Q: With a few decent exceptions, as a job applicant I'm often treated like scum or a supplicant. I've complained about hiring processes...

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Q: With a few decent exceptions, as a job applicant I’m often treated like scum or a supplicant.


I’ve complained about hiring processes and been told that because of my attitude I wouldn’t be hired. Do you think companies that treat job applicants with such disdain will suffer down the road when demand outstrips supply?


A: It’s perfectly normal to hope that people who’ve treated us badly will suffer in the future. To the extent that your longing for vindication provides for emotional release, it’s useful. To the extent that it distracts you from getting work, it’s not useful.


I promise you, in a long career, you’ll see many examples of “people behaving badly.”


Getting even can be satisfying, but getting what you want has a longer shelf life. Here are tips to keep you focused on getting the work you deserve:


1. Use your frustration and anger like gasoline in your tank to keep you motivated to try new ways to find employment.


2. Don’t let your anger use you by doing things such as complaining to the people you want to hire you. You certainly have a right to complain, but it won’t help you get a job.


3. Raise the bar for the people and places you try to get work from.


4. Lower the bar for what you consider “success.” A friend of mine likes to say that one of her goals in life is to, each year, experience rejection from a better class of people. Every “no” you receive puts you closer to a job.


5. Just because you’re treated like a “supplicant” doesn’t mean you are one. Pretend you have a magic wand. Who would you be thrilled to work for? Now figure out a way to connect with that organization, department or person.


Once when I was feeling vengeful, a buddy of mine asked, “Who would you want to get even with if you had everything you wanted?” I imagined my ideal life and realized the answer would be, “no one.”


The older I get, the more I realize we all reap what we sow. People who truly act badly generally experience more suffering than we would sign them up for if we could orchestrate their lives.


Q: My job is a joke, my boss is a jerk, and I often just play computer games to make it worthwhile going to the office.


Is there anything wrong with keeping myself entertained in a dead-end job?


A: Only if you think not getting a paycheck is amusing.


Daneen Skube, Ph.D., can be reached at 1420 N.W. Gilman Blvd., No. 2845, Issaquah, WA 98027-7001; by e-mail at interpersonaledge@comcast.net; or at www.interpersonaledge.com. Sorry, no personal replies. To read other Daneen Skube columns, go to: www.seattletimes.com/daneenskube