Remember Gumby, that pliable green guy made of clay? Just the thought of Gumby makes me smile. I encourage you to find the emotional support you need to keep you from spiraling down. These are trying times, but remember, this is not All About YOU, it's been about the economy, the global economy. Take charge of yourself! You can’t change the economy, but you can change your attitude and take control of you. You can work on bending, swaying and learning to be adaptable.
Here are some ideas to consider:
Self-Preservation - Walk, read, go to the library, go to the park, go to the Workforce Centers, go fishing, plant a garden (seeds are cheap), go to church, call a friend, go to a work support group...just go. Refuse to get stuck, become rigid, breakable and fragile. That sense of desperation will not fuel your ongoing job search. When you get to an interview, you will have a better "state of mind."
Volunteer - It is often a true that we get more than we give. Now you might have the gift of time of your hands. Look around. Where could you use some of your talents to assist others? Maybe it’s a week working on a Habitat for Humanity building project, serving a meal for the homeless, tutoring a student or helping an elderly neighbor. Volunteering can help us stay connected and there might be some unexpected networking that results.
Work Smart, Not Just Hard - Make sure you are working your job search in the most efficient way. I encourage all of you to "think outside the box." Write an IMPACT Letter not merely a flat, traditional Cover Letter. Add interest, appeal and a “hook” to your letter. Be genuine and enrolling. Informal
Networking - In the meantime, you might connect with a temporary employment agency, become a coffee barista or work retail. When you are around customers, there is a chance to talk with people you don’t know and expand your circle of contacts. These kinds of jobs expand your casual networking and can lead to an informational/referral meeting to expand your work and training options.
Your Sense of Humor - Laughter can lower your blood pressure and kick in natural endorphins. You need several laughs a day and most of us don’t get that. We all need to lighten up to help cope with stress.
Retrain or Diversify - Be realistic. Are your skills “cutting edge?” Are you in a saturated field? Has your job been outsourced? Is it time to get reinvested? Online classes or an additional certification might unlock some doors to opportunity. Learn how you can transfer your skills or expand your skills with an informational meeting with another professional or schedule a visit with a college advisor or career center.
Be Gumby-like! Stay flexible and don't get bent out of shape!