Many jobseekers find themselves in a funk

Perhaps it doesn’t need definition. If you’ve been there, you know what it is. Funks are hard to fight. They rob people of every ounce of energy and leave them feeling dejected and uninterested, bored, tired, and filled with negativity.

Funks can also trigger intense anger. Anger at not being able to find a good job. Angry at the system. Intense frustration because they can bring value, if they were just given a chance. And now there is the anger that we are told unemployment is under control and we are back to “normal”…when the labor participation rate is now at 62.6%.

Okay, back to the funk. What can we do about it.

Personal To-do list:

  1. Make a list of positive things to think about.
  2. Choose 3-5 things that are going well in your life. Write them down as well.
    These don’t have to be earthshattering. It could be something simple, like good news from a friend.*
  3. Check your thoughts for hidden or false assumptions. Ask yourself:
    • Do I assume other people are doing well?
    • Do I assume that I have it harder than everyone else?
    • Do I assume that I have nothing to offer anymore?
    • Do I assume others see me in a negative light?
  4. Count your blessings:
    • Am I healthy? What about those I love?
    • Do I have a place to sleep?
    • Do I have food for today and tomorrow?
    • Is there someone in my life that believes in me?
  5. Look for negativity triggers and eliminate or avoid them.
    • Negative self-talk
    • Negative people who discourage you.
    • Checking the unemployment rate.
    • Talk radio.
    • Music.
    • Friends
  6. Look for triggers that encourage immobility:
    • The TV (just turn it OFF).
    • Your favorite lounge chair.

* This addition from Tom Raducha.

Positive reminders :

  1. Be nice to yourself and others.
  2. Encourage others, especially other jobseekers.
  3. Write a recommendation on LinkedIn for a former colleague.
  4. Offer to help someone practice his or her interviewing skills.
  5. Volunteer reasonable time using your professional skills; consider a non-profit that needs help. This will:
    • Add recent work experience to your resume.
    • Keep your skills sharp.
    • Create goodwill.
    • Give you a recent reference.
  6. Every day, no matter where you find people, encourage them in some way:
    • Offer a smile.
    • Respond to their situation (e.g.,”You look tired, when does your shift end?” “How are you today?”).
    • Offer to help someone.
    • Say something nice.

A few “dont’s”:

  1. Compare yourself or your situation to others who appear to be better or better off.
  2. Complain – it brings you down and discourages those around you.

Fighting the funk is the most difficult challenge that a jobseeker faces. It is critical to the jobsearch. If you are a jobseeker, you do not have the luxury of negativity—it will kill your search, your relationships, and your hope for a positive, productive future. This is the challenge.

Do you have additions to this list? What has worked for you? Do you have any questions to ask…ask. I’ll respond.

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