|Careers & Employment Information|
Self-Preservation Techniques For The Unemployed
Looking for work can be difficult, frustrating, anxiety-provoking, and demeaning.
There are few situations we encounter in life where we feel so powerless. Not only do we have a sense that we have little control over the outcome, but we also feel judged. We become objectified, presented like a colt at a yearling auction or a slave on the bidding block. We walk, we talk, we run around in circles, while the "buyers" look us over, discuss our finer points and weaknesses, and make their decision to buy or reject. We are keenly aware of the competition. There are performance pressures: 30 seconds to make a great first impression, 30 minutes to define ourselves as a person, as a worker, to present a lifetime of skills, experience and knowledge.
We are acutely aware that every word we utter, every body squirm, every gesture, is being observed, assessed, recorded. Regardless of whether we really want the job or not, we want it to be offered as an affirmation that we have worth, that we count. If we attend interview after interview and receive no offers, the demoralization seeps into our subconscious, confirming our deeply defended but strongly entrenched suspicions that we are just "not good enough," that we don't "measure up," that we lack value.
The longer we remain out of work, the more tattered our self-esteem becomes. We start to exhibit that desperate "deer in the headlights" look that makes the likelihood of being offered a position ever more remote.
What can we do to halt this erosion of self-value? How can we survive the challenges of looking for work while keeping our self-confidence, self-value, and self-esteem intact?
Here are three approaches you may find helpful:
1. Don't blame yourself. Economic difficulties, job migration, corporate downsizing, and employer relocation are social realities. Being laid off does not adversely reflect on your personal worth, your skills, your character, nor your value. "If I had been smarter, I'd have seen it coming" thinking leads to self-criticism and a sense that your current plight is somehow of your own making. Put the blame back where it belongs - on an economy that values profits above people and the short term bottom line over long term stability and steady growth.
2. Take time to appreciate yourself. Too often, unemployment carries not only financial pressures but leads to self-destructive thinking: I'm not able to support my family, I'm a loser, I'm not a man, I'm not the superwoman I planned, I don't contribute anything worthwhile to anybody, the world would be better off without me. Since we define so much of what we are by what we do, when we no longer have a title, we lose ourselves. Work, and the income it provides, is important but it is only a part of a whole life, reflecting only a portion of our character, our abilities, our worth. Take the time to remind yourself of your other life roles: husband/wife/significant other, parent, church member, community participant - any roles you play which are not directly related to work. Because you are not temporarily generating an income, and all that stands for, does not mean that you are not contributing significantly in many other areas: to your family, your friends, your community. While reminding yourself of your non-work personal value, make sure that your frustration with job search is not allowed to spill over and poison your other life roles.
3. Reclaim a sense of control. You may be powerless to ensure an appropriate job offer or line up employers who are champing at the bit to take you on, but you do have control over other aspects of your life. Exercising control over anything can re-assert your old balance and generate confidence in your ability to weather the storm. Set up a schedule for yourself which will give you control over your time and your activities, both job search and personal responsibilities, to avert the wasted energy of running in all directions without accomplishing anything. Examine your diet and exercise program and use your extra time to ensure that you are healthy and fit. Explore what the current stress is doing to your relationships and personal interactions and take the time to strengthen personal ties and sources of support, not drive them away in your misery. Review your household budget and identify ways to save, different patterns of spending, and priorities which can be changed.
Yes, being unemployed can be humiliating and depressing and often leads to anxiety, fear, and a permanent sense of insecurity and self-doubt. Using the above and similar strategies can help you emerge from this temporary crisis stronger and with a deeper sense of self and your value, not just as a worker but as a human being.
Virginia Bola operated a rehabilitation company for 20 years, developing innovative job search techniques for disabled workers, while serving as a respected Vocational Expert in Administrative, Civil and Workers' Compensation Courts. Author of an interactive and emotionally supportive workbook, The Wolf at the Door: An Unemployment Survival Manual, and a monthly ezine, The Worker's Edge, she can be reached at http://www.virginiabola.com
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Is your adviser a micromanager? When to take your experiment undercover - Chemical & Engineering News
Hiring opportunity: Seasonal workers will see more jobs, higher pay this holiday season - AZCentral.com
Japan's chemical industry struggles to find people with science backgrounds, especially bilingual ones - Chemical & Engineering News
Avoid a Three-ring Circus with These New Interviewing Strategies
I referenced the circus because I just finished another interviewing book that recommends asking for the job before leaving the interview. I can envision up to 15 qualified professionals each asking the interviewer for the job.
