By Maria Martinez,
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate as of December 2010 was 9.4%. This means that if you are one of the 14.5 million people in the job market, you are not alone. However, if you think about it there has always been unemployed people. Sure, when the economy is robust, there is more access to jobs and individuals that are well prepared usually have opportunities to choose from.
That aside- the preparation part, which we will discuss in a minute, I mention the fact that there has always been a job market out there for a reason. I want you to consider that more often than not, you will have to be competitive and marketable in order to become gainfully employed. Depending on your connections and previous experiences, you may have an easier task or even perhaps less rigorous expectations when it comes to interviewing still, for the majority of us we still have to work hard as job searching, interviewing, marketing ourselves, etc. Bottom line is not too many employers will come knocking on our doors to offer us the job we want/need. Thus in an ever changing job market environment if we want to succeed, we have to be ready to play the game.
In my opinion, part of the problem of the job market right now is that people are not been very selective in regards what jobs they are accepting. Granted, tough circumstances call for difficult decisions however, the fact that so many people feel trapped and unhappy, not only is a disservice to the employer (and by default to the client) but to the individual him/herself. Why? Well, because when you are miserable at work, it is likely that it will impact your level of motivation, energy and your desire to do a good job and what is even more important, it eats up your drive, your self-esteem and it rubs off on people around you.
What to do? As a coach, my first suggestion is to be real. By being real I mean that you take into account a few elements:
1. The job market is always changing, those looking for the opportunity must understand it and find the best way to take advantage of it. Be knowledgeable of resources and use them. Educate yourself regarding employment agencies or forums, job fairs and the latest in electronic job searching, resumÃ© preparation, etc.
2. Since there are so many external factors that affect the job market (meaning we have little to no control over) we must then focus on the factors we do have control over: our attitude, willingness, discipline, preparation and commitment; among others. It is our internal strength that will lead us to a successful job match.
3. Know yourself; this means invest time and money in assessments, additional training, education, coaching or whatever you need to be at your best. Understanding yourself; or creating awareness allows you to being able to zero in your strengths and opportunities and furthering your development to make you more suitable for the position you want.
While I performed my duties of Career Counselor, I always coached my clients in that when we are unemployed, ‘finding a job is your job.’ People often looked at me perplexed. Filling out an application or two; or reviewing the newspaper or going to Monster.com is not sufficient. It is important to invest the time and the energy that you would otherwise put into if you were employed, to the job search effort itself.
Remember, there is hope. When you look at the whole picture, take in all the positives. It is easy to fall in a trap of discontent or despair, but trust me by focusing on the misery and misfortune you are only prolonging the effect of a negative state of mind. It is not unusual then to see that someone that has been unsuccessfully seeking employment will start suffering from emotional and physical ailments (up to and including depression and anxiety,) as well as losing or gaining excessive weight, and deteriorated relationships, including breakup and divorce, just to name a few.
I said there was hope! Look again at everything you have going for yourself. Write a list. Even if at first you are only writing that you are reading this article, good for you, for you are seeking an answer and you are investing time in your own development. Keep writing. Don’t stop until you come up with at least 30 things. Once you do that, turn your focus to your strengths. Write a list of at least 10 and keep adding every time you come up with a new one. Once you know more about yourself, I believe you will be in a better position to market yourself, to articulate what you want and you will be more confident that you have what it takes. If you settle for ‘anything’, the decision is going to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. Compromising or taking a job for the wrong reason will result in unhappiness and dissatisfaction. Nonetheless, if you do accept a position (due to financial reasons, for example) then I encourage you to give your best! Make a point to be the best at what you do, learn the ropes and while you are there, try to develop relationships and connections.
At the end of the day, you only have control over your input. Whatever you are putting out there, will come back to you in some way. If you are sending negative energy (like when someone says “I hate my job” or “I can’t stand my boss”) that energy will be returned to you through your experience. If on the other hand, you know this is a temporary solution and you are happy that you have been given the opportunity; you can then turn your attention to doing things right while you continue to assess yourself, work on the areas that will prepare you for a better job or career and are more likely to feel the joy of being appreciated for doing a good job.
Â© 2010 Maria Martinez
Create the Life You Want – Start Within. Maria Martinez is a Professional Life Coach; she works with individuals as they pursue goals to achieve greater levels of success. She is the Owner of INNERactive Coaching and provides individual and group coaching. To find out more about Life Coaching and other services, check out the website http://inneractivecoachingonline.com/ or via email [email protected]
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