Dear Spice: I Can’t Get a New Job

Dear Spice:

I have been stuck at the same two jobs for years, but can’t seem to find a new one.  I’ve updated my resume, tweaked cover letters, and everything I can think of.  I don’t get too many call backs and have been on maybe five interviews in the past four months.  What’s keeping employers from taking a chance on me?


Dear Discouraged:

You’re in a difficult spot and I feel for you.  My gut feeling is it’s a bunch of little things you can change and one big thing that has nothing to do with you.  Let’s find out, shall we?

I asked the cards why employers aren’t hiring you and I got:  Knight of Wands (fire sign male, intense person, all vision and no gumption, a person who is too rash to make sound decisions, and possibly impulsivity); Princess of Pentacles (earth sign young person, the need to make a plan real, new projects, loyal person, new field of study, and a sense of wellbeing and groundedness); Seven of Swords (number 7, mind games, schemes that do not work, the need to use caution when discussing important matters, avoidance or manipulation of the truth, and possibly the need to keep your plans to yourself); and Three of Swords (number 3, sadness, wounds only time can heal, sorrow rooted in the past, and the need to grieve properly).  This spread tells me the big issue is in your presentation, not your qualifications.  The Knight of Wands is most likely how you’re trying to come across—all fired up about this new opportunity—but your lack of confidence (we’ll get to that) is making you seem flaky or not in it for the long haul.  I think the Princess of Pentacles might be closer to who you actually are as an employee because she is practical, solution-oriented, and faithful to her cause.  In terms of these cards, employers see you as protecting the awesome employee that is the princess with the brash, seemingly cocky knight.  The Seven of Swords and the Three of Swords tell me you might come across as dancing around the truth because of a past hurt.  I feel like this past professional mark of shame is still affecting your confidence as an employee because you want desperately to live it down and you may spend too much time phrasing your replies as a result.  This is your anxiety talking, not your worth as a human.  However, I don’t think you should totally ignore your fear that whatever happened at that bad job could happen again.  It totally could, but I think the proper use of that fear is to hone your intuition and dig deep into how that incident happened and how you can do things differently in the future.

I asked the cards what you can do about this pox on your (career) house and I got:  King of Cups (water sign male, passionate and intuitive person, someone who does not easily reveal their feelings, a talent for organizing others’ resources, good business instincts, hiding vulnerability, can mean jealousy or possessiveness, and the need to explore passions); Strength (number 8, the strength to overcome parts of yourself that are no longer needed, replacing ego and pride with self-love, ability to resolve problems, can mean respecting others’ opinions, and self-confidence); the Hanged Man (number 12, suspended animation, needing to look at a familiar situation in a new light, holding pattern, negative patterns that repeat themselves, and changing a situation with self-trust); and the World (number 21, ultimate success, positive completion of a cycle, a resolution after a difficult time, achievements being noticed, and possibly travel).  The first two cards talk about your need to get real about how you feel and look at it.  Do you feel like a failure?  Still harbor anger at the old company?  Secretly fear they’re right about you?  (They’re not, by the way.)  Do you fear change?  What if your new job is worse?  Are you sick of what feels like constant rejection?  The Strength card suggests now is a great time to do this.  I would also pay attention to the positive messages of the King of Cups because you need to think about your positive attributes and lead with those.  It’s not bragging if you don’t overdo it.  The Hanged Man speaks to a pattern that has played itself out for too long.  Take stock of your self-talk for the next few days.  Use an app like Evernote, if you’re the type who needs to write things in a journal.  The patterns in your job search are being created by your self-talk.  Note any recurring thoughts or themes, such as “I can’t” or “not good enough.”  If affirmations are too hard to swallow, try a more neutral statement, such as, “I’m just as qualified as the other candidates” or “I am a good employee.”  The World shows that change is coming, but you have a choice as to whether you are going to prepare yourself now or wait until it’s forced upon you.  My vote is you start preparing now and keep applying for jobs, so you will have resources when it’s time to make a move (you’ll know when).  Also, pay attention to the travel aspect of the World.  If taking too much time off and a vacation are out of reach, make a point to try new and interesting things that are local to you.  This will help you breathe a little and keep your mind open to new avenues.


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