Laurie Swanson Blog

How Changing Your Prepositions Can Help Your Job Search

I was out to lunch with a friend recently who wanted my advice on her job search.

She went on to tell me about her current position that she really did not like but would not have to leave if only:

  • Her boss was more supportive.
  • Her teammates were less cliquish.
  • The drive was more convenient.

Then we moved on to the job she was hoping to obtain…if only:

  • The resume writer she paid good money to had created a more compelling resume.
  • People were not so stuck on her degree not being in the same field she wanted to join.
  • Illinois was in better shape financially.


That’s when it dawned on me.

She was wearing the Cloak of Victimhood.

Things were not going her way and none of it had anything to do with her.

I decided it was time to put on the Career Coaching hat and challenge her to change up her prepositions.Instead of believing that all this stuff was happening TO her she could consider how it might be happening FOR her.

  • Her boss is not being unsupportive TO her but FOR her. Challenging her to be a stronger problem solver versus turning to her boss for the answers right away.
  • Her team was not being cliquish TO her but was there FOR her. They were part of the catalyst to get her to a job she loved.
  • Her drive was inconvenient because she should be driving somewhere else!
  • Her resume was not attracting interviews because she was not in the right frame of mind to go on interviews.
  • Her major was not the issue just the scapegoat.
  • Illinois may not be in great shape financially but, like the US, has seen some of it’s lowest unemployment rates since the Great Recession in 2007/2008.
Cloaks can keep us stuck
It is not easy to remove the Cloak of Victimhood. If you remain there you can avoid doing some practical work that might actually be what will lead you to a career you love.

It takes courage to drop the cloak and live from the perspective that every thing in life is happening FOR you.

Change your prepositions

Step 1: Start by noticing when you have on the Cloak of Victimhood

Step 2: Write down the victim thought

                EX: I am too old. They will never hire me. (My age is happening TO me)

                EX: My drive stinks. (My drive to work is happening TO me)

Step 3: Turn the victim thought around

                EX: My experience brings a beneficial perspective. Let me tell you how. (My age is happening FOR me)

                EX: I am looking forward to working from home 2 days a week. I will negotiate this during my next review or at my next offer.  (My long drive is a catalyst FOR me to ask for what I want)

Step 4: Take off the Cloak of Victimhood and toss it in the garbage. Once and for all!

Are you ready to change up your prepositions? You have the power to create what you want your career to be like. I can help. Email me at or call me at 630/260-7821.

Share this Post: