Monday, April 6, 2009

You Take Your Successes Wherever You Can Find Them

Don’t know about the rest of you, but there’s been a slew of “you know what” kind of days and weeks lately. I was IM’ing a friend earlier and I was whining about not having anything good or positive to say. So, I took my own advice and went for a walk. Do you know that I ran into this guy that I’ve been trying to contact, in the crosswalk of all places! Mind you I want to do some volunteer work for him, but you never know where that may lead. After that, I decided to indulge myself. Heh heh. Nah, nothing big. Just bought myself a trashy novel and a magazine. I have always believed, for as long as I can remember, that it’s a good idea to reward oneself when something good happens. It tends to get you focused on what you might consider something good. Most of you probably know by now, and if you don’t I’m sorry to put a damper on things, but it is very difficult to volunteer these days. Volunteering is a great way to network. It gets you out and about talking to people, meeting and making new friends. Plus you’re doing something for a cause, so you get some good karma points as well. For myself I have sent in applications to volunteer for the botanical gardens and the Friends of the Library. I’m having as much success with them as I have with the gazillion applications I’ve sent out in the last couple months. Therefore, when I ran into the candidate and he was pleased that I wanted to volunteer, I claimed that as my success for the day. That and the fact that I’ve lost 26 lbs since I’ve been out of work makes me feel very successful indeed today.

I want to bring something up and I’m not sure how this is going to land with most of you. Several of my friends have found jobs in the last couple weeks. The reason I mention the fact of how it might affect people is because I know I faced this news with the same ambivalence I had with news of huge layoffs. You know what I mean? With the layoffs, one can say hey there’s a reason I can’t find a job, but at the same time it’s really scary because you don’t know how you are ever going to find a job. However, when people start getting jobs, you start to wonder what’s wrong with you, even though, at the same time, you are really happy for them and would love to share in the excitement, but just have a little problem with it. Am I just projecting or does anyone else feel that way? No really, I am truly glad for my friends and am looking to learn from them what they did differently from me and from what I’ve done so I can improve my search. Just so you all know I believe they got their jobs through networking! That’s right folks; everyone I’ve known who has landed a job in the last six months got it through networking. Why do you think I’m out there volunteering and oh yeah, I’m joining Toastmasters too. The reason I am emphasizing all this is because in this current job market, it may be easy to apply for jobs on-line, but it’s not working. If there’s anyone out there who has a different take on this, I would love to hear it. So here are the different things I’ve done in the last few weeks to improve my outreach: 1. Volunteer, 2. Join a club, 3. Start a group of my own. Oh and finally, I have also reached out to a contact in for an information interview that may lead to something. Finding a job is really a lot of work. It is! It’s also hard. You have to constantly come up with new ways to approach it. But please stick with it. There are people finding jobs, and good jobs at that. We will all go back to work and probably look back on these times as “the good old days”.

Hopefully, this information is of help to you all. I am really not saying anything new, but I think, I myself, need to revisit the basics from time to time. Oh another idea that a colleague brought up at lunch, was having a task list. If you are really and truly looking for something to say you’ve accomplished something, have a task list every day. I have one and do it religiously. Mind you, control is a key factor, both in having the list, and in drafting the list. You need to keep it to an amount of items that you can reasonably accomplish that day and still leave you time to get out and about and make contacts. Whenever you are facing a huge project, and finding a job in this market is certainly a huge project, it is always a good idea to break it down into tasks. Looking towards the future can be daunting, therefore if you can just start breaking it down, you allow yourself to build momentum, find new directions to go in, and to give yourself a reason for a pat on the back.

There now that I’ve finished my blog, I can check off the final item on my list. Isn’t that great? Woo Hoo! I know I’m being silly, but it’s raining outside and I think it’s a very good thing to be silly at the end of the day if it makes you smile. I’m feeding the positive wolf with all my heart.

Good luck every body. Please feel free to comment. I would love to hear from you.

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