- Present yourself in a positive way. Instead of saying “I’m unemployed,” say “I’m looking for a new opportunity. Here’s what I’m looking to do and here’s how I contribute.”
- Be sure that you have a way (person or place) to express your emotions directly—and translate them into constructive action. Discouragement and frustration are natural in a job search, even more so in tough economic times. Having a sounding board avoids the “leaking” of negativity into your job search communications.
- Focus your search. Oddly enough, a targeted search is more effective than one where you’re “open.” Saying you’re “open” makes it more difficult for others to know how to help you.
- Spend no more than 20% of your time on published openings (websites, papers, etc.). Spend the other 80% of your time and energy uncovering the hidden job market through targeted research, individual meetings, and cultivating new relationships.
- Surround yourself with people who are positive and constructive. Reduce the amount of economic news you watch or listen to. Find others who have landed new jobs and learn from them.
- Continue to learn—through reading, participating in blogs, and taking formal and informal classes.
- Tap into community resources: your college, university, or high school alumni office or career centers; www.missouricareersource.com; Business Persons Between Jobs (www.bbj.org); church-sponsored employment networks; and networking groups like www.grayhairmanagement.com, www.execunet.com, and www.linkedin.com.
- Develop a back-up plan and time frame. Maybe you’ll temp, freelance, shift directions, or take on seasonal work.
- Get your spending in line with your income. Ideally, build reserves or an emergency fund in case a situ-ation like this happens again.
- Thank anyone who is helpful to you in any way—whether by email or traditional letter. Appreciation and kindness go a long way and are in short supply. When you’ve landed your new job, let the people who were helpful to you know, and extend your help to others.
Thanks to the following people for referrals:
Washington University Career Services, KSDK NewsChannel 5,
Doug Wallace, Richard Terry, and Mary DuParri.
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