How many times in life have you jumped in to something head first ... only to kick yourself later and say "Why didn't I think about this before I started? Why didn't I make a plan?" Job hunting is no different.
Contrary to popular opinion, the toughest (and most critical) part of any job search is not writing a resume, networking or even interviewing. It's knowing what to do, when ... when you are all alone, stuck in your own head. If you don't have a game plan, or a strategy for knocking worry and self-doubt out of the way, they can jump up and grab you at the worst of times. That's why we pulled together some videos and exercises to help you get clear and stay focused - every step of the way.
Before you jump ahead to the resume section, I highly recommend you watch all the videos in Step 1 (they are short and sweet!) and do a few of the exercises. If you set your stage for success now you can slash months off your search!
Just breathe! Don't forget to breathe. Today. Tomorrow. As you shake a hand and introduce yourself at a networking event. Right before a job interview. Anytime your nerves start to get the best of you.
Whether you got here on your own, or with the help of someone else, you’ve decided that you need a new job. If you have been here before, you already know that this is going to be hard work. If this is your first search for a new job, you are likely still stunned and afraid of what awaits you on this journey. You need to acknowledge that. Changing jobs is high on the list of stressors in life. So, before you jump into solution mode, stop and do something nice for yourself. Recognize that this is tough stuff. Be gentle with yourself. You will find a great new job.
Now, go blow off steam doing something fun. Find a fun outlet. A friend of mine who was laid off decided to go bowling. She bowled a lot. Throwing bowling balls down the lane, watching the pins get slammed into the gutter, helped her get rid of some of the anger and frustration she felt. Physical activity is a great way to let off steam. Even a simple walk can make a world of difference in the way you feel. Watch a movie. Take your kids somewhere fun. Dance in the rain. Do anything that makes your heart sing.
In short, whenever you are feeling overwhelmed during your search for a new job, just stop, take a break, and go do something nice for yourself. Then carve out time to do more of that on a regular basis.
Here's the deal: job search is tough enough without worrying about how you are going to pay your bills. It only gets harder if you stall, and tell yourself "I'll figure my money out another day." Do yourself a favor and take some small, but very important steps to take charge of protecting your finances right now during this transition. You will sleep better. You will feel better. And most importantly, you won't waste precious time worrying over that when you could be focused on an effective job search.
I've got some great news for you: Financial wellbeing (security) is not measured by how much money you have in the bank, but rather by how much control you feel you have over your finances. A remarkable global study by Gallup (5 Essential Elements) revealed that if you feel in control over your financial situation, you will be much happier than if you cross your fingers and hope for the best. Baby steps count!
No matter what brought you here (you just want something new, you're afraid you might lost your job, or you already lost your job), it's very important to protect your finances and your health while in transition. Below are some quick tips on how to do that. Of course, everybody’s situation is unique, but there are some primary issues that arise when changing jobs:
If you are still working and have insurance, you don't have an urgent need to think about insurance. However, it's something you need to pay close attention to as you evaluate job offers. Healthcare insurance policies and out-of-pocket costs for a family of four range from a few hundred per month to $2000 per month, depending on the company. You can't afford to ignore this critical expense. You also need to compare other benefits, such as life insurance, short and long-term disability. If those are not available at your next employer, what will you do to cover the gaps?
If you are about to lose your job (or already did), health insurance is something you need to address immediately. You may also need to take an immediate look at life insurance coverage for your family. My biggest advice is to do some research, talk to experts in each field, and make sure that you and your family are covered.
Did you sign a non-compete agreement with your current or former employer? If so, that might really limit your job opportunities. Bad news does not get better with time. If you have any concerns, review your employment agreement with a reputable employment attorney. The last thing you want to do is take another job and quit, only to find out that your non-compete prohibits you from doing so.
If you feel you were terminated wrongfully, seek advice from a reputable attorney. Your friends and family have the best intentions, but their advice could cause you a great deal of heartache down the road.
In summary, make sure you think about big life issues like your finances and insurance. Once you take care of these things, you will have the peace of mind to put all your energy into finding a new job.
If this is your first time being laid off, you're in for a great surprise. There are some wonderful resources available to you (funding and programs vary by state). Put on your research hat and see what's out there for you. Here are some things to explore: