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10 Principles of the Successfully Unemployed Person – Part 1

There are 10 principles of the successfully unemployed person. If you implement these principles, along with an action plan, you will revolutionize your employment search process. You’re almost guaranteed to find or create work faster and with greater fulfillment.
These principles have been in place for some time and come from three main sources:
  1. My own job loss and subsequent job search experience,
  2. My observation of other job seekers who have either successfully or unsuccessfully implemented these principles and the impact it has had on their job search, and
  3. My study of other experts in the job search and career transition fields.
These core principles are rooted in your beliefs and attitude about your job loss, and about your job search. Though powerful alone, they need to be implemented along with an action plan to be most successful.

Principle #1 - Finding your dream job requires a life-changing job search.

This refers to the dream job you have defined for yourself, and that is really the perfect fit for you at this stage of your life. It may change over time. It’s okay to ask, “Lord, what do you want me to do with my life,” every five years or so. Your dream job of today won’t necessarily be your dream job of tomorrow. But your dream job has to be that perfect blend of your God-given skills and abilities, your personality, values, passions, dreams, and experience. Your dream job will reflect and fulfill your life’s mission and purpose. It’s about making a life and not just making a living. Finding your dream job also requires a focused plan, direction and goals.

Principle #2 - Start by preparing yourself.

 

This point can’t be emphasized enough. You must start your search by preparing yourself – your heart, mind and soul. You have to understand yourself, your gifts, your abilities, and your personality. This type of self-examination is not a selfish act. It’s a necessary step in conducting a successful job search. Those who skip this step are more likely to flounder, get buried in the past and lose perspective more quickly when difficult circumstances arise. Spending a little time, up to a week or two, understanding yourself and preparing yourself will give a clearer focus and direction to your plan of action.

“The only way we can handle change is to know what is changeless about us.” ~ Stephen Covey

There are three recommended exercises you can do to help you better understand and prepare yourself. Click here to hear what they are.

Principle #3 – Job search is your new full-time job.

A common response from those in the job search process is, “It always takes longer than you think.” It’s important to create an action plan with focus and direction, and then start searching full-time 35-40 hours a week. If this sounds overwhelming to you, just think: if you had been working that hard in your previous job, you do have the time. You will want to use this time marketing and selling a very important product: You. Selling your potential value to particular companies is your new micro-business. Your goal is to convey to other businesses or non-profit organizations that you would provide value to them and their mission.

Executive recruiters tell us that it will take 1 to 1 1/2 months of full-time search for every $10,000 of salary you desire. Most people spend far too little time at their search each week, so don’t fall into that trap. What do you do in those 35-40 hours of search time? We are told that 70% to 75% of the available jobs are not currently being advertised. Those positions are in what’s called the Hidden Job Market. So you want to spend 80% of your time engaged in networking activities – calling and meeting in person – which will help you uncover those unadvertised and often better jobs.

To help, make a daily schedule of things you’re going to do each day that consists of specific tasks. For ideas of which tasks to include, listen here.

Principle #4 – Choose to remain teachable.

Choose to remain teachable during this difficult and vulnerable time of your life. What can you learn during this time period? There are a host of things you can learn during this period of your life. Each person’s answer may vary, but you have the opportunity to learn about yourself, your mission, purpose, gifts, abilities, personality, temperament, values, job fit, what’s most important in your life, and how you can better help or serve others, among other things.

If you remain open, you can discover a variety of sources for insight and learning during this time period. It might include friends, co-workers, former teachers, or people in your network. It could come from a walk outdoors, books, job fairs, exploratory interviews, a pastor or counselor, or your job search support group.

Principle #5 – View unemployment as a transition into new opportunities.

Consider viewing your job loss as an opportunity to explore new possibilities. And if you’re serious about exploring new opportunities, you have to move forward. If you’re moving forward with an action plan, it’s more difficult to stay buried in the hurt and anger of your past loss.

 

“View unemployment as simply between opportunities.” ~ Dan Miller

 

As with any trial or challenge in your life, it offers an opportunity to build your character, to learn patience and perseverance, and to find out what’s most important in your life. It’s also a chance to re-evaluate your life and perhaps refocus your life and your career to better fit what God has designed you to be. You can also use this time to explore creating your own job by starting a business, so don’t forget to consider this possibility. The good news is that because of your job loss, the door has been swung wide open and you have almost limitless opportunities to explore.

In our next post, we’ll uncover the final 5 principles of the successfully unemployed person. Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss these important tips.

Want more great tips now to boost your job search? Get the book that will help you become more successful at either finding or creating more fulfilling work.
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