How to Stay Calm Throughout Your Job-Hunt
2-½ minutes to read
Parsha [Passage of Scripture] Nugget [Precious Idea] Vayishlach - Genesis 32:4-36:43
No one I’ve met has had a hassle-free transition. Plans fall apart. People who said they’d help don't come through. Sometimes even the simplest task seems impossible to complete. You start to feel abused. Irritation soars. Some veterans redline. Unable to tough it out any longer, they explode…
When Frustration Boils Over
People can appreciate the frustration that comes from transitioning to civilian life. Whereas, they may not know the specific issues you face. They’ve been vexed by their own. But Parshas Vayishlach shows they’re less likely to forgive an angry outburst:
“And they [Simeon and Levi] said, ‘Should he treat our sister like a harlot?’” (Bereshis/Genesis 34:31)
Shechem abducted and raped Jacob’s daughter Dinah. Then he begged Jacob to marry her. Jacob agreed on the condition that all the men of the city get circumcised. Debilitated by the operation, Simeon and Levi took revenge by killing them.
On learning of the massacre, Jacob pointed out the danger they put the family in. The brothers responded that they had to defend their sister’s honor.
Jacob withheld further comment on the matter until close to death. When he finally took them to task, he criticized their anger. He may not have liked their actions. But he recognized their justice. As a legacy, Jacob wanted his sons to learn that situations charged with emotion must be handled calmly.
Blowing up can delegitimize even the most righteous act.
5 Steps to Keeping Your Cool
Have you ever lost your temper and missed an opportunity as a result? If so, you know that raises your frustration level. But keeping your cool isn't easy. Preparing for setbacks and practicing mindfulness can help. Still, you need to have a plan for when an explosion is imminent:
1. Triggers. Identify issues or events that shoot your anger through the roof. The more specific you get the better.
2. Record. Summarize these triggers on a 3 x 5 card or in a memo on your smartphone. Order them from the most difficult to the easiest to control.
3. Frame. At the top of the card or memo write “I will be calm when…”
4. Practice. Each morning read your card or memo. Stand. Put conviction in your voice. Make a commitment. Repeat this during the day before any event where your patience may be challenged.
5. Assess. At the end of the day, read your card or memo again. This time, begin with, “I was calm when…” and list the triggers you controlled. For the ones that got away from you, say, “Tomorrow I will improve by remaining calm when…”
This process may seem a little silly at first. But you have to indoctrinate yourself to change your behavior. By following the same kind of training regimen your service branch used to make you a Soldier, Marine, Sailor, or Airman, you’re using a process that works.
We want nothing to do with people who are angry at the military. Like I wrote a couple of weeks ago, we should pity them. In truth, we can't expect the same from civilians. They shut down when we get angry with them. Keep communication open by ensuring you keep your cool.
Has getting angry caused you to lose out on a job?
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Every year beginning on Simchas Torah, the cycle of reading the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, ends and begins again. Each Sabbath a portion known as a sedra or parsha is read. Its name comes from the first significant word or two with which this weekly reading begins.
Do you have a question about the Old Testament? Ask it here and I will answer it in a future Parsha Nugget!
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