Sunday, September 13, 2015

Learning to Deal with Disappointment

Everyone faces a disappointment at some time in their lives. If you get to 10 years of age and haven't been disappointed by something, then you are living in dream world.

At one time in my career with the Australian Public Service (APS), I was responsible for managing recruitment for three of our regional offices. I enjoyed the job very much, but it had one unpopular feature.

APS policy was to advertise all vacancies. Applicants would submit an application addressing selection criteria which would be assessed by a selection panel. The panel would determine who was interviewed and recommend an appointee after taking the applicant's application, referees and interview responses into account.

Sometimes, candidates were found "not suitable." Other times they were found "suitable, but not the best applicant."

I didn't mind telling people the outcome of their application but, when they began to whine because they didn't get a job, it annoyed me.

Quite a few applicants had spent three or four months in their job and expected a promotion to the next level. I used to tell them they needed to serve an "apprenticeship" in that job before applying for a promotion.

If you want a promotion, you have to show that you are ready for it. You do that by doing good work in your current job. Perhaps you spend some time acting at the higher level when someone goes on leave. Your supervisor and others get to see how well you work.

When you have shown you are ready - then apply for a promotion and perhaps you'll stand a chance.

It seems that the younger generations haven't been taught to handle disappointment as well as we of the Baby Boomer generation were.

Everyone knows that when you are in a competition - of any sort - there is always a chance that someone else will win. This is very true of the jobs market and people who miss out on a job have to learn to accept it.

If we enter enough competitions, eventually we are all winners.

Robin

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