Say that you’re trying to get work as, I don’t know, an elephant. Because, while it wouldn’t be your dream job or anything – maybe you’d really like to be a tiger – you’ve actually been working as a vole for the past however many years, and elephant would be a big step up for you, and you think you’d be a really good elephant, because every time you’ve done it for free, everyone’s been really happy with you, but it’s impossible to get work as an elephant if you don’t have over 5 years of professional experience as an elephant, and it’s really frustrating and makes you feel like a total idiot.
So then, you meet someone and/or read some article by someone who’s like, “Oh, I’m an elephant. It’s so embarrassing to admit, because everyone’s like, ‘Oh, you’re an elephant? Wow. That’s lame.’ I try not to tell anyone I’m an elephant. I never wanted to be an elephant at all, but it’s just what I fell into while trying to be a tiger, and any stupid fool can be an elephant, it’s just the easiest crap job.”
And so then you’re like, “Yeah, being an elephant sure is humiliating. I’M A DAMN VOLE*!”
This advice holds true for all the time, but particularly in this recession: Don’t speak disparagingly of what you have, because your fall-back job is someone else’s ten year end goal.
*At which point, you offend a nearby flea who is trying really hard to break into being a vole.