Friday, September 15, 2017

Address the Emotional Side of Job Search

Author: Sam Cohen
         Leader of on-time process and technology solutions, engaging a passion for working with people, vision for the future, and accepting only success.

Alex Freund (The Landing Expert) wrote an article (How to Overcome Fear While In-transition) which notes the oft-minimized emotional side of being in transition.  It is important is to recognize the need to address job search holistically.  The focus is generally:
(1) knowing the current tools for job search
(2) applying the current job search processes
(3) preparing and practicing job search interactions

Just as important is:
(4) having a confidential emotional support network - one that listens as you talk about the emotions of search
(5) understanding/recognizing what you are experiencing
(6) having positive diversions

The last 3 points must not be minimized. A confidential emotional support network should be available. Remember that even those who are positive have negative moments.

Support is one aspect of realistically approaching what you feel during a job search.  Because, it is personal.  One needs to understand the emotional side in order to be most effective in search.

Positive diversions are not a waste of cycles.  Volunteering, for example, can not only lead to a job, but also allows the unemployed to have social interaction.  As Alex notes, hearing ,“Thanks for a job well done” is an emotional uplift —a sentiment that for a while has likely been absent from life.

Another way to get positive diversions is to push endorphins.  This is critical in order to maintain a positive attitude during transition.  There are a limited number of ways to do so.  The one most under an individual's control is exercise.  I walk.

I also combine walking with positive projection and using my speaking voice (not volume per se, but clarity). I smile throughout the exercise session; and say hello to everyone I see, increasing my comfort and ability to look strangers in the eye and speak clearly to them. Doing so not only improves one's attitude, but let's them practice interacting.

If you are not generally getting a response, keep working at it.  Some of us are uncomfortable doing speaking up and/or to others.

Net, my suggestions for a successful search require addressing all six (6) points in Alex's article, and not minimizing the importance of the latter 3.

Happy searching!

Friday, September 1, 2017

"It's Not You, It's Me!"

Author:  John Johnson
              Key Account Manager

Remember this line? It is the “disclaimer” of every failed relationship, and is used to deflect blame.  As it relates to our careers, there are many times you can be the model employee who does things the right way and still be let go, downsized, displaced (whatever term suits you and your own situation).

For example, in my last sales job I worked hard to:
  • Build meaningful customer relationships (people buy from people they like, and I am a likeable guy, at least I think so)
  • Actively participate in company sales meetings and conference calls (and actually be on time)
  • Manage and (come in under) the yearly budget for expenses
  • Submit those expenses on a weekly basis (weekly? Yes, weekly … company policy)
  • Update CRM (customer relationship management) regularly.  In layman’s terms, inputting notes into a system on the computer after meeting with a customer, that you can use for future reference (or for your boss to figure out if you worked that day)
  • Assist the warehouse whenever & wherever possible with product transfers and customer deliveries.  (AKA “bailing them out”)
  • Maintain sales volume in a challenging and competitive industry
  • Be that overall (and, I know this is misused, but indulge me) team player
  • The list goes on and on….

Sounds like a valuable employee, right?  Well, yes, but no.  The company realigned sales territories and my position was eliminated.  Was it fair?  Was it just?  How dare they!  In the current employment environment we work in let’s just say it is a part of life, and a part of the process you cannot control.  Your former company has their reasons, and as an “at will” employee (save for a legal issue), you are at their “disposal”, so to speak.  You could spend time beating yourself up for what you could have done differently to save your job, but what good will that do?  It is not going to bring your job back.  Plus, worrying about things you have no control over is not a productive use of your time, and expends valuable energy that can be put to good use in search of your next opportunity.  Dust yourself off and get back in the game!

Truth is, we ALL have a list of valuable traits we can bring to the next the company we work for, and our mission as job seekers is to find that company that will utilize, appreciate and reward these traits.  Just remember that bad things can happen to good people, and that your next employer will be fortunate to have you. Your next job, while it can and (hopefully) will be rewarding, is just that, a J-O-B - nothing more, nothing less.  And, sometimes, “it’s not you, it’s me”(or in this case, them).