How To Write A Resume Cover Letter That Will Get Your Resume Read
A Resume Cover Letter has only one purpose - to stimulate the recipient of your resume to review your resume. This free resume cover letter tutorial assumes that you will be sending your resume and resume cover letter by email.
Make A Lasting Impression With Interview Etiquette
(Des Moines, Iowa - February 2, 2005) Behaving appropriately during every course of an interview is just one way to increase your success with finding a job. Here are some tips to consider before you're seated across from your interviewer.
Ten Things About Your Career Development
There are some tactics you can action whatever you wish for from your career. Whatever you might think right now, you have all the tools you need for a career which give you joy and fulfilment.
Do You Have a Hotsy-Totsy Resume?
I begin this article with a bit of slang description. What do I mean by a "hotsy totsy" resume? I mean one that does the following for you, the job seeker and a possible employer.
Match, Meet, and Mesmerize at a Job Fair
Are you considering another trip through the career maze? Attending a job fair can make you feel like you are playing a losing game unless you have a clear understanding of the rules. Here are a few suggestions for making the most of any job fair, and gaining a competitive edge.
Which Half Are You?
When more than half of Americans were identified as overweight, people took notice. Major news outlets began educating on how to stay out, or get out, of that statistic.
Dissatisfied With Your job? Stop Trying To Go It Alone!
Being dissatisfied with your job is a cycle, a very long and undesirable cycle. Here's how it goes:-You start to lose interest in your job.
Overcome Interview Nerves: Be Better Prepared than Your Interviewer
Although interview preparation is everything it's sad to say that perhaps as many as half of all interviewers you're going to meet will be unprepared or incompetent. It's not all their fault, it's just lack of interview preparation time or responsibility; some of them will be co-opted at the last minute to meet you and won't have had time to prepare.
Building Performance Trust
You can have outstanding ideas, yet never leverage them into winning at working results. That's because the secret behind those ideas lies in performance.
Career Advice On Freelance Writing Jobs
Sometimes the freelance writing jobs available are those that no one wants. Or, they are those that new businesses are looking to fill.
Great Salary Negotiation Tips
11 Commandments For Smart Negotiating1 - BE PREPARED. The more information you have about your market value and the prospective employer, the greater your likelihood of success.
The Best Business And Economy Solutions
In todays Business and economy, starting any business service requires a good business plan. A little money wouldn't hurt either.
Seven Myths You Must Challenge Now To Begin Your Second Career Today
* Has it been awhile since you explored career options?* Are you making your 21st century choices based on beliefs that were accurate when Reagan was president of the US (and Thatcher was PM of Great Britain)?* Do you wish you could take a test that would point you to the perfect Second Career?Then you're probably operating on yesterday's myths -- time to move to today's reality!Myth #1: Science supports the traditional linear career change model: test for interests, identify careers and go find a job.Reality #1 Researchers at Stanford and Harvard found that career exploration proceeds in a zig-zag trial-and-error path, almost always with a hint of serendipity.
How Long Does It Take To Write A Resume?
Many people can easily write a resume in just a couple of hours. They can do this by following a resume sample and just writing their information in place of the sample.
Ten Courses Of Study If You Want To Be Your Own Boss
For many Americans, an important component of the American Dream is the possibility of hard work turning into financial fortune. The career exploits of such self made magnates like Andrew Carnegie, Lee Iaccoca and Donald Trump are examples for many.
So You want to be a Bodyguard?
Then let me start by helping out. The politically correct phrase these days is not "bodyguard" but personal protection specialist, executive protection specialist or close protection operative, depending on your place of training and other preferences.
7 Deadly Cover Writing Sins
Don't start off your job search with one (or more) strikes against you by committing any of these common cover letter blunders. Each is easy to avoid, but they can sink your chances of an interview if you include them in your letter.
3 Secrets to Landing a Home-Based Position
Landing a telecommute position isn't easy. Finding them in the first place is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
Resume Writing Dos and Donts
|home | site map|