Have you reached your limit in your job search? Have you just been laid off and the specter of long-term joblessness looms large and threatening? Are flocks of loud & crazy fears, what I call the “Screaming Mee-Mees,” right by your ear? You definitely are in need of some good tools and useful perspectives.
The job search in America is certainly one of the most traumatic events in any professional’s life. Our free market does provides great opportunity and delivers many rewards, but it can also be brutal and very painful to anyone who falls between the gears into unemployment for any period of time. All of a sudden, your happy, organized and full life tumbles off a cliff into what seems to be a professional free-fall.
So now the seconds, minutes and hours keep ticking away from the initial detonation of making an unplanned job transition and time moves forward. You may feel like it, you’re not destroyed, but you do have to ask – Now what? What do I do next? Can life go on? Will I ever get another job so I can keep paying my bills?
However you landed in the job transition, you will eventually see the way out of your dilemma. It may seem counter-intuitive, but the reality is that, despite of your current feelings, you still are that same executive, manager or professional who has been positive and productive in your past jobs – and will continue to be so in the future. That is, once you get through this transition.
This may very hard to keep straight in your mind because you can get stuck in a “blame-game loop.” As with any human relationship that fails in some way, e.g. marriage, friendship, family, there is no single culprit – it’s a mix of things both within and outside your control. Life shows us that pretty much everyone fails at something sometimes, but the more important thing is in what do you do next.
I’ve got a few simple suggestions that may help you wrap your mind better around your situation. When I work with clients, I always ask them if they’ve taken some time to slow down and get a grip after they’ve gotten the bad news – not quite a vacation in the Caribbean, but a bit of time to “unstring the bow.” When trauma occurs to the body, there has to be some time off to heal; so when trauma happens to the soul, the same thing has to happen. 1. Take a week off to clear your mind and relax with family and friends. Most people do not have to start a job search the same day, even if the immediate impulse is to do so.
Unfortunately, since vacations are temporary, you know you still need to get back to full-time employment. Your new “job” for the duration of the transition is the “Job Search Campaign.” 2. It is time to get serious and focus on pulling your resources together in an organized way and constructing a complete program that will keep you on target. In another blog posting, I outlined the “Five Components of a Successful Job Search” – please review it. It identifies the key components and guide you in pulling the threads together, which in turn will give you progress and traction. If you have any questions, let me know.
Next, of course, is to make sure your resume packages you properly. Even if your job search has the body of a Porsche or Ferrari, it’s going nowhere if it has a lawnmower engine. 3. Double-check your resume with a professional resume writer, not just your family, friends and co-workers. Everyone can have an opinion, but not all opinions are equal. Naturally, this is where I can be of direct help. Send over what you have and I’ll review it for free.
Also very important, 4. You have to be positive and expectant, but not in an unthinking, random or willy-nilly way. Rather, as a confident adult, realize that you’ve always worked to be productive at your jobs so far and will continue to do so. Keep your new career goal in sight, be persistent against any negative circumstances and make sure you work the job search process as hard as you can. The odds are always in favor of the person with focus, stamina and persistence – the question is not if, but when.