Most of us favor our jobs over our livelihoods. We favor it as much as we do our right-hand. And it’s human nature, we use our left-hand only when our right-hand is rendered or declared useless. Similarly, we do the same if when our jobs lay us off, or we become useless, and then we consider new skills. Now, we’re going to make this left-hand useful because the right-hand has worth, but the job market says it’s useless.
Years ago, teachers used to make children who were left hand use their right hand. There have been studies that have documented the plight of left-handed people, and especially children. Left-handed people are not cursed, but there are fewer than right-handed people.
We’re so used to depending on the right hand
In many ways, left-handed people were practically hazed and treated indifferently. As a society, we are right-handed and refer to the right-hand as the stronger hand.
Losing a job under any circumstance is the same as losing your right-hand (or left). For many, self-worth came from the job as did the monetary, relationship, and some emotional needs. The right-hand was the primary tool for everything, just like the job.
The left-hand is the default hand. The left rides shot-gun to support the right. Until the job was gone, the left-hand had a limited role. When the time came to learn how to write left-handed, there were no other choices.
I wrote on LinkedIn and Facebook recently,
In offer some job search advice, I decided to include some Bill Withers musings: Bill’s wife Marcie had an MBA, Bill cleaned toilets while in the Navy. His first major recording was published at 33 years old (that’s 50 in today’s pop music scene). This breaks all the rules for career change today. And breaks all of the dating advice about women who shouldn’t date “down.”
Although we live in a right-handed world, to write left-handed is not natural or advised for most of us. Many of us will learn to write left-handed when this COVID19 crises is over. You will have use or learn skills you don’t know now. You’ll be asked to write left-handed and you won’t.
You’ll realize that you should have learned years ago. Proud you’re old school? You’ll need to dismantle your resistance to write left-handed. Get ready to write left-handed. This is “Job Search 3.0!” Listen to the word of this song about a soldier who lost his right hand in battle. He has someone write a letter home to tell his family what happened to him.
Many will be forced to use the left-hand.
Remote working might be your left-hand. Communication could be your lefty.
Many have already given up or settle for whatever happens. The literal use of the left have similarities, to job loss and learning the other possibilities, skills, and purpose. Your responses may fit the ones below, trying to write left-handed:
- I can’t write left-handed at all. People are not learning new skills until a crisis. They hope someone saves them. Prepare your career long before losing your job, and before the writing is on the wall.
- I can’t understand my writing at all. You get a few points for trying, but you haven’t used other job skills much at all. It takes patience, but you must keep trying to enhance work skills. No one says that using another talent or learning another profession would be easy.
- This is so strenuous. You neglected your left hand for most of your life unless you became injured. If you ignored a specific skill set because someone else you didn’t need it, you no one else to blame. Take charge of your career.
- I barely wrote my name, but can’t write anything else. Although it is better than most, you don’t stand out. Barely “knowing” or “barely can do” is a weak core competency.
- This hand tires so quickly. When you learn something new, it is more challenging and trying. It takes up more brain space and muscle activation because it’s unique. Don’t think that it is just about getting one degree, certificate, or reward.
Learning is a continual process that will enable longevity. Learn for life, and train to use the left and right equally. Are you training, learning, and developing so that your left is as useful as your right? If not, what is holding you back?