Why Your Job Search is Like a Day at the Amusement Park

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It's mid-summer, and next to a day at the beach, one of the most delightful escapes you can make is to visit an amusement part to enjoy the hurly-burly of the various rides. But if you are in the midst of a job search in the financial industry, you may find some familiarity with many of their most famous attractions. As a job seeker, taking those first steps to escape your current house of horrors nets you a golden ticket, good for unlimited rides. Your job search is almost certain to be full of surprise twists and turns, and deliver you an unexpected finish.

Like a Ferris wheel

Just beginning the search process will be like climbing aboard the Ferris wheel and, at least for the moment, being lifted high above your current situation, providing you with a panoramic view, a new perspective on where you have been and where you are going. Of course, there are times when you will feel "stuck" in the process—feet off the ground and head near the clouds, unable to be either here or there—but eventually you do get moving again.

Or a merry-go-round

Then there is the actual process of searching for a job. It can feel repetitive and circular; about as entertaining as a ride on a merry-go-round where you encounter the same view over and over again as you chase job after job. The important thing to remember here is that no matter how big the carousel, or how elaborate the carved station you ride upon, there are limited chances to grab the brass ring, something within reach of only those on the very edge who stretch themselves; leaning out, risking all.

Similar to a roller coaster

And once you enter into the job application and interview process, it will seem eerily similar to the most treacherous roller coaster: lining up and waiting for long stretches, then sitting through a heart-pounding anxiety-driven run where one moment you are in the dark, and the next you feel as if you may go off a cliff. Eventually, though, you are returned to the place you began, and likely go through it all over again.

And a flume ride

Finally, once you land your new position, on-boarding with your new company takes on all the characteristics of a flume ride—winding your way through dizzying twists and turns before you at last are raised up... and then plunged unceremoniously into your new career: what HR professionals call “immersion.”

Of course, once you do start that new job, you begin perhaps the wildest ride of all.