Sunday, November 18, 2012

Searching for a New Job Is a Lot like Swimming

There is no doubt around the fact that unemployment is not fun.  Looking for a job is not part of any education system’s standard curriculum.  I liken unemployment to learning or re-learning how to swim. 

  1. Let go of the fear.  Trust that you will not drown.  While drowning does occur, it can be prevented by following a few simple safety measures:
    1. Never swim “conduct your job search” alone
    2. Don’t be afraid to get help/take lessons from a pro
    3. Always be aware of your surroundings – tides, depth of the pool, etc.
    4. Keep moving
  2. Don’t panic
  3. Know that everyone will  relax and just float around for a while when they find that they are disoriented or feel like they are ‘in over their head’
  4. It is always okay to tread water when you are tired
  5. Practice breathing at a steady pace
  6. Rest when you need to rest
  7. Vary the types of strokes you use to get you from where you are to where you want to be – Varying the types of strokes you have in your repertoire will make you stronger
  8. Stay focused  - Wear goggles to help you focus if you have the need to do so
  9. Use a variety of techniques to help you propel yourself forward
  10. Heed the ‘Dangerous’  and ‘Caution – Lifeguard not on duty’ warnings signs posted by others
  11. Learn to swim widths before you try swimming lengths - Successful job searches are marathons, not sprints
  12. Try diving into the deep end once you get the basics
  13. The sport can be very competitive

At the end of the day, either you will learn how to swim or you will drown. No ‘ifs’; no ‘buts’ and certainly no ‘do overs’.


Copyright © 2012, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2012, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog authored by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career that is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. This blog is also dedicated to those who stand a little taller each time they picked themselves up after failing and those who gained the wisdom and humility from those experiences to help others do the same. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at