“The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.” Pearl S. Buck
Finding Meaningful Work in Tough Economic Times…
Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the arctic region, you know by now that millions of people in the USA, and to some extent globally, have become casualties of the economic downturn.
Since the housing recession began in 2007, we have seen unprecedented job losses and many of us have been directly/indirectly affected by the shifting job search winds. A quick Google search on the topic of current unemployment numbers in the USA produced 779,000 results or communiqués from a wide range of sources; government and otherwise, on the subject.
The US Bureau of Labor statistics indicate that in a twelve month period (Jan 08-Jan 09) the rate of unemployment has increased from 4.9% to 7.6% with 11.6 million people out of work. While the federal bailout plan could eventually create an infusion of job opportunities, it will not happen overnight.
What does this mean for the typical job seeker? It means that there are more people competing for a finite number of jobs; possibly a longer holding/waiting pattern for finding certain types of jobs, and a greater chance that many will experience enormous frustration and anxiety over finding suitable work and managing finances. Putting your life on hold while you frantically search for positions is the wrong approach; you need to pause, take stock, take control of your efforts and get your life back. Basically, get a life!
If you have been looking for a few months or longer and are feeling frustrated, pause for a moment and take stock of your strategies. Have you reviewed your resume, interview skills and elevator pitch? Have you considered other career paths/options? Have you put your life on hold while chasing job leads and appointments? Have you taken care to keep yourself fresh, focused, engaged and involved in YOUR life so you can convey same at an interview with a prospective employer?
“Enthusiasm spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” Norman Vincent Peale
Labor By Pearce-Highsmith (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The last thing you want to become is a frustrated professional job seeker who finds little else to talk about or do. As you reformulate your job search efforts, use the following ten tips to help stay on track with life and find the perfect job.
Volunteer your time/skills to a local community center, hospital or charity. Being of value to others in need will give you a different perspective on your condition, help keep your skills in use, and potentially expose you to new people/work opportunities.
Exercise is often one thing that gets tossed to the side when job searches and interviewing schedules are in high gear. Don’t give up your exercise routine. If you no longer can afford a gym membership, walking or hiking outside are terrific alternatives. You can also negotiate with your gym to offer your time/services for classes.
Learn a new skill or brush up on existing skills to make yourself more marketable and keep your mind fresh. Is there a trade/skill you have always wanted to learn? This is also the time to investigate state/local government sponsored training programs.
Another important aspect of learning is reading; so add new books to your repertoire of to-do lists and visit your local library to shore up on your reading materials. Staying informed is critical to your job search and interview.
Connect with new organizations; join clubs, networks, and alumni groups by getting involved at either your local level or in neighboring areas. Join a group connected to the field you want to work in or whose work you’d like to learn more about. Join a prayer group or find ways to nurture your spirit through meditation, your faith based religion or other endeavors. More Below!
“I’m doing what I think I was put on this earth to do. And I’m really grateful to have something that I’m passionate about and that I think is profoundly important.” Marian Wright Edelman
Bureau of Labor Statistics measurements U1, U2, U3, U4, U5 and U6. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Build a digital identity by registering on online sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Ted, Flickr, and a host of others that help users engage in social media networking. Use WordPress to blog or Google, Yahoo, AOL and tons of other search engines that also offer users fantastic space to blog and create a personal “About Me” page.
Attend both social and business events as a way to keep abreast of trends, information and to meet new people. Maintaining a healthy social life while staying engaged in your job search and related industry events will add some cheer to the process.
Don’t forget to ask for help from your core circle; friends, family and close colleagues, right from the beginning of your job loss and during your search. Seek professional coaching and/or mental health help as part of your support team. Remember to line up references early in the game and keep your circle informed of who might be contacting them to inquire about your abilities.
Accept temporary/survival work and use it as a platform to promote yourself and your strengths. Sometimes such work can open new doors for a new career path or direction to something more fulfilling in your field.
Start your own business. Even in this economic climate, there is tremendous opportunity for pursuing an entrepreneurial venture. Your downtime could be put to use in developing latent hobbies into a business. Keep in mind that the skills that made you marketable could be parlayed into your own small business. Do your homework and carefully consider if this is the right option for you.
What are you doing today, as an ardent job seeker, to keep you fresh, focused, engaged and involved in your life? Trust that your job search efforts will pay huge dividends if you invest time in your own mental, physical, social and spiritual health.
- Job Seekers, It’s Not You. There Are Too Few Jobs To Go Around In Every Sector (aarp.org)
- The Key for Unemployed Job Seekers (halliecrawford.com)