Dancing in the rain—kicking the job search blues
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
@heathermundell, Help for the Job Search Blues
@heatherhuhman, 10 Ways to Turn Your Job Search Frown Upside-Down
@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
@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/
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.