Dancing in the rain—kicking the job search blues

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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 certain topic. Please follow our tweets on Twitter #careercollective

This month we are discussing helping job seekers stay positive during the job search process.  I encourage you to visit the links below to read other members’ posts as well!     +++++

They say life’s not about making it through the storm, it’s about learning to dance in the rain. Well if you’ve ever been “between jobs,” or “unemployed” for the more realistic of us, this saying has probably inspired and/or discouraged you at some point. We’ve all heard the statistics—unemployment rates are flitting on the edge of 15%. That means that more than likely, either you or people you are close to are unemployed. Heck, you probably know several unemployed people at the moment.

For those of you who directly relate to this predicament, you’re all to familiar with the uninspired words of supposed comfort from your loved ones—“let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.” Meanwhile your inner voice is screaming “give your boss my resume!” or let me mow your lawn! depending on your current length of unemployment. But here’s the rub: you can sit there letting your inner voice make all the assertions, or you can take some proactive steps towards bringing some positive energy back into your life.

The first step to keeping afloat during your job search woes is to stay on top of your game. This means to remain in touch with your industry (or preferred industry, if you’re looking into switching careers). This will not only distract you from your lack of work, but will actually boost your self-confidence, expand your knowledge base, and possibly lead to job opportunities. If this technique doesn’t automatically lead to a traditional job opportunity, you can also take initiative and create an industry related project of your own. For example, if you’re in the marketing industry, take an example of a crisis situation a company in the field is facing at the moment and write up a proposal on how to solve this problem. If nothing else, it is a piece to add to your portfolio and might lead you to become more aware of technologies and resources out there that you haven’t looked into yet. You can also use this time to become an expert at a technology or system you didn’t know of before. Look at it this way—if your resume isn’t getting you a job as is, then add to it. There is no better way to distinguish yourself than to become an expert at something your competition is not proficient in.

Secondly, use this time to establish a good life habit that you can continue when you do land that dream (or just-for-now) job. Take up old hobbies or healthy habits such as exercising. Not only will the endorphins kick your blues, but a set schedule will allow you to set reachable goals which will help your self-esteem in a situation which would otherwise bring you down. But make sure your goals are logical for both the time-being and the future (read—when you have a 9 to 5), as you don’t want to set up any system which defines that you won’t have a job for a while. Always live as if you could have a job tomorrow, and this positive frame of mind will lead you to the manifestation of these thoughts, if by no other means than confidence alone.

Lastly, enjoy! Yes, it is horrible to be a part of the 15% statistic. And yes, you’re probably tired of hearing that you should enjoy these days, but people say it for a reason. When you’re sitting in that office looking forward to your next paycheck, don’t let yourself ruminate on the things you wish you would’ve done when you had more time. Visit family and old friends, even if you spend time job searching while visiting, any time spent is better than none. Go for a walk in the middle of the day and enjoy the sunshine those 9-to-5ers are envying right now. And if the sunshine turns to rain every once in a while, dance. You won’t regret it.

+++++++++++++++++++++++

Please visit the links below to read what other Career Collective members have to say about struggling with job search.

@MartinBuckland, Job Search Made Positive

@GayleHoward, Job Search: When It All Turns Sour

@chandlee, Strategy for Getting “Unstuck” and Feeling Better: Watch Lemonade

@heathermundell, Help for the Job Search Blues

@heatherhuhman, 10 Ways to Turn Your Job Search Frown Upside-Down

@KCCareerCoach, You Can Beat the Job Search Blues: 5 + 3 Tips to Get Re-energized

@WalterAkana, Light at the End of the Tunnel

@resumeservice, Don’t Sweat The Job Search

@careersherpa, Mind Over Matter: Moving Your Stalled Search Forward

@WorkWithIllness, Finding Opportunity in Quicksand

@KatCareerGal, Job-Hunting in a Weak Job Market: 5 Strategies for Staying Upbeat (and Improving Your Chances of Success)

@ErinKennedyCPRW, Dancing in the Rain–Kicking the Job Search Blues

@keppie_careers, What to do when you are discouraged with your job search

@DawnBugni, It’s the little things

@ValueIntoWords, Restoring Your Joy in Job Search

@LaurieBerenson, 3 Ways to Keep Your Glass Half Full

@JobHuntOrg, Just SO VERY Discouraged, http://www.job-hunt.org/job-search-news/2010/02/25/just-so-very-discouraged/

@expatcoachmegan, Dealing with Job Search Stress: Getting to the Source of the Problem

@BarbaraSafani, Making Job Search Fun (Yeah, That’s Right), http://www.careersolvers.com/blog/2010/02/24/making-job-search-fun-yeah-thats-right/

@GLHoffman, How to Overcome the Negativity of a Job Search, http://blogs.jobdig.com/wwds/2010/02/25/how-to-overcome-the-negativity-of-a-job-search/






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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.

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Comments

24 Responses to “Dancing in the rain—kicking the job search blues”
  1. I really enjoyed your article, I tweet!

  2. Gayle Howard says:

    Good post Erin. Never quitting, never losing hope, keeping your mood in check, and keeping fit stand people in good stead for the rigours and stressors of the job search!

  3. Erin:
    Sound and actionable suggestions with such a positive spin. Of course job search is one of the worse times of their lives, but if they think about the walk in the sunshine or the dance in the rain they are able to enjoy, it makes this period of time more bearable! Really great advice!

  4. Bejamin says:

    Finding jobs has become much harder due to the current inflation rate and recession. Anyways thanks to you for sharing the informative post with us!

  5. DC Jobs says:

    I’ve tried to explain the concept of trying to enjoy your current circumstances to others and most people look at me like I’m nuts when I do. I can understand why the concept seems so foreign, It is often difficult for me to implement in my own life.

    However, when I am able to apply this kind of thinking, that’s when I’m most happy. And no matter what our current situation there will always be things we don’t like about it, so there will always be some form of rain!

    If we can dance when things are really stormy, then we’ll always be able to dance.
    .-= DC Jobs´s last blog ..Avoiding Recruiter Red Flags =-.

  6. Job Searching is really a tedious task in this recession time. It require a great amount of Patience and positive attitude.

  7. Dancing in the rain! Love that image! Great post!

  8. congratulations for the photo, really beautiful! the contrast of light and shadow of the great emotional

  9. Thanks! I know. I loved the photo. Found it a while back and pretty much created a post around it. LOL

  10. This is a well written article especially for those who have just lost a job or (sadly) careers. It’s very important as you’ve said to take things one by one – reachable goals. Job searching is just a time consuming, tedious and requires a lot of focus. So long as you’re making progress, you should be fine.

    I think another great idea, although some may disagree are working staffing agencies. As far as time to get an interview goes, there’s no beating an agency. There are pros and cons of course but in this state of the economy, a job is income and any income at all will help.

  11. Julia Baker says:

    The joy of dancing in the rain does not fit with how I would be feeling emotionally if I were unexpectedly unemployed. The employment market has always been a tough situation, but none so more as in today”s climate. Being flexible and also safe guarding your financial position should you be unemployed is what is required in order to weather any storm. Now, some of you may say yeah sure, as majority of employed people continue to live week to week without any capability to save for that rainy day. Insurance is what is required unfortunately.

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