Various studies show being unemployed, or being fired, as being one of the most stressful and traumatic events in our lives. No wonder, a job is more than a paycheck and we all know this. The job becomes us, it defines us and gives us value, or at least to some of us, it does. When we lose all that in one brief meeting in the office (and it always comes as shock, even the long awaited layoffs), it is any wonder we enter into various stages of denial, anger, shame, and so forth.
But here is the thing, and I love Bill Belichick for immortalizing it, “it is what it is.” And if current trends continue, it will be a long road to being employed again. I have read articles that state the average job search now last in excess of 33 weeks. That is a very long time, to state the obvious.
So the roller coaster ride in your head is going to be moving full force, but you do have the option to get off. I remember as kid, because I was geek, having my pants pulled down in school (it would explain my introverted, self conscious belief that I have three heads). As I stood there, I learned a very important lesson. When you are standing there with your fruit of the looms showing for all to see; all you can do is, pull your pants back up.
And you must pull your pants back up. To launch a successful campaign to find a job, a better job, you must have focus and act with discipline. That requires pulling your pants up. Profound people from Dr. Frankel to Stephen Covey have taught that we are creatures of choice. The stimuli of life may act on us, but we can dictate how we respond. We are creatures of choice, not creatures of instinct.
Thank goodness, because being creatures of choice; our horizon is limitless. Your horizon is limitless, but I will not deny that the choices before you are hard. One such difficult choice is whether to relocate or not. Regardless of your home condition or situation, you must explore this option well. There is an old saying, “you must fish where the fishes are.”
This is true even if you feel that where you are has a strong Jobbörse. If you have been looking for some time and are not getting any bites, it is not a strong job market for you. Where I work currently, I initially drove from Orlando to Austin to attend a niche job fair that I felt had potential. I drove straight through for about 20 plus hours, I think, to attend this one day job fair. And I hate job fairs, though as I wrote in a different article, niche job fairs are a wholly different creature.
Because I was open to “where the fishes are,” I ended up taking a position in Maryland, instead of the one in Chicago. Did we want to move from Orlando? We had no real attachments there but the salient point is that looking at all 50 States opened a huge job market for me to look at.
There is a sequential sense of things when it comes to looking for a job. The wrong sequence would be to make a resume, or update one, and begin applying to every help wanted ad or online posting that matches your last job. And when that does not work, you rewrite your resume or look for services that can formulate a better cover letter or resume for you. Of course, there are the job fairs that feature 135 companies but attract 5,000 hopefuls.
Yeah, that is not good.
A better sequence is to examine who you are and what you do well. Determine your skills and analyze how you want to utilize those skills. You start by working from the inside out. And that inside is you. The next step is determining where and what you want to do that matches your skills and interests.
And here is my favorite mantra, “go where your research takes you.” If your research tells you to drive 20 plus hours to a job fair half way across the country, then do it. Staying where you and continuing to do what you have been doing expecting (or hoping for) different results defines something, but probably not success. So, look at all your options, but most important, look at the whole of these the United States of America and find your next job.