Today, a colleague forwarded an unsolicited email from someone I don’t know, someone who has suddenly found himself out of work, an unwitting victim (my word, not his) of the downturning economy. Jeff (not his real name) writes that, “Obviously, today’s job market is tougher than most so beyond using the traditional job search methods I know I need to get ultra creative and I know I’m going to need all the assistance I can get. I was wondering if you could provide some assistance.”
The truth is that career advice is fairly well available on the web today. Monster, CareerBuilders, TheLadders serve it up by the bucketful. “Have a good resume and cover letter,” they’ll say. Another touts the merits of networking. They do a much better job on career advice than I.
That said, I’ll offer up a couple thoughts.
The first is this: Don’t allow yourself to think of yourself as “a victim.” Sure, the economy isn’t what we’d like it to be and your company needed to take some action. That is, unfortunately, “business” as they say. But to think about yourself as its victim immediately places you in a mental position that can include doubting your abilities, questioning if you should have done something differently, and why it was you and not someone else.
I’m not saying a little self-reflection is bad, I’m just suggesting that victims have it tougher than those who are mentally tough.
The second is this: Each of us can achieve more than we think we can. The difference between mediocre and magnificent comes down to one thing: passion. Substitute a different word if you’d like: emotional engagement, enthusiasm, joy, zeal, fervor, etc. Pick one that fits and live it to the fullest.
Here’s why. All great achievements come through dedicated, hardworking people who believe in their mission and purpose. And only YOU can do that for yourself.
When you approach the job market, do it with a passion and belief that you are the best at what you do because you (1) have practiced doing it (2) consistently do it and (3) have a full glass, not a half full one or a half empty one.
Here’s an afterthought. Find your touchstone, something you can believe in if times get rough. This can be your family, a strong belief that never shakes, a favorite saying. Return to this and remind yourself why it’s important to you. Leverage it if you have a bad day.
So, throw yourself a pity party if you must, but don’t stay too long. The world is big and it needs you!