TODAY'S JOB MARKET CAN BE AS SLOW AS MOLASSES. If you've gotten the boot and find yourself in the job market, be prepared for a longer rather than shorter job search. Competition is for the fewer jobs out there is fierce. Not only are there less jobs but the hiring process also is taking longer.
How to survive a long job finding campaign
You'll survive by overcoming these seven common barriers faced by job candidates:
- CHANGE. You resist change. Why? Because of the feeling you lack control over your situation. You'll take back control by taking the initiative to explore options available to you. Then make plans to take action.
When you're unable to make your mind about which option to choose, explore several of them for awhile. Then narrow down your choices after you've determined where your best opportunities are.
- A CHANGING JOB MARKET. So the last time you interviewed was over 20 years ago? The way you've hired has changed a lot since then. The application process is more complicated and, as stated above, takes longer and you need to deal with this fact.
- UNFAMILIARITY WITH SEARCH TECHNIQUES. Job search pros brush up on their job search skills and learn new ones. When your search is taking too long, join a job club in your community. You'll find them in libraries and in the foundations of churches and in synagogues. Some clubs have a career counselor on hand.
You can also work with a career counselor in your community. As the saying goes, "two heads are better than one." A qualified career counselor can show you the ropes quickly. This can help you land faster.
Avoid any counselor or job agency that requires a fee upfront. Most are either unethical or they're rip-off artists. Your best bet is to hire a career counselor who you can pay by the hour. Then you can bail out anytime if you become dissatisfied.
- BEING BUGGED BY TECHNOLOGY. Technology has changed the way you work. Practically every job under the sun requires some kind of technology. So you might need to take courses in whichever computer skills you lack or need for your next job. Job descriptions in classified ads and on the Web inform you of the skills required for the kind of jobs you're gunning for. You need to learn the skills you lack.
- SELF-BLAME. The decision about downsizing employees has nothing to do with your performance. It's more often the result of your company's decision to downsize in order to increase profits. The loss of your job was not your fault. Stop blaming yourself.
- TALK ABOUT IT. The stress of losing a job combined with a prolonged search can be compared to the stress associated with the death of someone close to you, moving, or a divorce. When anxiety is not processed it can lodge in your body and cause illness.
What's the best way to process feelings? By talking about them with family, friends, at a job club, or with a mental health professional.
- THE LACK OF PHYSICAL MOVEMENT. You've heard the expression, "you gotta keep moving." The longer your search is taking, the more you need to work-in daily periods of exercise. Medical experts tell us that exercise combined with proper food and rest is the best way to reduce stress.
While you will not be able to conquer all of your stress, you'll greatly reduce pressure on yourself, your friends, and family members by understanding and working to bypass those seven barriers. And most important, a prolonged job search will be shortened.