Your job search. It’s not always just about you.

by Deborah on July 29, 2011

I have been watching this brilliant little show called “The Big C” on Showtime since it began last year; I say “little” because each episode is only 25 minutes long, but the storyline and acting is superb and leaves you hungry for more each week.

The main character is Cathy, who has been diagnosed with cancer. Her husband Paul, is a VP level ad executive…well, that is until he was laid off (these days every TV show has its token unemployed person). When Paul is told he no longer has a job, he experiences the typical emotions that most people have when they are downsized; anger, denial, etc.

Medical bills start to pour in and Cathy begins to question him about his job search. Paul gets a bit cocky and over confident (the most dangerous emotion of all for a job seeker IMHO) and tells Cathy that he’s waiting for the right opportunity; he doesn’t want to take a step backwards in his career and everything is going to be ok because he’s having lunch with a friend who is going to give him a job.

Reality begins to set in for Paul when his friend offers him a freelance gig instead of a full-time job with benefits. Paul gets really angry, and since he is a bit immature, we worry that his job search might go on forever – but something wonderful happens. In the last scene, we see Paul in a big box electronics store wearing an apron that says “Trainee” on it. As he stands there looking like a nervous teenager who just landed his first job, he reveals to Cathy that he applied 2 hours ago and says this is what he’s going to do while he continues to look for the right job; and best of all, the gig comes with medical insurance. Instead of making Paul feel stupid, she tells him she thinks it’s “awesome”. In that brief moment, they were both there for each other.

So who do you need to “step up” for?

Fortunately not every job seeker is faced with such a harsh reality as our characters in “The Big C”, but each one of us is accountable to someone – even if only to ourselves.


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