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We all want to be more successful at our jobs. Successfully Unemployed will help you be even more successful at your search. It is the must-read companion guaranteed to help you find or create your dream job—the perfect fit for you. One that reflects and fulfills your life’s mission and purpose. ...READ MORE
In my last post, I reviewed the principles of the successfully unemployed person. These principles, if implemented along with an action plan, will revolutionize your employment search process. You’re almost guaranteed to find or create work faster and with greater fulfillment.
Now, let’s review the remaining 5 principles of the successfully unemployed person:
Principle #6 – Mindset supersedes skillset.
This may be true in all situations, but if you’ve lost your job, this is particularly true. Whether you’re underemployed, a graduate seeking employment, or in a career transition, it is true that mindset is going to supersede, and ought to precede, skillset.
Whether you think you can or can’t, you are usually right.” ~ Henry Ford
Without the right attitude, you will flounder and fail. With it, you will be able to move forward and gain new work more quickly. The right attitudes will help propel you into productive action. Change and trials, some being worse than others, are a part of life. But like job loss, they often involve no choice on our part. We can’t do much about avoiding many of those things, but we do have a choice about handling them positively and meaningfully.
The one thing that can’t be taken away from any of us is our attitude or mindset. Though it’s easier said than done, we will always have a choice in this area. We have to work at adopting the right mindset and attitude, and perhaps shifting it from what it has been. What happens to us, like a job loss, matters less than our response to what happens. Though we usually focus on the end goal, we learn the most during the process even though that process may be difficult.
Putting things into perspective might help you. Reflect on all you sill have – your family, your health, your dreams – rather than focusing on what you have loss. Remember,
It’s not the mountain we conquer; it’s ourselves.” ~ Brian O’Malley
Brian O’Malley also poses a question which I will ask you to answer: If I just had more courage, what would I do today in my life?
Principle #7 – Believe unemployment has a Divine purpose.
Unemployment, though it’s challenging and probably not of your choosing, is nevertheless a divinely-appointed opportunity. The Bible says we are created by God, loved by God, and in His constant care, so we can trust Him even when our difficult circumstances exceed our ability to understand. It’s important to believe there’s nothing haphazard or accidental about what He is doing in your life. It might not feel comfortable or enjoyable at the moment, but it does have a divine purpose.
You may not know the purpose, or all of the purposes, now or ever. God isn’t really obligated to explain Himself to us. But in the midst of the storm, there is a great assurance and comfort in knowing that there is a divine reason for what is going on in your life.
Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by a lack of meaning and purpose.” ~ Viktor Frankl
Principle #8 – Develop persistence against all odds.
Nothing of significance, including finding or creating a job, has ever been accomplished without a high level of persistence and determination. You are going to encounter obstacles, challenges and disappointments in your job search. That’s just part of the process. Consider embracing what Winston Churchill has said,
Never, never, never give up.”
The Bible also promotes persistence and perseverance as found in James 1:12. Persistence will enable you to act your way into a new set of feelings rather than waiting around to feel your way into a new set of actions. Persistence will help you rise to the top of the applicant pool, even if you’re competing against more qualified people. So develop persistence against all odds.
Principle #9 – Creatively consider how to make a life, not just a living.
Once you’ve found your dream job, the one that fits you like a glove at this stage in your life, you will have gone a long way towards making a life and not just making a living. During this time, as you think about making a life, think outside of your vocational box. You don’t have to do what you’ve always done simply because that’s all you think you know. Consider your transferable skills which may be very applicable to other new jobs. Your current circumstances also offer a golden opportunity to create your own business. Give yourself a little time to dream and think about the possibilities.
Principle #10 – Believe that your work does actually matter to God.
I believe that work has a deeply spiritual dimension. Our work and spiritual life are, and need to be, interrelated. Believing this can make a tremendous difference in your attitude and your decisions during your job search process. If you believe God created you, then it makes sense He also knows you, loves you, and cares about your search, your career, and your life. To find out how your work can contribute to what God wants to accomplish in the world, listen in.
Use this job search process in your life not just to reinvent your career, but to nurture and reinvent yourself spiritually, mentally and emotionally during this time of transition.
More details on these principles, as well as ways to become more successful at either finding or creating more fulfilling work can be found in Chapter 10 of the book, Successfully Unemployed – Finding or Creating Your Dream Job. Get your copy today!
- My own job loss and subsequent job search experience,
- 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
- My study of other experts in the job search and career transition fields.
Principle #1 - Finding your dream job requires a life-changing job search.
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.
One of the biggest obstacles that gets in the way of achieving goals is procrastination. This is also why so many resolutions fall by the wayside each year by the end of January. Procrastination seems to really get in the way, especially if there’s something we don’t want to do.
You may delay, but time will not.” – Benjamin Franklin
We tend to procrastinate in our areas of weakness. For some, one area might be cold calling as it relates to job search. You might find it difficult to do and you can’t find the time to complete it. But it’s important to find time to make those calls since it’s one of those key ways into the hidden job market where all of the unadvertised, yet available, jobs are sitting and waiting for someone talented and motivated to fill.
If you need help breaking out of the procrastination cycle, here are 8 ideas on how you can conquer the beast:
(These suggestions come from my experience and an article by Chet Baker)
#1 – Set clear objectives and goals.
It’s easy to get so caught up in the detail that you forget where you are going. By making sure your objectives and goals are clear, you are more likely to achieve them.
#2 – Break large tasks down into smaller tasks.
Sometimes the task is too big. If you look at it as just the ultimate goal, you are more likely to shy away from it and not be able to tackle it because it will seem too overwhelming. Breaking it down into miniature goals will help give you momentum.
#3 – Be aware of your fears.
Sometimes people are afraid to fail, and sometimes people are afraid to succeed. It really is the same fear: the fear of what might happen. This can cause you to procrastinate if left unchecked. Don’t let the fear of failing stop you. There’s nothing wrong with failing, because a great deal can be learned from failures along the way to accomplishing your job search goal.
#4 – Get a fresh start.
Chet Baker, owner of Denver Resume Builder, suggests that some things like cold calls may not be that much fun, so it’s really easy to procrastinate on those things. Don’t allow that to happen. Do those tasks at your best time of the day.
#5 – Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
Indecision comes when you’re afraid you’ll make a mistake. You can’t reach your job search goals without making a mistake. Just remember that mistakes are a part of the process. No one is perfect when they begin something new or different.
#6 – Grow your confidence.
Your confidence tends to grow with activity. As you accomplish those miniature goals, your confidence will grow.
#7 – Choose wisely.
Lack of time seems to be an easy excuse, but it really is just another form of procrastination. We all have 24 hours in a day and we get to choose how we use them.
#8 – Stay focused.
Don’t allow distractions to deter you. Stay focused until the end of the project or until you’ve accomplished your goal.
Keep these tips in mind as you create your S.M.A.R.T. goals, those goals that will lead you to either finding or creating more fulfilling work.
For more information to help you in your job search, be sure to Get the Book that will help you be even more successful at your search.