Sunday, October 16, 2011

Job Seekers: Turn Your Setbacks Into Progress

Unemployment is unpleasant.  Given that no one can be productive unless they are highly engaged, it follows that job seekers will need to find creative ways to engage themselves in the task of finding suitable employment and, when necessary, find creative ways to re-engage themselves when their enthusiasm wanes.  

Progress can be great or small, glorious or common.  Progress can appear to travel forward when it is moving backwards, or sideways, but, regardless of its direction, it is always dynamic.

Tip #1:  All job seekers have setbacks.  The ‘trick’ if there is one, is for them to convince themselves that these setbacks should be viewed as challenges and not failures.

Tip #2:  When it comes to an active job search, be open to learning and changing directions based upon that learning.   The job market is complex and creativity will lead the job seeker to success. 

Tip # 3:  Success is defined differently by all those who seek it.   Success, therefore, cannot, and should not, be specified in advance.  Both success seekers, and by extension job seekers, need the freedom to look for, and be open to, alternative ways of framing the problem in order to be victorious in their quest. 

Tip# 4:  Job seekers need to grant themselves the opportunity to change perspectives.  Challenges are opportunities in disguise, differences are gifts, and mistakes are chances to learn.

Tip #5:  Job seekers should focus on ‘small, achievable wins’.  Job seekers who can focus on their small wins are less likely to feel the sting of their setbacks as profoundly.

Tip #6:  Job seekers need to protect at least 30 minutes per day to do something fun and is totally unrelated to their job search.  This head-clearing opportunity will give the job seeker the opportunity to return to the task of identifying ways to find suitable employment more refreshed. 

Tip #7:  Job seekers should take the time to make note of any and all progress made, even if it was a small win.  The progress, and the mini-celebration of simply noting it, can lift the spirits of the job seeker.

Tip #8:  Job seekers should review their job search activities on a daily basis.  They need to identify what is working in terms of making contacts, securing interviews, etc. and reallocate the time spent on those activities that are the most effective.

Tip # 9: Good habits breed confidence.  Job seekers need be consistent in their job search efforts, develop a system to monitor their activities and reward their success. 

Tip #10:  Job seekers need to be diligent.  Searching for a new job is a full-time job and should be treated as such until the job seeker finds an opportunity that will give them a paycheque.  Job seekers need to spend at least 37.5 hours per week on activities that are directly related to their job search.  These activities include doing research on prospective employers, honing interview skills, attending networking opportunities, upgrading their skill set, following up on leads, etc.

Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career

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