By Lisa Parker

Friends and family are often dumbfounded I don’t have band-aids in my house. With a 5 and 7 year old, you’d think I’d have a healthy supply. It’s not that my kids are aces at self-preservation. They scrape their knees and cut fingers like the best of them. They just don’t get a band-aid when it happens. We treat the wound, allow time for nature to do her thing and then move on.

So what’s my issue with band-aids? I hate the obsession some kids develop over band-aids. I’ve seen it many times. Well, it’s not just band-aid obsession. It morphs into wound obsession. “See this band-aid? This is the papercut I got while working on my crafts. And this band-aid is from falling down on the driveway. This one here is where Tommy whacked me with his truck. The one on my shoulder is from a bug biting me.” They are an adhesive patchwork quilt of misfortune.

Early on I made a promise to myself to do what I could to steer my kids away from focusing on the injuries and hurts in life.  I wanted them to acknowledge their pain, but move on to more positive experiences. I wanted to minimize reminders of what didn’t go so well. As a result, my kids are much more likely to reminisce about the leaps they took than the falls they experienced. They have yet to consider taking inventory of bruises, bumps and scrapes. We do count freckles. That’s just fun though.

I have to be honest and say some job seekers I meet are sporting too many band-aids. They’ve surrounded themselves with constant mental and physical reminders of frustrations and upsets. With a long list of professional and personal wounds, they are quick to make those wounds the focus of conversations with people. Rehashing all that hasn’t gone well, all of the times they’ve fallen or been pushed to the ground, is the order of the day. “This person was unfair…this person didn’t give me a chance…this person was rude…this person never called me back…this person didn’t like me.” What is this rehashing doing for them? Nothing. To an extent it might garner some sympathy, but it’s more often the person is viewed as a liability to be around. When someone appears to be easily hurt and slow to heal, who wants to risk being the next person to injure them? Not me. Not an employer. Not a networking contact.


Lisa joined the Michigan State University Alumni Association as Director of Alumni Career & Business Services on May 1, 2012. Her primary focus is to develop effective networking and resource channels for experienced alumni interested in professional development and job search strategy assistance. Additionally, Lisa works directly with corporate, education, foundation and government partners seeking to attract qualified talent, retain and develop good employees, and establish collaborative relationships in line with their established goals and objectives.

With 15+ years’ experience in third party recruiting, Lisa offers a balanced understanding of both employee and employer perspectives.

Lisa is a firm advocate of the networking process and considers it a vital element in a successful job search. In addition to helping job seekers develop and best utilize networking contacts, Lisa shares her knowledge and insight-gained aiding corporate recruiting efforts-to give Spartan job seekers an edge in terms of lead sourcing, resume presentation and interview strategy.

Among Lisa’s notable accomplishments: Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar; Michigan Works Association Volunteer of the Year; Pink Slip Mid Michigan Planning Committee; career content blogger.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Michigan State University.


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