As job search coaches, my colleagues and I are experts at helping clients plan and implement their job searches. We teach about social search (leveraging social media), Web 2.0 networking, the Direct Approach, uses of job boards, how to work with recruiters, email and direct mail campaigns etc.
The only trouble is ... sometimes the very nature of job search can cause people to feel uncertain, not in control, anxious, vulnerable, over-eager, even desperate. And these feelings tend to undermine both the activities of job search and interviewing.
To complicate matters, clients frequently are dealing with feelings related to short- or long-term unemployment or sudden termination due to company changes beyond their control (mergers, acquisitions, natural disasters like Sandy, a shift in the company's strategic priorities) or complications such as personnel conflicts or perceived non-performance.
The inevitable emotions that accompany any of these circumstances need to be acknowledged, validated and processed so that they don't creep into your voice, body language or job search effort. Talk to a friend, or get short-term counseling if you need to.
Even if you have a solid position of employment and are just looking around, you will most likely experience a degree of tension about being assessed or judged by hiring authorities or recruiters as they consider you for opportunities.
So, stress, anxiety, self-doubt are often unwelcome guests at the job search party.
This is where some radical healing is needed. This is where some simple Buddhist practices can change your stress into calmness, your anxiety into serenity, your self-doubt into confidence. Practicing the following breathing exercises as presented by Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh can transform the way you go about your job search.
Try saying these to yourself, breathing deeply in and out, a couple of times a day as you go about your job search. Picture yourself in your mind's eye as a flower, mountain, still waters, space and as a living being and internalize the helpful feelings that accompany those pictures.
Breathing in I see myself as a flower, breathing out I feel fresh
Breathing in I see myself as a mountain, breathing out I feel solid
Breathing in I see myself as still waters, breathing out I feel calm
Breathing in I see myself as space, breathing out I feel free
Breathing in I am alive, breathing out I smile to myself
Thich says, "The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present - that is the only thing you can do."
Try these practices and see if your job search doesn't start to feel more purposeful and skillful. You may find that you feel more serene as you go about your job search activities, secure in your own unique value in the world and focused on the things you can do in the present, knowing that they will lead to a future that will be a good one for you.
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