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Career Focus

FOGO: A New Definition for Job Search

By LISA TRUDEL - April 19 2021

Last year when COVID started, I heard someone use the expression “FOGO”. I thought it was about Fogo Island in Newfoundland where the famous Fogo Island Inn is located. I soon discovered it meant “Fear of Going Outside”.
In our new world of facemasks, lockdowns and physical distancing, job searching has changed too. Networking is not as easy and we can all have fears after being at home in our isolated bubble. It is time to claim a new definition for the expression FOGO. Try “Focus on Gaining Optimism”.
Take a few minutes to explore what you have accomplished since March of 2020 when COVID changed all of our lives. For example, maybe you are now a Zoom expert or you completed an online course. Both of these show an optimistic attitude.

If you are in another slump and need a new dose of motivation, consider watching the video “Who Moved My Cheese?” Based on the bestselling book written in 1999 by Spencer Johnson, it is a motivational business fable is short, animated and entertaining. Despite the fact that it was written more than 20 years ago, the message is still very relevant.

You can watch the original video on YouTube or an updated version by OnePercentBetter created in 2016.

No matter what year it is, the lesson that this fable explores is that we need to “be ready to change quickly”. Change has always been part of the workplace and knowing your capacity to adapt and respond to uncertainty is part of job search and career planning.

Try watching this video to seize hold of your optimism again. The story can still inspire you to improve resiliency and adjust to different workplace roles by from a long-standing example.

If you want to learn from a longer story, try watching 2012 movie “Life of Pi”. When Pi is in his lifeboat, he pushes forward. He has embraced the FOGO expression of focussing on gaining optimism.

To learn more about how to put optimism back into your job search, contact your local Employment Ontario Career Centre and find out if you meet the criteria to use their free career services.

Lisa Trudel, Career Specialist with Achev (formerly the Centre for Education and Training), wrote this article. You can contact Lisa at

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