Moving Forward

Look, I know the economy sucks right now.  People are getting laid off in record numbers and you begin to wonder whether looking for a job is worth the effort.
Your frustrations mount because there are bills to be paid, you’ve got personal and familial responsibilities, and the outlook is less than optimistic.
Well, I get it!  I understand the frustration and I understand the fear, and I understand the trepidation about moving forward when things look so damn bleak.
But I also know the importance of NOT giving in to the fear and not giving in to the pessimism.  Doing so is simply counter productive.  You must fight for what you want!  Sure, right now with the unemployment rate higher than it’s been in decades, the competition for decent jobs is insane. But don’t concentrate on the negative!
What’s a job seeker to do?
Work that much harder to make yourself the most valuable commodity you can.  Strive to increase the perception that the quality of your work, skills and experience are worth an employer’s dime and loyalty!  Take classes if you must to improve your existing skills and to develop new proficiencies and newly needed skills.
Work that much smarter to ensure you’re sending the right message to employers, and to those in your network, so that all are getting a consistent picture of what you are looking for, and what you can do to satisfy an employer’s needs.
Update your resume.  Make sure your document is succinct and error free, and that it can easily be converted into a text-only document for easy inclusion in an email.  Use the right buzz-words and industry-specific language, along with concise descriptive phrases that clearly point out your accomplishments and successes.  Don’t try to impress prospective employers with name dropping, focus your content on conveying your ability to do the job the employer needs done, and demonstrate the relationship between your past experience and what you want to do tomorrow.
Increase your reach.  Use your network!  Get in touch with people you are in regular contact with and let them know you are looking for work.  Send a note to folks you’ve not been in touch with for a long time and let them know too that you are looking for a new job.  There is no shame in reaching out!  Almost everyone has been out of work at some point, and they know what you are going through.  Now, more than ever, relationships can make all the difference in your job-finding success.  You still need to be able to do the work, but communicating with those who can possibly hook you up with a job will improve your chances of proving what you can do.
And use professional networking sites like LinkedIn to extend your reach.  Reaching out to other listed professionals is painless and affords the opportunity to repeatedly ask:  “Do you know someone ….?”  And, “Do you know someone who knows someone?” Like-minded professionals are usually willing to share information, and since they are contactable through the networking sites, is generally an indication of their willingness to offer information.
If your personal network is small, join or start a job club.  Contact your local unemployment office, chamber of commerce, even places of worship about local resources and networking opportunities for job seekers.
Be frugal!  Don’t spend money recklessly. Keep spending down to necessities.
Take breaks and reward yourself for your efforts to keep your spirits up.  You can’t do an effective 24/7 job search.  After a while your efforts are redundant.  Breaks will keep your mind fresh and perspective in check.
Surround yourself with positive, pro-active people.  When you are not working you don’t need to be around nay-sayers and pessimists. While they may find satisfaction in predicting doom and gloom, being around negative people will do little for your emotional state or your career growth.
And don’t be afraid to ask for help.  There are resources out there to help you cope with job loss, finding work, getting training and moving forward. You can contact me, for example!
Don’t let the times beat you down.  Take control of your situation and move forward with a plan of action, and don’t give up.  There are rich rewards out there for the persistent and enduring. Be one of them!
And may you have a safe, prosperous, healthy, creative and employed New Year.
To learn more about how we can contribute to your job search and career development, please visit:
Thank you!