This is part 13 of the 16 post series.
Being unemployed is tough. Not only do you lose your income, you also believe that you have lost your professional identity, friends and daily routine.
It’s easy to get discouraged spending day after day looking for a job with no success. YOu have to believe that success will come, if you are doing the right tasks. Here are a few ideas that can help you from getting discouraged:
- Accept that losing your job is something that will happen to far more than just you. It’s not personal.You’re not a bad person or a failure because you are unemployed. You likely were just at the wrong place at the wrong time and got caught up in an organizational change. Often it is a good thing to look back at what happened. Maybe there was some office politiics or sign that would have alerted you to the future. Most often when layoffs happen, there is a change in the environment, meeting schedules, data requests, etc. We dismiss them as just stuff going on and go back to doing our stuff. Paying attention to these changes can give you a heads up and makeSee what you can learn from it (pay more attention to office politics or to the signs that the company was headed for financial difficulties, etc.), and move on.
It’s OK to go thru a short period of mourning when you lose your job. This is natural, it’s a part of the unemployment emotional roller coaster. Be fair to yourself and get thru this period quickly. Dump the anger and resentment and focus on the future. If you keep having bouts of anger, frustration, etc, write them down. Express them in stories and get them out quietly. Then move on.
- Recognize that it IS a tough job market right now.In 2012 unemployment is around 10% (real estimate, not factual info). Just because you are one of the unemployed, even for a long period of time, it does not mean you are worthless or unemployable. Believe in yourself and that one day the right opportunity, with the right company, doing the right kind of work will be uncovered, if you are searching in the right places. Accept that you do not have control over the job market, you are only doing what you can to find your next job.
- Don’t spend a lot of time focusing on or fixing what is wrong with yourself. Focus on improving your better skills and talents. This is what every successful professional does.Ask any professional athlete, they focus on improving not fixing or changing. If you are not an entrepreneur and don’t want to be one, then don’t try. If you are not a public speaker and have no passion to be one, then stop trying as well. Focus on improving the skills that you have and then finding a place to use them effectively. And, don’t keep thinking you are imperfect, you are not. You just have to focus on where you are great and grow yourself there.
- Don’t obsess about the bad job market news you hear or read.The press and people who call themselves your friends will always tell you how bad life is, especially now when you are unemployed. Ignore the bad press and news. Most of it is exaggerated and not relevant to you anyway.Stop focusing on the negative and instead, FOCUS on the positives. All of the motivational and inspirational speakers will tell you that you are what you think. Think Positive. When you have a positive mindset you are clearer and more focused. This helps you to find and then grab onto new opportunities.
- Don’t focus on the job boards. Network, meet & connect.Have you heard? In 2012 80%+ of all the job openings were not listed online. That leaves less than 20% of the jobs that can be found online. So, think about it. If 80%+ of the jobs are not listed on Monster, Careerbuilder, HotJobs, Ladders, newspaper sites, etc, etc, how much time should you be spending searching job boards? My opinion – NONE. Spend as much time as possible talking with people, meeting people and having good open conversations about business, systems, processes, ideas and how you could fit into the solution. Networking and meeting new people as often as possible is how you are going to discover that next great job opportunity. Setup search filters to send you a weekly email with any existing online job opportunities. Quickly review the email and then delete it before you run out to do more networking and talking with others. Never ask for a job, they don’t have one or know of any. Only ask, “Who else do you think I should meet?”Besides IRL (in real life) networking, use LinkedIn.com to connect with others. Search for people you know who may have career ideas and additional connection ideas for you to consider. Connect with friends, former colleagues, and any and all the people you find on LinkedIn that you know is some way or another. Join groups and share TRUHE (Transparent, Relevant, Useful, Honest & Engaging) content.
- Take care of your body & mind.Your new full time job is Job Searching. Don’t work yourself into a frazzle or over do it. Focus on taking care of yourself. Find time to relax, exercise, read, spend time with family & friends. Visit the library and go see a movie when you can. Have coffee, sweet tea or “soda-30” with good people and help them when you can. Despite what you may think, being unemployed is not the end of the world. It’s a phase in your life. Live your life.
Finally, if you need help getting over your discouragement, call someone. If you have my digits – call me.