Job Search: The act of searching for employment. A job search is performed when an individual is either unemployed or dissatisfied with their current position.
Have you ever been “laid off” from a job? And by “laid off” I mean fired?
So many people in this Alberta economy are facing cut-backs or outright loss of jobs. When you find yourself in this situation it seems like there is a natural progression of emotions or steps like in the greaving process. I’m not sure that they follow the same process, in fact I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. While I didn’t get laid-off or fired, I did quit my job in anticipation of moving to another town and down sizing. I would imagine, and correct me if I’m wrong here, that the job search process is the same whether you quit or get fired. Here’s where I am at so far……
First – Excitement and Anticipation
Suddenly you hear things like “when one door closes another door opens”. You start off in the world with the biggest exhale that you have had in a very long time. You get to sleep in without the alarm waking you up. All is blissful with the anticipation of all the exciting opportunities coming your way. You are bound for bigger and better things.
Second – Realization
After the rose colour glasses start to get harder and harder to see through, I find you enter the reality check phase. There are jobs out there that you are qualified to do, but you applied for 42 of them and haven’t got an interview or even an email reply saying that they got your application! There is also the realization that you aren’t as young and experienced that you thought you were. Sure you have skills, talents and experience but so does everyone else? You believed all the people who told you that everything would work out and that you were bound for greatness.
Third – Panic and Regret
Then comes the next phase and hopefully you don’t stay in this phase too long as it could become WAY too comfortable to wallow in all the negativity that is coming out of the second phase. This is where, after you have had only two interviews in two months and the person running you through the proverbial interview cog is half your age, you know you are settling in very well to panic and regret. They start asking you things like where would you like to be in 5 years? and what’s your biggest weakness? What happened to exciting opportunities falling into my lap because I am so awesome? You scour the internet on the typical job sites you have bookmarked, checking them daily and sometimes more than that hoping to see something change, something that looks promising, something that you can apply for and feel excited about the prospect. Its like an addiction that you are waiting for that hit to get a high!
You also start to panic because it has been months and lets face it, the finances that you enjoyed before, seem to be dwindling faster than you had anticipated. Maybe you should lower your expectations, take that retail job, apply for the local burger joint specialist – hold-on…..hope you can even get that job? Maybe I should have not quit my job without getting a new one all lined up. Like I said, PANIC.
Fourth – Self Awareness and Faith
As you pass through panic, it forces you to take an inventory. You tell yourself to breath and step away from the crazy person who is clicking and reformatting her resume for the hundreth time.
What got me into the fourth stage was an article I happened to run across while on linkedin. It was tweeted by Liz Ryan (who I now follow on twitter cuz she’s awesome). It was called “How David Learned to Stop Selling Himself Short”. I don’t know what lead me to follow that concept, but I’m glad I did. It talked about how David was stuck in Stage Three. How he had his Opera AHA moment and applied it in real life. I was inspired. I let it sink in, and decided that Connie was Going to Stop Selling Herself Short.
It was also then that I realized what I had gone through and was heading towards Faith and that it would all work out. Being a woman of Faith, I had been relying too much on my own strength. Worrying about the future instead of living in the present. Such a hard thing to do when we go through major life changes.