I confess I didn’t watch most of the Superbowl ads. I did see the end of the game and all of the Boss of course. But I did look later for the career ads just to keep up my career coaching cred in some weird way.
The careerbuilder ad made me laugh with its clever repetitions and images. But with my coaching hat on, I also saw that it was containing some basic emotional truths about career or job change. The ad showed a woman screaming in her car when she arrives at work, bosses showing no respect, people crying and punching toy koala bears. Actually, doesn’t sound too funny when you just write it down. But it’s through the humor that we can get to the tougher emotional truths sometime.
Most of us do wait until we feel incredibly angry, sad, frustrated, disgusted or dissed before doing anything about our jobs. Studies show we are more likely to act in response to getting rid of pain that going for pleasure, getting rid of unhappiness than going for happiness. That can keep us in so-so positions, which eventually will also drag us down emotionally. It just takes longer, like water dripping until it finally makes a hole in the stone.
I Twittered about this today, how the ad showed some basic situations and feelings that revealed underlying emotional truths we need to notice and deal with. A colleague, Shaun Jamison, replied that the problem is we often then jump from the frying pan to the fire. I agree. In trying to end our pain we might take rash action, having probably waited to
It’s not that the pain we’re feeling isn’t a good indicator about what to do. It’s just incomplete. What’s missing in part is our careful thinking about what else we can do, what jobs are better fits–but what’s also missing are the happy emotions.
The happy emotions of joy, peace, contentment, excitement can guide us to envisioning a job we’d really like. In my coaching, I always start out finding out what really gets people energized, passionate, excited. Doesn’t matter if it’s nonwork stuff. First get to that connection with your energy and passion and desire, and we can then use our thinking to figure out how to apply those passions into a better career and job.
And yeh, it doesn’t hurt to be able to laugh at our problems sometimes too, as with the ad.