So, you are the victim?

I met a job-seeker who has been in NZ for the last few months and in our meeting he was constantly complaining about the employment market, recruiters, job boards and his agent from his home country. He was frustrated about his job application rejections besides the fact that he felt he had the required relevant experience. He asked me, “Is that right on how I am being treated in NZ job market?” in a tone that he was the victim of wrongdoing.

I tried to explain him that key question wasn’t whether it’s right or not, although one would tend to agree with him in principle. The key question is what are you doing about it?

“Are you playing victim or are you adapting?” I asked him, “if you’re being robbed, you don’t just sit around thinking…Oh, why is this happening to me? Why me? This is not right. Instead, you react. You shout for help or you fight to defend or you call a cop or you run away…right?”

Constructive action / adaptation is opposite to sulking as a victim. Yes, the key question is what are you doing about it? I know it’s a question that sounds harsh especially to someone who was expecting me to empathise with his already troubled life. He tried answering my question for some time before retreating back to where he came from…never to be seen again!!

This has left me thinking…Why do we do it in the first place? Why do we want to come across as victims? Are we expecting undue favours? Consciously or subconsciously are we trying to manipulate others or are we simply trying to hide our incapability?

Also what comes to mind are those reality TV shows, something like a signing or a dancing competition, if the participant comes from a difficult / broken personal background they tend to attract more attention than they deserve. In some form or the other we see participants playing a victims’ card often gain short-term undue advantage.

Reason could be any of the above or something that I’ve missed but as a mentor I am observing the job-seekers irrespective of their colour, creed and nationality (including Kiwis) playing the victim card with no hesitation what-so-ever. Almost 7 out of 10 job-seekers are speaking this language and are behaving in way that they are the victims of wrongdoing.

Yes, I agree that the job market is hostile for many reasons beyond our control and no I am not saying that job-seekers are faking their stories and experience in dealing with their current employment struggles. My question is simple: What are you doing about it?

Remember, the feeling of being victimised leaves you with action paralyses. You stop thinking, stop improving and stop upskilling yourself. Your dependence on others increase. You become vulnerable and prone to exploitation. You start developing hatred towards situations and people around you and before you realise you are surrounded by negative emotions and negative people.

Just go out there, get up and do something. There are so many free resources and so much help available out there. Don’t be scared of hit and trial, feel free to experiment. See what works for you and what doesn’t. Ask for help / assistance / suggestions / guidance. Be an up-beat always. Keep that smile on your face and do not lose your confidence and faith on who you are and what you are capable of.

Never EVER... come across as a victim…..NEVER!!!

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