Persephone has taught me a lot of things. One of those lessons is simply to be positive about life in general. In Persephone's eternal story, she is plucked from the sunshine and brought to the underworld where she does, indeed, learn to make the best of it. She even embraces it in her role as Queen of the Dead. Yet, each year she returns above ground to the promise of spring. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the birds are singing. Year after year, the cycle is the same.
In my line of work, I see a lot of depressed people. People without jobs and people who haven't been able to find employment for a while now. The market is extremely tough. I am often surprised by how many people seem to put their head in the sand on this issues. That 10% or more unemployment means that the market isn't job seeker-friendly. They don't understand that they need to possess the exact skills for the job because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of people competing for that same job. And most of all, they don't seem to understand that expressing their desperation will not help them get a job. I know it is hard. I know money is tight. I know a lot of people are about to lose their homes, but that doesn't mean the right approach is to walk into an interview and say to the employer, "I need this job because I am about to lose my home." What an employer wants is someone to walk in and say, "I want this job because I can be a good employee and I will do the best job for you."
It is easy for staffing industry recruiters to get burned out in this industry. The constant demands of our clients and the constant drama of some employees or applicants can drive a person to want to crawl under a rock. I can't create a job for you and I can't make the client select you, so sometimes I am on the receiving end of the misdirected frustration.
It must be the spring, though. The dawning of new life and the return of Persephone that makes me realize that the positive attitude can make all the difference in the world. If I were of a different religious persuasion I might encourage others to embrace this feeling for themselves, "Have you heard the word of the Goddess today? Persephone who was drawn into the underworld for your comfort and the comfort of all and who returns each spring to bring new life to the world?" I won't be doing that any time soon, but it doesn't mean I don't feel it - feel her presence and power each day as the year waxes toward summertime. Oddly enough, it is a quote from the Christian Mystic Julian of Norwich that really sums up this feeling for me:
"All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well."
photo by me