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The Best Tactic To Beat The Stress Of A Long Job Search
Eight months after leaving active duty, I still hadn’t started a salaried job. I was working two internships and a number of side jobs, but I after sending out dozens of resumes, I hadn’t yet found an honest-to-goodness full-time position. I had left the Army as a captain, making very decent money once you factored in BAH. That was in Texas, where not only is the cost of living is extremely low, there’s no state income tax. Now, living in New York City, where rent, food, transportation, and taxes are near the highest in the U.S., I was making minimum wage. The internships were always meant to be stepping stones — a brief interlude in my career transition — to a decent-paying job in my chosen industry.
But it was taking longer than I had expected. I had placed an arbitrary stop of six months for getting a “real job,” but I had been applying to positions from before I even started my internships. While I read career advice daily (literally, that was my job as an editorial fellow at The Muse, where I wrote, copyedited and uploaded career advice stories all day long), that said to be patient in the job hunt, I started to feel more and more panicked, and my confidence tanked with every unanswered job application.
The only way for me to get out of the negative downward spiral of “Oh my god, what’s going to happen? I’m going to run out of money and this is pathetic; my peers are making close to six figures; I should have never left the Army, at least there was free health care” was a tactic I read about in The 4-Hour Workweek, a book I picked up during my nonfiction kick during my last year in the Army.
Annual Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (CBRN) Training at the MCAS Yuma Gas Chamber July 26, 2018.Lance Cpl. Sabrina Candiaflores
Fear setting, as explained by Tim Ferriss, is when you define all the absolute worst-case scenarios on paper instead of ruminating in your head of everything that could go wrong. It can help manage anxiety and stems from the Stoic philosophy notion of spending time each month or so eating the barest of rations and sleeping on the floor to remind yourself you can survive most situations.
For example, for me, if I never got a single callback for a job, the worst-case scenario was running out of money, being forced to move in with a relative or a friend, subsisting off of ramen, bouillon cubes, and canned food, and taking a minimum wage job probably in my hometown. Eventually, I’d enroll in community college classes until I learned a skill that would help me get a job. And if that failed, I could live in a tent on someone’s property and do yard maintenance and live off of oatmeal. After thinking that through, I felt much calmer. Truly. Fear setting forced me to realize it wouldn’t be the absolute end of the world if I didn’t succeed in my career change on my timeline. And guess what? A few weeks after the height of my panic, I received three job offers on the same Friday. Even if I hadn’t, I had found more than a handful of friends and family who were more than willing to host me on a couch if it came to that.
U.S. Army Pfc. Michael Gilreath, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, swings an improvised bat during a fun game of baseball near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 23, 2018.U.S. Army/Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV
So, the next time you start panicking, give yourself a dose of honest reality for your fears. If nothing else, it can help you realize that there’s a next step, or another option if things don’t go quite as planned.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
Confessions Of An Apache Pilot: What It's Like To Fly The Military's Most Heavily Armed Attack Helicopter
Welcome to Confessions Of, an occaisional series where Task & Purpose's James Clark solicits hilarious, embarrassing, and revealing stories from troops and vets about their job, billet, or a tour overseas. Are you in an interesting assignment and think you might have something to share? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your story.
"Nothing is more powerful than a young boy's wish. Except an Apache helicopter. An Apache helicopter has machine guns and missiles. It is an unbelievably impressive complement of weaponry, an absolute death machine."
While this Patrick Stewart quote may be from an R-rated movie about a talking teddy bear, it's remarkably accurate. After all, the old warhorse has been kicking ass since it was first adopted by the U.S. Army in the 1980s. Designed to get into trouble fast and put it down even faster, the AH-64 Apache usually comes bristling with ordnance, from an M230 chain gun firing 30mm rounds to Hellfire missiles and rockets.
In the words of Tyler Merritt "it's basically a fucking flying tank."
White supremacist James Jackson – accused of trying to start a race war by killing a homeless black man in Times Square with a sword — pleaded guilty Wednesday to murder as an act of terrorism.
A Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.