Job Hunting Tips (Staying Active,Organizing Your Attack,Containing Anxiety)

Job Hunting Tips (Staying Active,Organizing Your Attack,Containing Anxiety)

Unemployment is depressing: financial pressures stress you out, looking for work is humiliating, and your fragile self-confidence reels under the blows of indifference and rejection.

It becomes harder to get up in the morning, to take care of yourself, to be supportive and loving to those around you, to swing energetically into job search activities.

Here are 7 tips on beating those I-want-to-get-a-job-but-nobody-wants-me blues.

1. Create a schedule for your week: 5 hours per day (maximum) of looking for work, 2 hours per day (minimum) of relaxing, having fun with others, and appreciating yourself.

2. Act as if you are still working: get up at your usual time, shower, have your regular breakfast – it will maintain your sense of sense and provide the familiarity of routine and structure in a world in which you are feeling increasingly alienated.

3. Get out of the house. Employers don’t make house calls so circulate. Surfing the net for job leads may make you feel as if you are accomplishing something but is often only a means of escape. By all means, post your resume anywhere you can, but then hit the road.

4. Actively nurture your relationships. Avoid letting your misery and self-reproach poison your interactions with those who love you and want to help. Recognize that your loved ones may also be in distress and take the time to go somewhere and do something with family and friends.

5. List your abilities, skills, and positive personal characteristics on a piece of paper. Write down your past successes and triumphs, however small. Read the list daily to remind yourself of your value. Add to the list as you recall other positive qualities.

6. Remind yourself of the realities of the labor market -that most of us will change jobs dozens of times in our working life and many change actual careers several times. Being out of work does not mean that there is something wrong with you, just that it is now your turn to go through this upheaval. Next time it may be your spouse or friend -it is part of the human condition in 21st corporate America.

7. Be kind to yourself. Your self-confidence, self-esteem and self-regard have all been hit with a steel boot. Actively look at yourself with the eyes of a concerned friend and give yourself the support, sympathy, and goodwill that you would extend to anyone you love who had suffered the same fate.

ORGANIZING YOUR ATTACK

Looking for work is an energy-devouring ordeal, often leading to running in circles and not getting anywhere. A systematic approach can help you focus on your goal, avoid wasting the energy you need to conserve for interviews and employer contacts, and lower your stress level. STAYING ACTIVE

Some resources you might find helpful include:

1. Newspaper classified. Pro: you know that an opening does exist or a company wouldn’t spend money to advertise. Con: there may be thousands of applicants for one position. Value depends upon the kind of work you are looking for and the uniqueness of your skills and experience. Certainly worth a weekend check but cannot be exclusively relied upon unless you have your heart set on a telemarketing position.

2. Registering with agencies. Pro: they only make money when you obtain work so they are motivated to get you employment. Con: they need you to take a job, any job, so they can earn their fees and they work to keep their real clients, employers, happy so often screen you out of the really good jobs if they have any doubt about how well you will fit.

3. Internet resources. There are some good resources -Monster.com and Careerbuilder and the job finder section of most major home pages. Beware of wasting time on groups. While some (a very few) are well-managed and inappropriate postings screened out, others (many) are choked with pornographic messages. Job Hunting Tips

4. Job hotlines. These are useful for a weekly check-in but they are primarily available with large employers and jobs are more likely to be found with small and medium-sized employers. The same caveat holds true for job fairs.

5. Cold-calling. If your skills lie within a particular industry where employers typically cluster together -industrial parks, medical centers, retail – walking into offices cold, with a smile, a resume, and a confident air, can sometimes identify an open position long before any search for applicants begins. Job Hunting Tips

6. Personal contacts. Listed last but of prime importance. By networking — contacting everyone you know to obtain help, and following up on their contacts — you may be able to marshal several hundred job hunting aides which increases your chances enormously.

7. Prioritize your activities. Assess each method for what looks most promising, try them for a short period, and determine where you, personally, feel comfortable. Spend the major part of your job search time there to avoid squandering your energy on fruitless pursuits.

CONTAINING ANXIETY

It hangs from the ceiling above your bed while you toss through the night hours. It waits inside the door of every employment office you enter. It dogs your footsteps as you pound the job search pavement. It lounges in an empty chair as you crawl through another desultory interview. It sits on your shoulder while you balance your checkbook’s alarmingly diminishing balance.

Its name is anxiety. Composed of fear, self-doubt, guilt, dread, and self-reproach, it ties your stomach in knots, makes sweat ooze from your pores, makes your head hurt, your memory blur, and your concentration dissipate. You can’t wash it away, will it away, or beat it away. The only way to contain it is to embrace it, to make it your ally and your friend.

How?

1. Although anxiety can unnerve you and make you feel paralyzed, consider its ability to energize you. Watch it carefully, without emotion or judgment distorting your vision, and you will see it raise the hairs on your neck, excite your thought processes, heighten your senses, stir your imagination and make you keenly aware of being alive. Trace its pathway through your body, coursing through your veins and touching every pore, every organ, every extremity. Instead of fighting it, hold it close it as if it were a natural amphetamine, a pill that makes you feel a little strange but also exhilarated. Job Hunting Tips

2. Learn to recognize when it will come and anticipate its arrival with excitement. Without it, you are flat, beaten, dejected. Wait for it to come, welcome it, and view it as your body’s ally to focus yourself on the job search situation. Have your anxiety stay close to you, forcing you to be aware of your surroundings and ready to express your thoughts and feelings to a potential employer with enthusiasm and energy. STAYING ACTIVE

3. Talk to your anxiety as with an old friend. Look at it as your best personal source of camaraderie, loyalty, and friendly support. Let it work for you, not against you and you have not only tamed the beast but have created a more enjoyable and positive environment for yourself. Your self-doubts will always linger but they are at a manageable level where you can calmly push them into the background while you concentrate on making a great self-presentation. STAYING ACTIVE

After a short amount of practice, you will find yourself almost in a panic before the anxiety arrives because you need that charge of energy to get you going and move you forward. Try it and see if it works for you. STAYING ACTIVE