Advice to Job Seekers in 2010-learn Yoga?

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I am a member of the Career Collective, a group of  resume writers and career coaches. Each month, all members discuss a topic. Please follow our tweets on Twitter #careercollective

This month we are discussing helping job seekers navigate the new year.  I encourage you to visit the links below to read other members’ posts as well!     +++++

There’s been a lot of talk the past few years about jobs, the economy, and how bad things have been if you’re unfortunate enough to live on planet earth right now. For those with jobs, wages are depressed and security is low. For those without jobs, new ones are hard to find. It’s as though they’ve all been filtered out and what’s left is plain and boring, like a gold prospector whose sieve leaves the sand and sifts out the gold.

But there are always ways to be better at what you’re doing, even if what you’re doing means being unemployed. Here are a few solid suggestions for those in between incomes, and out of luck:

I once was told that “It’s better to have a dependable income than be fascinating.” I disagree.

The truth is, being fascinating is as dependable as income. Often people hire those they admire and engage well with, or just those they like to talk to. A friend of mine, for example, was in a tough spot: he quit the advertising business at the top level—chief executive—and now wanted to get back in, but he was overqualified for every job he applied for. What did he decide to do? Practice yoga. He began going to a Bikram Yoga center four times a week. In the locker room before the session, he would talk to the other people there, and eventually befriended many of them. One he liked so much, he invited him to lunch. This person, it turns out, was the head of a multi-million dollar company.

As they talked my friend found that this person really needed a lot of advice on how to run the company better; so my friend gave it to him, and pretty soon this person hired my friend in a senior position as Lead Strategic Officer of the company!

All this because my friend was (as all good friends should be) friendly, outgoing, and open to trying a new discipline—in this case, Yoga. Often, when people have worked in the same field for many years, their social networks become ossified. They know the same kinds of people in the same kinds of fields for years on end. Within this framework, losing a job can seem like a real nightmare, because everywhere you look, there are no new opportunities or people to ask about jobs. You already know everyone, and what they’re doing. This is why taking a new hobby—yoga, which happens to be a pretty social hobby, to boot—was such a good idea: he branched out of his social network and formed new ones. In these new networks he was a dynamic personality, a new voice, and he could see other people’s situations as an outsider. Thus he was able not only to find opportunities he never would have heard about within the staid network of his old employment,  but he was also having a great time in a new adventure.

An underlying reason this worked for him is because many of his friends worked in the same field. If his own company couldn’t rehire him, chances are it’s because the entire field is suffering. And because everyone he knows was in the same field, none of them would be of much help in finding a new job. This is another reason why it was so wise to branch out, to look elsewhere, and to change careers. If one industry is sagging, another may not be.

When looking for a new job this year, the best thing you can do for yourself may be to look in an industry you’ve never thought of before by taking on a new hobby with an unlikely cast of strangers. Every one of these people share an interest you have (in my friend’s case, it was yoga) and one of them may be a door through which you can step to a new career.

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Career Collective Member’s Posts:

@KCCareerCoach, Career Chaos, “The Art of Being Gracious: Much Needed in Today’s Job Search,”

@MartinBuckland, Elite Resumes,  Career Trends and Transition 2010

@heathermundell, life@work, Kaizen and the Art of Your Job Search

@barbarasafani, Career Solvers, Looking Into the 2010 Careers Crystal Ball

@resumeservice, Resume Writing Blog, The Resume and Your Social Media Job Search Campaign

@kat_hansen,  Quintessential Resumes and Cover Letters Tips Blog, New Year: Time to Assess Yourself and Your Career

@keppie_careers, Keppie Careers, Help for job seekers in a rut

@heatherhuhman, HeatherHuhman.com, Job seekers: 5 tips for making the most of 20

@DawnBugni, The Write Solution, Ya, but

@ErinKennedyCPRW, Professional Resume Services, Advice to Job Seekers in 2010–learn Yoga?

@Chandlee, The Emerging Professional Blog,
Starfish, JobAngels, and Making a Difference

@ValueIntoWords, Career Trend, Is Your Job Search Strategy a Snore?

@debrawheatman, Resumes Done Write, Making the most of a new year

@walterakana, Threshold Consulting, Starting anew – tips for truly managing your career

@careersherpa, Hannah Morgan: Career Sherpa, The Year of the Tiger

@WorkWithIllness, WorkingWithIllness.com, Dogs Can Do It, Can You?

