Are you feeling overwhelmed?
Whether you are actively looking for a job or considering changing your career, there is no shortage of job search and career advice available. Today, this includes many excellent resources on the internet, often accessible for free.
A quick search of “job search books” on Amazon alone yields well over a thousand different titles. You will find books that cover many of the ins and outs of how to be successful in your job search such as:
– how to plan your search
– how to find positions
– how to network
– how to prepare your self-marketing materials
– how to interview
– how to negotiate your salary
But if you are feeling stressed, a lot of information can add to feelings of overwhelm. Do you sometimes feel like there is too much advice?
So What’s Still Missing?
Are you still feeling stuck and finding it difficult to stay focused? Is your job search taking longer and turning out to be more difficult than you expected?
Information is important. Finding the information you need is a necessary part of your job search. But your success doesn’t depend just on the information you have.
For many people the most difficult part is staying focused and the mental and emotional preparation that you need to do in order to create your best opportunities for success.
How do you remain positive and keep motivated if you are also dealing with the stress of job loss, unemployment, or underemployment?
You know that to be successful you need motivation, focus, and a positive attitude. You want to be able to talk about your skills and achievements with confidence and enthusiasm.
Do you have the tools you need to bounce back from the negative emotions that go with unemployment and underemployment?
Anyone who has experienced unemployment knows that feelings of loss can persist for a long time. This can get in the way of moving forward.
It’s easy to lose your usual confidence. Anxiety about your future not only makes it difficult to be persistent in your search, but also makes it more difficult to present yourself in a persuasive way. In today’s competitive market, you need to stand out by performing at your best. But how do you do this? How do you present yourself and show a positive attitude when you are also experiencing worry and stress?
A good place to start is to focus on those things that are within your control, and find a way to spend less time worrying about things that are outside of your control.
What you Can and Can’t Control
Even if you feel overwhelmed at the moment, this is something you can begin today. Take the first step by trying the exercise below. For example, you cannot control the economy or who is currently hiring. But you can take actions that will help to move forward.
One positive step that you can take right away is to clarify for yourself which of your concerns you can influence through your actions, and which concerns are outside of your control.
Try this Exercise
- Take 5 or 10 minutes to make a list of things that concern you the most about your current work situation or job search. First, write down everything that comes to mind without analyzing.
- Once you have your list, take a sheet of paper and divide it into 2 (or make 2 columns on your computer). See the table below as an example.
- Go through your list, and put each item into either your “I can control column” or “outside of my control column”.
- Look at your “I can control column”. Is there one action you can take now to move forward towards your goals?
- Look at the “things outside of my control” column. Select one item and notice how you feel as you begin to think about that item. If you find you are getting anxious, shift your attention to your breathing. Since you have recognized that this item is outside of your control, can you release some of the worry you have about it?
- One way to practice letting go is through focusing on your breath. Choose one item from your “out of my control” column. As you breathe in notice how you are feeling as you focus on this concern. As you breathe out try mentally letting go of this concern.
|Brainstorm your own list.
How to find positions; building my professional network; getting the help I need to make sure my materials are as good as they can be; the competition for positions; etc.
Which of the 2 columns below does each item on you list belong to?
|Things that I can control are:||Things that are outside of my control are:
- Share your experiences in the comments box below.
- What did you notice about your 2 lists?
Click here for more information on tools available to help you reduce stress and deal with the negative emotions that go with losing and job and being unemployed or underemployed.