What Can a Tarot Card Possibly Have to Do with Your Job Search?


It’s the day of the big job interview. You’ve come to the neighbourhood early to make sure you aren’t late, and you’ve got a full hour to spare. You’re looking for a coffee shop, someplace to sit down and look over your notes, when you spot a red neon sign in a narrow shop front. Tarot Readings.


Why not, you think, it can’t hurt. So you step inside and greet the mysterious proprietor, who guesses right away that you’re in the midst of a job search. Amazed, you agree to a reading with special focus on your current job search. The proprietor shuffles his or her deck of Tarot cards, a five hundred year-old European system of divination, and lays the first card flat on the table.


It’s the death card.


Uh-oh. This is going to be a terrible job interview. You’ll fumble through your responses, unable to project confidence. The whole awkward exchange will end with a terse “we’ll be in touch.” Even worse, the card is saying that you’ll never find the right job. Essentially, your career is over.


This initial reaction is understandable—but actually, as the mysterious proprietor will explain, the death card isn’t so bad!


What it really means—at least in the context of this quirky shop—is the end of something old and the beginning of something new. A tough transition, maybe. Uncomfortable in some ways, yes. But ultimately, the death card is one of the most fruitful in the deck. Its message and symbolism have quite a bit to do with the modern day job search.

It reminds you, in particular, that your job search is not about just filling a gap, “finding something,” or settling on a job you aren’t passionate about. It’s about making a real transition, something that has an impact on your career trajectory. This is an opportunity to take stock of what you really want in a role, to think about what kind of company would really gel with your personality, motivations, and skill sets. Business as usual won’t cut it here.


So, if your next interview is with a company that doesn’t really excite you, then yes—it could make for an uncomfortable interview. It will be difficult to feign a sense of real excitement and possibility, and you’ll have no reason to be surprised when the offer doesn’t come through. After all, companies are in the same boat as you. They’re not looking for filler—people who just need to “find something” because they’ve been outplaced, or are tired of their old office. What companies really want is a superb investment, someone whose skills and motivations align strongly with those of the role in particular and the company in general. When such a person sits down for an interview, something just clicks.


The good news is, when a company or role is mediocre to you, not being offered the job is arguably a stroke of good luck. It compels you to refine your search process and focus on creating a real career transition, one that is both positive and meaningful, one that constitutes a major step forward. When you sense this in a given job opportunity, and you bring your excitement to the application/interview process, the company is more likely to look at you and sense what they’re looking for as well: Namely, a candidate whose work ethic, personality, and career goals form a good fit with company culture.


Our fictional visit to the Tarot reader reveals one final point: The modern day job search may look a bit scary at first but with the right mindset, it truly is a golden opportunity for change!


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