The process of innovation is disconcerting, uncomfortable, unstable, and always unsure. It requires a dedicated and focused attention. Even when the innovator is not looking directly at the issue, the idea is constantly being processed in the background of their thoughts. The mind is never at rest. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting.
The search for a job presents the same tension an inventor experiences in the process of creating; especially, if the job seeker is unemployed during their search. The extra pressure of finding something quickly, plus the tension of no income, coupled with the hope of finding a job that can be a fulfilling career adds a heightened tension similar to the innovator’s experience.
In the process of seeking a job, the person must create a narrative, research and find a connection with the potential employer, and make a presentation of self and experience that persuades the interviewer that they are the right person for the organization. A job seeker is creating an image and presentation that sells them self, their experiences, and a narrative that inspires the organization to act favorably.
The only way to relieve the tension is to find a job and the innovator will not rest until the idea is brought to fruition.
People actively seeking employment are literally and metaphorically putting themselves out there. The feelings of uncertainty, insecurity and failure are very real. The job seeker and the innovator are both creating something new, and they will always experience pressure from the establishment, uncertainty with failed attempts, and a lack of support or acceptance the further their idea goes beyond convention.
A student in one of my Art Appreciation classes pondered out loud, “Why do so many artists commit suicide?” I would expand the question to why are artists historically portrayed as living unhealthy lives, on the edge of sanity, with lives that end tragically? One answer is because they choose to live in a constant pursuit of creativity and innovation. And instead of being unemployed for a few months or a couple years, they spend their entire lives in the creative tension and uncertainty that accompanies innovation.