Friday, May 13, 2011

Job Search Self-Care

Over the past few weeks, I have heard from many individuals struggling with unemployment.  I wish that I could help each and every one of them.  I hope that this post will be a way to reach many of the people I have heard from.  Please feel free to post comments or email me at  I am here to support you!
First, let me say thank you for all your calls and messages!  The truth is they have been very inspiring to me as a Coach!  I was a psychotherapist on an inpatient unit for a couple of years.   The unit was, invariably, filled with unemployed patients who had become severely depressed and even suicidal!  I was fascinated by this phenomenon.  One after the other, I would work with the patients to get motivated and reengaged in life.   As you can imagine, this was no easy feat!  The issues surrounding unemployment are not easy to solve.    Whole lives are affected – there are financial, emotional, relationship, health, and psychological effects of unemployment.
Perhaps, the worst aspect of long-term unemployment is the feelings of isolation that tend to develop.  Even those individuals with strong support systems, often find that no one seems to understand what they are going through.  Friends and family tend to blame the individual after a period of time.  They say things like, “You’re not working hard enough at it”; “You must be presenting yourself badly”; “You are being too picky”.  Just when you need the support most, it begins to seem that everyone and everything is against you!  But, I recommend that you do your best not to become defensive.  State your case, ask for their support and understanding, and keep going.  Truthfully, you may need to eliminate some people from your life if they continually bring you down.
The goal is to maintain as much of your energy, motivation, and focus as possible.  Rejection stings!  It is beyond frustrating to be excited about an employment opportunity only to be let down in the end.   Be sure to learn from each defeat.  Call the interviewer and ask if there was anything you could have done better in the interview or otherwise.  Find out why you were not selected.  Affirm your interest in the position should the selected candidate not work out or should another position become available.
I will not sugarcoat the fact that this is a VERY challenging job market with inordinate numbers of individuals competing for jobs.   Only the strong will survive, so it is important to do all you can to exercise excellent self-care techniques.  This can be your chance to pursue a different career - something you have always wanted to try but haven’t due to the risk involved.  Now, it may be a necessity to switch gears!  Use this fact to help maintain your enthusiasm as you continue your job search.

For more tips, please visit and check out my article entitled “Over 50 and making it in today’s job market”.    

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