This article was inspired by a meeting I had with my client Derek who expressed a sentiment I've heard before - an intense frustration that the real world turned out to be quite different than what he had expected. He felt that he had been lied to by his teachers, his college professors, and even his parents. There was a feeling of overwhelm because of the uncertainty he is dealing with as he goes through the job search, which can be an exhausting process. Particularly for those who struggle when they have to deal with uncertainty.
After he vented, I asked him, "What if instead of being angry about the uncertainty, you simply accepted that some things are uncertain and take solace in the certainty of who you are?"
One way of doing this is by coming up with your "I am's" – words that describe who you are at your core -- things that aren’t learned. These are things like: kind, wise, curious, sensitive, adventurous. Knowing who you are solidifies your sense of self, which can be especially useful when going through the frustrating, exhausting process of finding a job. Many people will face disappointment before finding work that they enjoy. Knowing who you are throughout the process can make these uncertainty much easier to deal with.