@JobHuntOrg, Job-Hunt.org, Lifelong Learning for Career Security

@AndyInNaples, Career Success, What Are You Getting Better At? Make This the Year You Become the Best You Can Be!






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Written by Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW - Visit the website to hire executive resume writer Erin Kennedy, CERW, CPRW

Erin is an internationally renowned certified resume writer specializing in professional and executive level resumes and career services.

Comments

27 Responses to “Advice to Job Seekers in 2010-learn Yoga?”
  1. Great advice, Erin! Never thought of my network as being “ossified” but I can certainly see how it could become that way. Twitter and joining professional organizations has enlarged my network, which I have taken for granted. I’ll pay more attention now. It’s as important for an entrepreneur as for a job seeker – and maybe both roles are merging?

    Regards,
    Susan

  2. Tom Donovan says:

    I agree completely. People love happy, outgoing and polite people. We feed off of each other so if you have a lot of cheer in your step so will everyone else around you. Your mood is contagious.

  3. Great post! If you are looking for a new situation, put yourself in the way of new people. And to do it authentically – I just can’t think of better advice for the job seeker. Or for any of us!

    Heather
    .-= Heather Mundell´s last blog ..Kaizen and the Art of Your Job Search =-.

  4. Erin,
    This post is a true ‘home run!’ I couldn’t agree more about extending relationships beyond the ‘old.’ Heather Mundell makes a good point about your friend in this example doing this ‘authentically’ through an activity that he truly was interested in: his personality shined and his relationships grew.

    Likewise, I learned in my late 30s and early 40s the value of trying new things, and that you’re never too old to ‘switch things up’: my inspiration was marriage loss (akin to job loss in some ways, because my personal identity was truly shaken). I joined a church, I joined sub-groups within the church, I reached out to single ladies and kindled friendships,I took a voyage into online dating, I learned to sail and met an entirely new group of dozens of friends who are now part of my week to week network.

    Wow, your post really has me ‘thinking!’ Didn’t mean to make this comment all about ‘me,’ but I really relate to it, and I hope job seekers do, too! By stepping outside their current network box, they can really delight in the opportunities yet untapped!

    Nicely and creatively written, Erin!

  5. GL HOFFMAN says:

    Good advice, Erin. So true so true. Going after the non-market is an important step for companies—think WII in nursing homes AND job seekers, especially all those who seek their “passion.”
    Frankly, often one does not know enough about certain jobs to determine if you can be passionate about it or not. In my mind, even a bad job done well is an important step in finding a fulfilling career. I think James Michener said it first, when he said everything you do before 40 is just practice.
    If he didn’t say it, can I get credit for it?

  6. Stepping outside a bit – doing something different. Excellent advice. I think that engaging in social networking is another way to “de ossify” (our networks. Extending beyond what is typical or comfortable is wonderful advice. I like to tell clients, “talk to someone who can NOT help you.” You never know!

  7. Wonderful ideas! It is so important to try new things and remain positive. Exploring things outside of what is traditional can really serve as inspiration!

  8. haha. this is a hilarious post, but I TOTALLY agree! yoga makes you stronger and more capable physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc. It definitely gives you the right mind set to make it through rough times and even the right mind set to excel during rough times. DO YOGA!

  9. Gayle Howard says:

    I loved this article Erin. Once upon a time people may have said that the logo client was “at the right place at the right time”. But luck clearly had nothing to do with him identifying the confines of his existing networks, expanding into new areas, and having the business smarts and intelligence to befriend the right type of person–an influencer who could help. That’s not luck, or being in the right place at the right time. That’s skill! Fantastic article.

  10. Gayle Howard says:

    Re: my previous comment, I typed “LOGO” instead of “Yoga”. Fingers got away from me on the keyboard!

  11. book stands says:

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  12. Winifred says:

    I think that practicing yoga will help not only finding your followers among potential employers but also to relax while you are searching a job.
    .-= Winifred ´s last blog ..The Ultimate Investment Portfolio Hedging Strategy =-.

  13. Great perspective Erin! I always believe that networking with individuals who are in different professions expand our horizons and thinking. Yoga can sure help one find new acquaintances too 😉

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