I typically follow up with clients after working with them on their resumes to see how their job search campaign is progressing. I recently completed a resume for one particular client about 2 weeks ago and thought that today would be a good time to check in. I called and asked her how her interview went. Reluctantly, she told me she was still wearing her pajamas and was camped out in front of the TV watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island. Does this sound familiar?
The Aftermath of Unemployment
Are there newspapers piled up at your front door? A pile of unopened bills tossed on the couch? I remember when I lost my job…There were cartons of half eaten Chinese food strewn across the kitchen table and recycling piling up in the corner. My pajamas became my new uniform and I avoided going to Dunkin Donuts at 8:15 am like I used to because “they” were there…You know, those people going to work, dressed in their fancy clothes and driving their BMW’s.
Maybe you have experienced something similar? If you have ever been laid off or found yourself suddenly unemployed, you know it can be a demeaning and dehumanizing experience. You have probably thought to yourself, “How am I going to pay the bills? How will I support my family? What if I don’t get unemployment”?
Unanswered Questions about Job Loss
“What will I tell my future employers regarding why I no longer have a job? What has happened to my value as a human being if I am not contributing to society”? Many people quickly get overwhelmed and lapse into depression. Many of my clients come to me asking questions like this and are often embarrassed they feel this way.
Exercise Your Ability to Define Yourself
There are a couple of important things to keep in mind. You can’t let your job loss define you. This has been especially difficult for my clients who are work addicts…You know the type, don’t you? Working 60-80 hours a week, hiding in the office to avoid family life or other personal issues. In this situation, your job has defined you, so when it’s no longer there, there is a giant void that needs to be filled.
Fill Your Mind With Something Else but Please, Don’t Feed the Negativity Beast
If you fill that void with negativity, that negativity will come across in interviews, in your cover letters, and the way you present yourself in an interview. Instead, tell yourself that most everyone has been through something like this and that you are not alone. Next, take a piece of paper and write down “I am not my job. There is more to me than this job, and I will find another one. “
Hang it somewhere you can see it. In fact, staple it to your forehead so that when you look in the mirror, the negativity monsters have no means of surviving in your head. If you don’t feed into them, they won’t have any hopes of surviving. Redirect your anger and beat those negative thoughts into submission.
Job Search Strategy: Resumes, Cover Letters, and What Else?
The other important issue to keep in mind is that your job search campaign will consist of so much more than a resume and cover letter. If you approach the process with a negative mindset, that will affect your ability to effectively search for a position. You might not even have your eyes open to all of the possibilities out there for you because of your mindset. Once you take steps to change your frame of mind, you might find yourself open to new opportunities.
Expanding Your Career Strategy Skills: Interview Skills, Job Search Skills, LinkedIn
Often my clients are lacking interview skills, job search skills, experience with LinkedIn, or are unfamiliar with ways to network. Each of these areas needs to be developed in order for you to find employment. I am here to help you with not only your resume and cover letter, but to help you navigate these other areas as well.~J.O.