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Looking for Work? Don't Shoot Yourself In The Foot.

The ONE thing everyone must do the moment they get fired or quit is...NOTHING.

Do I need to repeat that? 

Put another way… For at least the first 3-5 weeks DO NOT be guilty of any of the following, reactive behaviors:

  • ACT before thinking and planning
  • Apply for anything and everything that you CAN DO
  • Find any job you can get your hands on
  • Take the first offer that comes to you
  • Don't badmouth prior employers… never radiate negativity and long past bitter resentment.
  • Panic and run around in circles… ‘Looking busy’ is rarely productive
  • Tackle the “honey do” list around the house

Avoid the temptation. All this is going to do is fritter away early opportunities, ground your high expectations, and repeatedly bring you back to ‘ground zero.’ That is not what I call progress. 

To be productive and efficient in career transition, there are several steps of preparation to accomplish before undertaking the journey called “JOB Search.” First off, deal with your emotions and any actual fear by realizing a few critical things…

  1. Be aware of your financial security ‘window,’ budgeting up front to increase your protection.
  2.  It’s never as bad as you think. You’re not going to starve and go homeless. And there’s likely something a lot more interesting in store.
  3. You have more options than you realize. If you got fired or laid off, then you’re likely getting severance or unemployment benefits. Ok great, you’re not going to die of hunger. Calm down. Take a breath.

Now that you’ve stopped avoiding real life, realize that you have the rare opportunity to be unhurried and intentional about what you choose to do next.  You have a clear and open widow to actually understand what you’re here to do. To slow down, think, reflect and take stock of what you’ve learned and do something meaningful with it.

This opportunity is AWESOME… The problem is many that find themselves in career transition don’t see it in quite the same light…

A pessimistic sailor complains of the changing winds…

An optimistic one expects a change to more favorable conditions…

The more practical ones simply adjust their sails!

Expect and respect changes in your career. Then do something with the opportunities presented.

Here are a few ideas to help you 'adjust YOUR sails…’

  1. Dream.  When was the last time you sat down and dreamed huge, without someone telling you were crazy? Go out in nature, maybe lie out on your back and stare at the clouds. Write everything down, recording your thoughts and the emotions you feel… OWN THEM, with no filtering.
  2. Get inspired.  Surround yourself with people you admire or go off all alone with your favorite music or motivating movies. Pick anything that’s been on your list or you know will get you inspired. Take note of where your mind takes you.
  3. Get ‘out there.’  And do something different when you get there…or along the way. ‘Launch yourself’ in to a new routine. Without experiencing an entirely new way of doing things, you will surely still be avoiding your fears…taking the path of least resistance… listening to what everyone else thinks you should be doing about your job search ahead.
  4. Write.  Buy a journal or open up a blank WORD.doc and begin to write what comes to mind. Make it a daily routine. You’re welcome to use a blog or forum if you’re used to it… or make the choice to learn HOW TO do it. Start in the morning when your mind is clear and take notes throughout the day as things come to mind. Maybe you’ll come back to what you wrote. Maybe you won’t. What matters is that you start to reflect. The key is to constantly get your ideas out of your head. Only then will you be able to make real sense of them.
  5. Learn about yourself.  All these steps are designed to help you better understand who you are – to help you find the things you may have never realized you were looking for. To understand your values, strengths, skills, preferences, interests, passions and figuring out how you actually define success, something that most people never make the time to do. That’s not going to be you. Learn with no expectation and no agenda. Only under those conditions is where one’s purpose can emerge.

Note that by following the advice above, you will arrive at a much more efficient and productive FIRST STEP in effective job search and career transition: ASSESSMENT of what you have to offer your next employer.  Don’t think of it as a JOB… rather, give definition to your ‘next right opportunity.’

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