This is the third in a series of guest commentaries from the presenters at our Begin With Yes Careerfest to be held on March 15th from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at White Mountains Community College in Berlin. It’s a free event, with a free lunch, but limited space – to register, please email Leslie Sherman at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 603-271-2591.
In this piece, keynote speaker Paul Boynton uses the Q&A format found in his book “Begin With Yes” and in his popular NHBR column to address the negative feelings associated with job loss, and how the principles of “Begin With Yes” can help.
I am unemployed and have been struggling for months to find a job. I have always worked hard and never expected to find myself in this situation. People are saying that the job outlook is improving but I am not feeling it yet! I am discouraged, angry and anxious, and some days I am so discouraged that I don’t know what to do. To be honest, “Begin with Yes” sounds naive and overly simple. That said, I am open and wonder, what suggestions do you have for me and others like me?
Life does throw some unbelievable curveballs and sometimes just about everyone I know – at least those who have been around for a while – knows what it feels like to be hit in the gut by one situation or another. Sometimes life can feel overwhelming and most of us have been there; I know I have.
Unemployment, especially in this environment, is surely one of those experiences because it not only impacts us individually on so many levels including financial and emotional, but it also can create incredible stress and tension for those around us, especially those who are depending on us to keep things flowing smoothly.
Most people out of work today are there through no fault of their own and this unexpected, undeserved reality evokes all kinds of feelings including anger, resentment, fear, and a sense of powerlessness. All of those feelings are legitimate and make perfect sense. They can also slow us down and make the job search even more difficult than it already is.
This is no time for slogans or platitudes and no time for naive, head-in-the-sand optimism coming from people who aren’t or haven’t faced the challenges you are facing. “Begin with Yes” principles are grounded in reality and they don’t try to sugarcoat or minimize the practical realities, the pain or the feelings that go along with facing those “hit in the gut” situations.
“Begin with Yes” is not a book specifically written about finding a job, and it doesn’t offer easy answers or quick solutions to complex problems.
It is, however, a book that understands being or feeling stuck or immobilized. And it does have some suggestions and strategies to get you unstuck and to help you keep moving even when you don’t have the energy.
It stresses action over attitude and encourages small – sometimes extremely small – steps that keep you moving forward, no matter how you’re feeling. Here’s something you could try: Ask yourself, “What’s one small thing I can do today to move closer to being employed again?”
Steps might include: Getting exercise, sending a note to a friend asking them to help you network, signing up for a seminar at a local college, or brainstorming job interests that are different than your last job. It’s important to keep the steps so small you can do them in an afternoon and as you finish a step, the next step becomes clearer and easier to manage.
These small steps are so important because with each step, you’re moving forward. And when you’re moving you’re no longer stuck. Not being stuck tends to create more energy to keep moving and often your attitude and feelings will begin to shift too. One day, hopefully sooner rather than later, the seemingly smallest of steps may be remembered as that “turning point” step that changed it all!
In addition to these action steps, remember to reach out to family and friends, consider using social media to stay engaged, don’t be afraid to ask people to help, and most importantly, surround yourself with others who will help keep you focused and hopeful.
I surely don’t have all the answers but do believe this approach will help. If you’d like a free eBook download of “Begin with Yes,” just go to my website store at www.beginwithyes.com, choose the eBook download, enter the code YESNH and update your shopping cart and complete the transaction. You will get a link that will let you download the book at no charge.
Also, you may have read about the “Begin With Yes Career Fest” at White Mountains Community College in Berlin on Tuesday, March 15th from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. It’s a free event, complimentary lunch provided. In addition to my keynote, you can also attend workshops on “Job Search – Applications, Resumes and Cover Letters,” “Effective Communication Skills in the Job Search,” “Networking – It’s Not Who You Know, But Who Knows You,” and “Social Media Basics for Job Seekers.”
To register for this event, please email Leslie Sherman at email@example.com or call 603-271-2591. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required. Through a special arrangement with Manchester-based EZStream and Portsmouth-based Kinney Hill Media Partners, the entire event will also be streamed live and archived for later viewing at http://bit.ly/NoBullStream .
It’s truly a collaborative project made possible with the help of NHBR, Public Service of NH, The Department of Economic Development and Logo-Loc. I hope you can be there, in person or via the web.