Q&A: What To Do When You Need a Jump Start During Your Job Search

Q: I am discouraged, upset and depressed about my job search.  What should I work on next?  My resume? Or …?

A: Without a doubt, work on yourself first.  For now, set aside the resume, and stop typing the cover letter. No document will hide your frustration and upset feelings.   They manifest themselves one way or another, so addressing what is bothering you takes priority above developing your documents.

To address pent up emotion, take steps to affirm your ability and worth even in the face repeated disappointment, rejection and self-doubt.  For starters, build structure into your life.  Establish a routine on which you can count to keep yourself busy and productive. Consider the following to-do items:

  • If you no longer have a job, find several “appointments” every week to keep.  Create a list of potential references, send them your resume and agree to meet each one for coffee or lunch during the next several weeks.
  • Start to exercise again.
  • Revisit hobbies and/or pastimes you enjoy and from which you gain real pleasure.
  • Keep moving.  Attend concerts, games, faith-based and charitable events that get you out of the office or home and circulating in a positive environment.
  • Do what it takes to remain focused and positive.  Volunteer for a charity in which you believe.

Only take on your resume and career planning materials when you feel centered and upbeat.  Then, be critical about the “messaging” and focus and make necessary updates in a positive frame of mind.   You will see the immediate beneficial impact of waiting until your general dispositive improves.

Communication happens simultaneously at every level.  Nothing trumps real positive feelings about life and living.  Your energy and enthusiasm about non-job activities and accomplishments will spill into your career planning and results.   Jump start your life, and you are far more likely to find a rewarding job.

Contact Karen Alphonse at Karena@execSearches.com or visit ExecSearches.com for more information about our career coaching services.

ExecSearches.com is a job board for nonprofit job seekers interested in fundraising, management and executive nonprofit jobs.

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