As you might guess I am in contact with a lot of job seekers, now more than ever before. One of the hardest parts of job hunting is not knowing how long the process will take. Being unemployed is scary. Every single day job seekers have to find the courage to put one foot in front of the other and go on. That takes a lot of courage and it means taking action in the face of fear.
Here are some strategies for putting fear behind you, one day or one hour at a time.
Expect to encounter fear. Plan for it so that you are not surprised by it. Don’t let it prevent you from moving forward. Is there an encouraging quote or mantra that you can repeat when fear raises its ugly head? Repeat it a thousand times a day if necessary. It might be as simple as telling yourself that it will be OK; things will work out.
Take action toward your goal, every day! Determine your most productive daytime hours and schedule your most challenging job search activities to coincide so that you have the mental bandwidth to handle them. These might include interviewing, making networking calls or writing cover letters. Leave the easy, mind-numbing activities like organizing for your low energy times.
Consider where you are a temporary stopping place; a time to catch your breath and re-evaluate your direction. Take the time to review where you’ve been and where you want to go. Make a 30-, 60- and 90-day plan. Revise it as necessary.
Chunk your goals into small, bite-sized pieces and reward yourself when you’ve bitten off today’s piece. You might decide to contact 15 people this week; it is easier to make three calls a day than 15 on Friday afternoon.
Create a top 50 list of companies of interest. Approach five at a time. Use your network to make connections. When you’ve exhausted the first five, move on to the next five. Creating the initial list of 50 companies guarantees you that you won’t run out of companies before you land your next job. I’ve yet to have a client get past 20.
Seek out inspiring stories and reread them. Watch uplifting movies. These activities can reignite hope. I have a friend who immerses herself in Hallmark movies when things look especially dark. Are these great films of lasting significance? Probably not, but they serve the purpose of getting her through tough times.
When you get stuck ask yourself what the payoff is for being stuck and what the price will be if you stay there.
Create a visual of your dream job or ideal life. Use it as a screen saver or post it where you will walk by it frequently. Challenge yourself to take one small step toward it every day.
Develop a support system of friends, family members and other job seekers. Screen out the naysayers. Nobody needs a negative Ned. We all need help at one time or another. Ask for help you when you need it.
©2020 Mary Jeanne Vincent. All rights reserved.