Imagine coming to the proverbial fork in the road. If you go one way, you continue to struggle, facing one hurdle after another. If you go the other way, the struggle subsides. There's still work to do and in the process there are good days and bad, but the endless grind of fighting it fades. Energy that would otherwise go to the struggle is now used to get on with the actual search.
What happens when job seekers, especially those with background snags, awaken to the fact that they are Free Agents selling their services in the Marketplace? The struggle subsides, replaced by a degree of clarity which allows one to actually see the route forward. Not being awake on the other hand ensures a reactive approach. The seeker continues as a participant in the Marketplace but does so without knowing the rules. Put another way, they're clueless but don't know it.
But what's new? People can and do perform in this "fast asleep" mode all the time. Just take an honest look around. But it doesn't last. Eventually something happens. It could be a big something, such as a personal implosion or something less dramatic, like a series of never ending sideswipes and scrapes, slowly bringing their bus to a stop.
Of course being awake doesn't eliminate life-bumps and sideswipes; after all, people are people. Yet when one is aware in this way there's understanding (mindfulness) concerning what is actually happening. When awake and aware, motivation originates from within and not from without (the catalyst for reaction). A positive by-product of this is acceptance. Being able to accept things as they really are is the great diffuser of harmful negativity that so easily builds up as part of the not getting it cycle.
For those that know and live by it, the Serenity Prayer instructs, "accept the things I cannot change ...". Yes and to that I add "for now". Accept until you can appropriately and effectively do something about it verses loading up to the point of a destructive blow up or melt down.
For example, take rejection. All job seekers experience rejection from time to time. Background-challenged seekers experience it continually. Rejection can come about overtly in the form of out-and-out rudeness or obliquely simply by being ignored. Regardless, if the seeker is unaware, asleep, and clueless, the situation is easily (and usually) taken personally. To them, the "Me" in me, has received a blow. It's been nicked and bruised. To the frustrated seeker, it's one put down after another. The pressure builds. Before they know it, they're once again at the fork in the road.
Now which way?
The left fork, leading to a Pity Party, Poor Me, and a Whine Buddy session? If so, struggle, angst, and agitation are sure to remain. Carried forward, the seeker paints himself into a corner, taking anything in order to put a stop to the pain (or so he thinks).
Selecting the right fork however, leads to acceptance, adjustment, and re-engagement. Heading down this path doesn't mean rejection is overlooked or downplayed, hardly. Instead rejection is taken seriously and is analyzed - but then quickly digested. Something is learned and this leads to a re-calibration followed by re-entry back into the game.
Look, I realize approaching job search from this perspective may seem a bit much. After all, the job seeker is being pushed, judged, and kept on edge throughout. It's inherently a supercharged situation and the last thing most want is to get cerebral about it. But I believe this makes the point. When one is unaware and sound asleep, it's impossible to take control of the search. Each blow and nick helps sink them deeper into unconsciousness, with one reactive move leading to another.
For the background-challenged person, there's a far more effective and satisfying way to go about searching for a job. A way aimed at achieving short term objectives while keeping longer term goals in mind. However, this approach requires awakening, something many people are not yet ready to do.