I have heard those words ringing in my ears almost constantly, even in my sleep over the last few months. And, in reality, we really MUST think of it that way. But wait a minute…
When you were working, weren’t your little breaks an important part of your day? A few refreshing moments, sprinkled throughout your work day, and a get-together with colleagues over lunch were necessary while you were employed. Right?
Believe me…during the job hunt, they are even more important. We need to make sure that our mindsare clear, our self-esteem is up, and our psyches stay healthy. Keeping ourselves “up” and discouragement “down” are keys to our eventual success.
I recently received, through a friend, the following piece of advice from one of her colleagues, now wonderfully employed (but who spent seven months without a job): “Tell Michelle to avoid being down! No employer wants to hear a down-and-out story!” Seems obvious, doesn’t it? Well, as obvious as it seems, I found myself thinking, what am I projecting in my conversations with recruiters and hiring managers?
Well, if we feel depressed and down on ourselves, it projects, even if we’re trying HARD to disguise it. So – fellow travelers on the path to full employment, here are some things that I have have learned that are helping me. Remember…there will still be down days and moments of self doubt along the way. It’s natural and perfectly OK. The main thing is to be able to ease ourselves back up and face each day with positive anticipation. Here we go:
1. OK…the obvious things…get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, hug your spouse frequently, get a comfortable desk chair, get enough exercise and fresh air.
2. Don’t think you need to forget about your hobbies while you’re working on finding a job. My hobby is photography. It’s more than a hobby -- it’s a passion. More importantly, though, my photos are a huge source of personal satisfaction. I know it’s a special talent, and gives me more pleasure than anything I can think of (OK--I know what you’re thinking…but it’s even better than that because it ‘s ALWAYS good)! Plan some fun things on the weekends. Mondays will seem less dreadful.
3. Do take frequent breaks. There were times when the thought of sitting at my desk, and facing a day of Linked-In on my computer would grow a huge aching and gnawing dread in the pit of my stomach. So don’t do it all day long. Give yourself a start time, and end time, and go outdoors for a walk, or take a short drive in the country. Do something that feels good.
4. When I was working, a great cup of tea was a wonderful refresher several times a day. Indulge yourself. It’ll do a world of good.
5. Find time to get together with your friends—make lunch dates! It’ll help make you feel connected and … friends may give you suggestions and leads that you haven’t thought of yourself. People DO want to help you…think of all the times that your friendship has meant the world to others. Your friends have not forgotten! And besides, it will be fun. Fun is still OK!
This is not the end of my list…but it is enough for today! I’m off now for a cup of Passion Fruit Green Tea. Yum!!
All photography by Michelle Alton