Sunday, October 1, 2017

Try Something for the First Time to Shift Your Job Search Perspective

Author: Terry Adams

Mark Beal, PR guru-professor-author, shared his 101 Lessons They Never Taught You In College at a recent PSG gathering in the Princeton Library. Although each lesson is a valuable learning for all “post-college grads”, Mark highlighted the ones he thought most benefited our group of professionals in transition. Masterfully, Mark related a dozen or so lessons bringing each one to life with personal antidotes and stories, Mark’s signature style. Lesson #46 struck a chord for me.

Five years ago my daughter asked to go skydiving on her 18th birthday and my response was, “Great idea, I’ll take you but I’m not jumping!” This chorus repeated every year since. Mark presented Lesson #46 Try Something for the First Time and my brain perked-up asking, “Why not jump?”

In the face of looking for a new job and being confronted with various beliefs about getting the right position, I asked myself again, “Why not jump?” This query uncovered a fear within myself regarding falling out of an airplane with a malfunctioning parachute...that terrified me! Was I experiencing a similar fear around my job search, i.e., What if the next position didn’t work out?

Fast forward to this weekend, my daughter’s 23rd birthday, she and I jumped out of an airplane 10,000 feet in the air, made a free fall for 55 seconds, and an eight minute parachute drop!! My nerves were calm until my daughter jumped before me and I glimpsed the earth below, deep gulp! I acknowledged my nerves, focused my attention to the clear, blue sky and the great opportunity to feel free and energized. That imagery got me off the plane. The ground was in my view whether I wanted it or not (I could have closed my eyes but that would be a waste!)  My eyes looked down and my arms outstretched, I felt the intense pressure against my chest and face, and yelled, “Oh My God…!” After that, we gently parachuted to the exact spot where my tandem partner glided us to a soft halt. WOW!

My landing was safe: no nausea, no jitters, no broken bones, and all pure adrenaline pumping through my veins. My first thought was, “Why did I wait so long?” This experience provided me a fitting metaphor for my job search. Instead of seeking a position out of fear of being unemployed or the new job may not work out, my circumstantial view shifted to realizing an opportunity like the beautiful clear sky on Sunday morning at 10,000 feet in the air. This is my opportunity to find a great position, one that pumps pure adrenaline through my veins! Thank you, Mark, for being the catalyst for this enlightenment!

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!