order to provide for your family, maintain your lifestyle or keep your doors open – this is a given.  When things get a little tight you have a heightened sense of urgency but it does not always change your behavior.


Behavior changes when it starts to hurt.  In my opinion it is pain that is the true motivator.


Human beings are naturally geared to avoid pain.  Who can blame us?  We can put up with a lot of other emotions and situations but once it starts to hurt that is when we start taking real action.


We can stay in a dead-end telling ourselves that yes the boss is a jerk, we work 70 hours a week and there are no opportunities, but hey – at least we are bringing home a paycheck.  Or we may be unemployed and money is tight but hey – at least we are not at that dead-end job anymore.


What if a new opportunity came about during this consolation phase?  Many will not take the opportunity to go for it because they want to avoid the pain.  We are avoiding the pain of getting hurt by being rejected by the company or ridiculed by friends or family for going for it.


We avoid pain and get numb to being stuck.  We are numb to the 70 hours, the tense emotions, the physical toll it is taking on us, the disruption to our family; we tell ourselves that it is better than the unknown.  Unknown could lead to pain and at least in a unhappy situation we are comfortable because it is established.


It is not until we feel pain that we get motivated to go outside our comfort box.  We get laid off or fired, the unemployment stops, the bills increase or you look at the person you are with and think, “I don’t even like you!”  Then we get motivated.  We have to change things because it is hurting us now.


The really ironic part of all this is we could kill two birds with one stone if we just jumped outside our comfort zone as soon as we realized that we have settled for unpleasant comfort.


What if when we find ourselves saying, “I hate my job” instead of listening to that little comfort seeking voice inside our head that starts statements with, “but at least…” we shut them up and decide we are worth the risk of pain.


We start looking around to see what is available that we really want and we went for it?  What is the worse that could happen?  Ok, so you don’t get the job and maybe the current boss finds out that you applied for it and then really makes your life hell or gets you fired.  Guess what – you hated it anyway so maybe you needed that kick in the butt to move on.


I don’t mean to sound unkind but I have also found through personal and professional experience that sometimes a kick in the butt is what we really need, even thought it may be a little painful for your backside it is really a way to avoid much bigger pain in the long run.


Recognize what is your true pain threshold and take action before you reach it in order to avoid it.  Sometimes a little pain in the beginning saves a lot of pain in the end.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

Leave a Reply