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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Kirschaum

This is the "old normal"? You know that, right?

“Weltanschauung.” “That’s not a word!” I thought when a friend sent it to me,

"And if it is, it’s an entrée at Viennese restaurant." Alas, it is word. Not an entrée.  It means a particular philosophy or view of life; the worldview of an individual or group. Some folks have a Weltanschauung that supports the wearing of masks in public and social distancing. Others don't. True story:

Long ago there was a sickness. No one knew the cause or how it was transmitted. 

Crazy theories it spread from fruit or stray animals took hold (and this was before the Internet!) For the next four decades, swimming pools and movie theaters closed during the summer which became known as …  "Polio Season."  Transmitted through contact with an infected person or contaminated food and water, people lived in fear of Polio.  Polio was identified in 1908.  Approval for Jonas Salk's Polio vaccine came in 1955. The last case of Polio in the US was in 1979.  Polio season is gone.

The norm used to be: you get a job and keep it, often for decades.

You and your employer were in a long-term relationship.  Today, people change jobs, and even careers, frequently. Has your Weltanschauung caught up to the new season? 

If not, you could fall victim to PPVQ (pre-Polio vaccine questions) which still get asked and answered.  PPVQ: “Why should we hire you?” Becomes “Why should I work here?” PPVQ: “What’s your greatest weakness?” Becomes “What’s yours?” PPVQ: “What’s your salary?” flips to “What’s your budget?” And for the record, the salary question is increasingly illegal. PPVQ: “What’s your five-year plan?”  becomes  “Are you offering me a five-year contract? 

The idea that employers “give” you a job is a nasty virus. Those questions are symptoms.

Because they assume you'll take any job you're offered and respond with a "Weeeeeee, you like me!" While employers sit on high and only make an offer after running you through extensive interviews, vetting your credit and criminal history, interrogating your references, followed by drug tests and psych profiles. And then ask you to sign an agreement jam packed with restrictive clauses making it harder for you to leave and easier for them to under-pay you. Feeling nauseous? The onus is on you to disclose your plans, vulnerabilities, finances and sign away your rights, then, they'll give you a job.  That, my friend, is an expired Weltanschauung.  Now I’m not saying stand up, snap a Z and ask, “Honey, what have you been smoking? You think this is 1950?!”   Just know that worldview is a virus that makes careers sick and is no picnic for you. A new order of Weltanschauung is comin’ right up.

How to operate in it.... that’s the Weltanschauung of Job Hunt School.  Courtney

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