Friday, January 23, 2009
SURVIVAL Part 11: Ways To Get Started
by Jim Davis (Print complete Job Loss Survival Guide)
Some Ways To Get Started
When you lose your job it is really easy to let yourself get bogged down in the "just trying to get by" attitude. It's particularly difficult when you are dealing with the depression of job-loss grief. There are several things you can do, however, to avoid getting caught in that trap or to work your way out of it.
Create a vision of what you want your future to be. Then plan how you can make the vision become real, and work toward it a step at a time. It's best to actually write out your plan so you can make it more definite in your mind. You might consider it your personal "business plan." After all, you are now in the "business" of finding a job. Just be sure to remember that a good plan is a working tool. You will probably change it considerably over time based on what works or doesn't work, even if your vision doesn't change. One of the most valuable things about planning is that it helps you make progress without repeating the same mistakes. Instead, you remember those mistakes and learn from them.
Develop the skill of self-discipline, or "self-leadership." It is easy to let procrastination sabotage your job search, as well as other aspects of your life. Self-leadership is particularly important now, because you are now "your own boss," whether you like it or not. Learn to lead yourself by setting specific goals in small steps and rewarding yourself with something you like each time you reach a goal. You will find it works better than driving yourself and then berating yourself when you don't meet your own expectations.
Learn to communicate actively. This involves more than just talking and listening. Learn to understand others' body language, facial expressions, and other nonverbal cues. Learn to communicate your own understanding and interest by rephrasing what the other person says, using good eye contact and your own body language.
Try to learn something new every day and use it to make your life, or someone else's life, better. Remember that there is no one you can't learn something from. Some of your best ideas will often come from some of the most "unlikely" people. Also remember that you can get lots of new ideas and knowledge from books and tapes, or by taking classes. And, of course, there will always be your own mistakes for you to learn from. Learn to value those mistakes, because they will provide the best experience you can find.
Don't try to do everything by yourself. Let others know what you are trying to do and ask for help when you need it. Find someone, preferably a friend who has a job, to be a mentor and a job coach. They can help give you new perspectives on problems you face, and they can also point out areas where you can make improvements.
Find ways to help others with their problems as well. You will find that when you reach out to others who need help you often gain more than the person you helped.
And, never give up. You may have to change your tactics or even your goals, but you don't ever have to quit.
As you develop your survival skills, you will find that you won't answer, "Oh, just trying to survive" when someone asks how things are going. You won't necessarily always say "Great!" either, but you will know what you want out of life, and you won't just be waiting for it to happen. Also, when you get that next job you will find that these skills will be just as helpful there as they were in getting the job.
End of Part 11