Sunday, January 17, 2010

Job Search Jitters

Looking for a job is stressful at the best of times and stress related to your job search needs to be managed. Everything in your life can be managed; and any stress related to job-search can be managed in the same manner as you would manage any other stresses in your life. As a ‘shoot straight from the hip’ kind of gal, I have decided to spare my readers the pain of embellishing the dozen do’s to help job-seekers address their job search jitters.

1. Admit that you are stressed and know that, “This too shall pass.”

2. Itemize all of your fears and organize them from most to least stressful; the greater the magnitude of impact they have on your daily life the higher the fear or stress should be on your itemized list. Do not be afraid of the number of items on the list. You can and will address each of those your deem critical and will soon come to the conclusion that you can strike a good many off the list entirely.

3. Make a plan to address each fear on your list

4. Make a plan to address each fear, including worst-case scenarios, and figure out a systematic process to address each. It is also critical that you take the time to make a detailed budget of your household expenses.. Itemize the money you have as well as can access should the need. Knowledge is power and power is what you need to get yourself through this short-lived but emotionally and spiritually trying time.

5. Pace yourself. All goals, even the goals for addressing fears need to be realistic. Those well versed in the area of time management use the acronym SMART [Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Time-bound.] Know that if your set lofty goals for yourself, that one of two things will happen:

  1. You will be successful and become invigorated - Yeah for you!
  2. You will be unsuccessful and likely become depressed - It will become even tougher for you to get up in the morning and face the day’s challenges

6. Train your mindset to focus on ‘successes, rather than ‘failures’. Use the STAR method to help you focus:
  •  Situation: Remember a recent challenge and situation in which you found yourself.
  •  Task: What was the objective? What SMART plan did you create in order to resolve the challenge/situation?
  •  Action: What did you do? Were there alternatives to the method of choosing how to resolve the issue? What were the alternatives? What was your rational for choosing to address the challenge/situation?
  •  Results: What was the outcome of your actions? What did you achieve through your actions? Did you meet your objectives? What did you learn from this experience? Have you used this learning since?

7. Get a mentor real, virtual or inspirational books
  • a. Ask supportive and knowledgeable people for their ideas
  • b. Develop an emotional support system
  • c. Meet regularly with people who find themselves in the same situation

8. Get professional help to re-work your résumé, help you with honing your interview skills, etc. …

9. Once you have secured an interview, prepare good questions for the interviewer. Take the time to write down at least 50 ways that you are capable of being a benefit to your next employer. If you are truly spunky, find a reason give the list to the interviewer at some point during the interview process

10. Start saying, “YES” to all invitations. Have your ‘elevator pitch’ at the ready for any opportunity that may present itself. Don’t forget that the most effective ‘elevator pitches’ are the ones that are bursting with ‘KISSES’ [Keep it Short, Sweet, Easy to understand and Suggesting of some sort of follow-up].

11. Know that the word “no” doesn’t necessarily mean ‘never’; it just means ‘not now’.

12. Get your profile on all of the social network sites - Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

In closing, I would just like to remind you that simply because of your unique life’s experiences, you have skills, ideas and feelings that are valuable and can contribute to the betterment of any organization in a most profound manner. You just have to train yourself to believe it and your forthcoming opportunities will become more apparent.