Folks are tired. They find themselves in an extended job search either voluntarily or more likely involuntarily. And as my career colleague, Ann Boyer, CCMC says “They’ve done everything right.” Many of these highly qualified job seekers have researched the best industries and job titles for their interests & skills; they are networking continuously and are connected through social media. They have updated their resumes, bios and cover letters and are applying for positions that are either being advertised or more importantly in that “hidden job market”. They have stayed positive and optimistic because they know their attitude influences every aspect of their job search. But now these “experienced” job seekers are tired and increasingly discouraged.
3 Things to Remember
First, remember that people are getting hired even here in Northern Nevada which has been hit very hard by the economical downturn and foreclosure crisis. Career professionals tell me that there seems to be a steady uptake in job offers across a variety of industries. Second, we need to also remember that there is work out there – lots of problems to solve – but the “jobs” may look different, sound different and the “how” these jobs are done may be quite different than what we are used to. So yes, people are getting work. Third, remember that persistence and patience does pay off particularly if you are willing to consider a different field, a relocation or creating several streams of income for yourself.
Pushing Past the Fatigue
Take a piece of paper and draw out the five Olympic Circles. You will remember that there are five intersecting circles – three on the top and two on the bottom. Next, take a moment to think of the five areas (or more) of your current life that you value spending your time and energy. Often these are areas that in the past you regretted not having the time to spend simply because you were working full-time.
Areas like your own health (exercise, eating well etc.); learning by taking a class; picking up a new hobby or volunteer commitment; having more time with your children; mini-vacations with old friends or maybe more quality involvement with your elderly parents. Pick what’s important to you in this chapter of your life. Now label each circle with one of those areas. If you want to add circles, combine priorities etc. that’s fine.
Now you can have some concrete successes in areas other than the job search. Identify priority short term goals/benchmarks in each of these areas. Be concrete – is there a weight goal? a sports fitness goal? a passion you want to nurture? Do you want to be more available to your parents, your own kids or your friends? Keep the short-term benchmarks easy to remember and to track.
Pats on the Back for Short-Term Successes
Now identify when you will know that you have hit those benchmarks – when you’ve made your first short-term goal on exercising; learning; volunteering or extra time with your own kids and parents. And give yourself a solid pat on the back for meeting each goal. It’s great to feel productive, appreciated and successful in these additional areas of your life. So even if the job search piece is taking a bit longer than you expected you are getting a wonderful boost of self-confidence from these other equally important areas of your life.