The autumnal season has taken on a decidedly chilly aspect and I have been forced to start layering my wardrobe to keep the warmth in and the cold out. But, during a recent coaching session with a client, I felt that ‘chill’ of despair, disappointment and a sense of despondency as he expressed his experience of not being able to find work.
As a career coach, I often urge clients to evaluate their current situation and then work with them to define their work-related goals and prepare a plan outlining how they will go about achieving those goals. Most people are resilient to knock backs but a few, like this client, are ‘stripped bare’ , feel stuck and appear to have nothing left.
So, when faced with such an experience how can you move forward?
Here are my tips for getting out of ‘stuck’ mode:
Re-focus – don’t let the external situation take your focus off what you want to achieve. This negative experience will pass! Look within and search yourself for the thing that makes you tick. Finding that source will more often than not remind you of what is important to you, what energised you in the first place and why you were on that path. Even in a challenging employment environment, ensuring that your work is aligned with who you are is key to your success in securing that job;
Prioritize – what will you work on first? Trying to do everything at once often leads to confusion and burnout. Decide the outcomes you wish to achieve and how this activity will get you to the next stage. Set up a ‘Can do today’ list to help you remain realistic about what you can achieve within the working hours you have set aside. Also, prioritising a task gives you something concrete on which to focus;
Schedule – make an appointment with yourself to complete tasks within a set time. If not scheduled, most tasks usually do not get done. Besides, having a set time by which you need to complete a task gives the brain order and something to hold onto;
Action – that first tentative step is usually the hardest. Once this is done, the rest will flow and even if you get stuck, repeating the first three steps (listed above) will get you back on track. If you need help, decide what you need help with and prioritize that aspect then ask for help with that item so that you are not overwhelmed with an ever increasing ‘to do’ list. Make the most of your support system and ensure that everyone knows what type of work you are looking for or what you are seeking to achieve;
Reward yourself – however small your progress, reward yourself! Celebrating small successes will help you to see and appreciate the steps you have taken and motivate you to keep going, so that you can get more rewards!!
Of course the employment environment is challenging to say the least but remaining positive and motivated is increasingly important if you are to succeed in securing that job, even if it is ‘any job’ …for now. And, don’t forget … make your experience count.
And finally, a line from that well known saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”! Cliché? Perhaps… but true nonetheless!