Dealing With the Emotional Reality of Job Search

Being unemployed or under-employed, can feel like the end of the world!  The shock of losing your professional identity can have a really strong, negative impact on your life, and it takes time to accept and adjust to that new reality. When your career comes to a dead stop, you will experience many emotions: unresolved grief; rational and irrational fears; your self-esteem flies out the window; and you will find that there will be days where your “generalized anxiety” will go through the roof.

Word of caution: If you are spending time second-guessing hiring managers, job applications and HR decisions: Don’t! It is an absolute waste of your time and emotional energy. You will never be able to fathom what is going on in the decision-making process on any hire! After you hit “send” on that application, it’s wise to let go, pivot straight back to job search, and get more leads into the funnel.

Adaptation

While you’re in accepting and adapting mode, it’s a really good idea to get some perspective on where you are at with your career…It’s good to know where you stand on the continuum: Entry level (1-5 years)? Miid-level (5-10 years)? Senior level (10-15 years)? Exec level (15-20+ years)? Knowing where you stand will help you keep your expectations realistic about your own status within your own industry, and also will help you clearly articulate where you are heading next. When you clearly articulate what’s next, it puts others in a position to actually help you! Don’t leave anyone guessing!

Grief is real. Once you start moving through acceptance and adaptation, put your focus on reinvention, and getting to that next level! Do your career homework: re-write your goals, upgrade all your marketing tools like resumes, your Bio, your personal brand, and your social media profiles, and dive deep into researching companies that you would like to work with.

The New You!

Reinvention is the best way out of grief: try to embrace growing and changing; be clear on your messaging around where you want to head next; build a support network of peers; share your experience (past), strength (present) and hope (future); and connect, connect, CONNECT! If you’re looking for a peer group, consider joining one of mediaINTELLIGENCE’s Career Activism groups.

Self-care: You cannot do a good job of job search 24/7. You need to take mental breaks. You are allowed time off of job search, if you’re not feeling quite up to it on a given day. Give yourself permission to rest. Ensure you get some balance: social activities, connecting authentically with others, stay away from nay-sayers and those who aren’t actually qualified to give you career advice! Mitigate your stress through qualitative connecting, learning, meditation, nutrition a/o exercise. Most importantly, on evenings and weekends, don’t ruminate endlessly about making money. Focus on enjoying your life, replenishing your own well, and get back to revenue/lead generation on Monday morning!

The good news

Please understand that this is a temporary state only. Covid-19 has really levelled the playing field: everyone’s under-employed! There’s less societal “stigma” around unemployment than ever! Work on getting “truly conscious” about your goals, your personal growth, life balance, and your reinvention. And do your career homework! 

You are not alone. You can reinvent. Contact me and let’s talk about your individual needs, and consider joining one of our Career Activism groups. We are here to help each other.

 

3 Step Process to Manage Your Career!

Career management is complicated. Or, is it?  Yes, it can be overwhelming to try to manage your career goals. But is it impossible?  No, it is not!

Now, some would argue that the future’s actually unmanageable. But here’s me to say, that really, it just not as complicated as you think! There are three aspects of your career that you should focus on at all times:

Step 1: Goals — you need to get them out of your head, and write them down. ANNUALLY.

Step 2: You need to bring all of your marketing tools up to speed ANNUALLY (read: resume, Bio, references, social media profiles, email signature, voice mail signature, cover letters, visuals — visuals are critical — get photos of you in your work environment, out at industry events, at conferences, networking events, create memes, get a screen capture of a Zoom call that you are hosting…) ANY and all visuals will serve!

Step 3: Job search. Let’s unpack that puppy: you need to do job search research. In other words, track companies, track their mandates, track any departmental stakeholders you wish to connect with, build a “business case” (see Careers AF! for instructions), and plot a simple series of “marketing touchdowns” with stakeholders in those companies. It takes more than one try to get a company’s attention! So think about your initial outreach to any given stakeholder, at any given company, and then put some thought into a) what you’ll do if they respond; and b) what you’ll do NEXT if they don’t!

That’s it!!! Do your “career homework”: Goals. Marketing Tools. Job Search strategy. If you take care of these three small steps on an annual basis, your career will take care of itself!

That is all — for now! Stay posted. I have a LOT more to say on this subject in upcoming YouTube vlogs for “Career Activism 2021” series.

Stay tuned. It’s not THAT complicated, and there is a LOT you can do, to manage your career!