The, I heard this week from a candidate who got laid off… Three months ago. He lamented that for the past six months is job, he was able to “see it coming” but for some reason thought he could dodge the inevitable. Upon asking him how his interviewing was going, he said that he really only had three or four and they had gone that well. He said that he was probably spending too much time talking about his previous job and how he had seen the writing on the wall. He did spend an inordinate amount of time talking about what he “should have seen coming.”

A case could be made that one of the reasons, if not more, that he should have not been hired was that he wasn’t smart enough to see the layoff coming. I mean, he kept talking about how stupid he was not to see it coming. After all, if he’s Not that bright maybe he isn’t a very good businessperson. Well, I’m being cynical and that’s not fair. He actually is a very bright guy, with a very good track record. I advised him, however that although he may that shipments coming he only needed to do it once in an interview and then go on and sell himself, trying to get the job.

The truth is that most of us can be in a company for lots of reasons is laying off and letting people go for some reason we have this invincible attitude that, “it won’t happen to me.” It is wishful thinking so we stick our heads in the sand and then become totally shocked when our number comes up and lament, “I should’ve seen it coming.”

Looking for a job as a first-class pain in the butt, especially when you have one. No one likes to look for a job, if you have a job, it’s like having a second one. It is dreadful. It is so dreadful, folks just simply deny what they see. The psychological term is called “inattentional blindness.” (Google the video.) The medical term is ‘scotoma.” In situations like this, folks just plain don’t want to admit or “see” that they need to change jobs before the layoff catches up to them.What makes things even worse is that not only do they miss the coming exit but feel doubly stupid for getting caught with their pants down. No one likes getting laid off, but you really feel dumb when you could, “see it coming all along” and do nothing about it when you first got the inkling.

So here’s the lesson: Start looking for a job  before you desperately need one, before you get laid off, before you find yourself saying, “I could see it coming…but I just can’t believe it”