A Day in the Life of an Unemployed Job Seeker

If you are presently out of work and looking for a job, you may be experiencing one of the biggest frustrations for people in this situation – difficulty staying confident and energized.  This is often a challenge when there isn’t an office, co-workers, or work schedule to ground you, can be the distraction that keeps you from using your most effective strategies and feeling on top of your search.  

The networking and search strategies you employ are important.  And just as important, is staying engaged, confident and positive in your search process.  So how can you do this, you ask?  First remember to notice who and how you are being in your search process.  For example, notice where limiting thoughts or a less than positive attitude, may have you “swimming against the current.”  Your awareness of these patterns is often the first step to shifting your thoughts and grounding yourself in the positive, energized flow of your “success zone.”  As you continue to notice and shift these patterns, you will approach your search process from a more positive, energized perspective, bringing your best creativity and confidence – two key ingredients for job search success. 

Also, consider using a vision plan as a way to support yourself in staying anchored to your most positive thoughts and attitude.  I’ve included a sample vision plan below.  It’s a to-do list that includes some strategies about how to be in your “success zone” and maximize your search success.  Tailor it to your day and strategies and then let it support you in bringing the best of YOU to your job search success!

 (A Sample Vision-Plan) 

You check and respond to emails and phone messages.  You are on top of your messages because you know that prompt follow-up can make a significant difference to your job search success.

You update your personal networking contact list regarding meetings or phone calls.  Using a notebook or spread sheet, you stay on top of contact names, dates of contact, and information shared.  You know that this is a great way to not only organize your search, but also a great way to ground yourself.

You review your vision for the job you are looking to land.  You feel good as you read it, remembering how great it will feel when you are in the job you want and loving it.

With continued focus, you review your contact log and follow up with outstanding  emails or phone calls that are pending.  You know that recruiters and other contacts can be busy – sometimes swamped with other agenda items, and so may take a while to get back to you.  You gladly take responsibility for following up with them.

You check for new postings on the list of job websites you are following.  Your list feels current, on target and has grown as you’ve shared site information with fellow job seekers, and developed a system for managing your site priorities.

You remind yourself of a new “flow” pattern you want to strengthen.  Remembering what you’ve learned about where you stop or hold back in your job search process (i.e., follow-through, attitude, perspective, etc.) you take at least one action to shift an old “stop” pattern to a “flow.”  You have a new conversation with yourself to continue your shift into energizing, productive thoughts and actions. 

You email, and/or submit your online application and resume to a goal number of new listings that are of interest.  You feel confident about your resume and feel good that it is out there working for you.

As your “work” vision is close at hand, you review it again.  Again, you feel good as you read it, remembering how great it will feel when you are in the job you want and loving it.

You take a break and give yourself an physical energy boost.  You perform 15 minutes of a healthy, physical activity.  You know that anxiety and stress are often reduced by movement and physical exercise.  You notice that this exercise break is getting you out of your head and into your body — giving your brain both a break as well as more oxygen.  Whether it’s yoga, meditation, going for a walk or run, you feel energized. 

Remembering your need for connection to people, you contact a supportive friend.  Whether via email, telephone or over lunch, you exchange some thoughts about your day or week and take in the support others have to offer.  It feels great to feel connected.

You then check your calendar to verify that you are attending at least one in-person networking activity this week.  You plan for what you need to do to make it a feel good, productive event.  Having confirmed what you will wear and that you have plenty of business cards, you consider ways you will reach out to make new connections.  You notice that practicing and updating your new, confident and clear elevator speech has you feeling ready to meet people.

Using a notebook or spread sheet, you update your networking contact list.  You feel organized and grounded as you conscientiously use your list to keep track of contact names, dates of contact, information shared, and any longer term follow-up activities. 

And now you take a break, completing 30 minutes of a relaxing, creative activity.  Whether it is painting, gardening, singing, playing the guitar, etc., the shift to a more creative, right brain activity gives your left-brain focus a nice break.  Taking a creative break, helps you to freshen your thoughts and strategies, bringing your best thinking to the work of finding a job.

And then you trust.  You notice any thoughts that may be lacking trust, and you remind yourself that you have the power to create exactly what you want. 

So, it’s not just a plan, but a vision plan.  Write an organized vision plan for your process to include, not only your action items, but the “YOU” in your process – your attitude, perspective, confidence, etc.  Stay grounded in the possibilities for success.  And never underestimate the power of a clear vision.  You dream job is waiting for you!

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About Trish Pratt, Certified Executive and Career Development Coach

Since starting my coaching business over 17 years ago, I have had the pleasure of working with hundreds of professionals ranging from C-suite executives to individual contributors. Growth areas have ranged from communication, team development and leadership presence, to refining career clarity and direction. I am propelled in my business by the desire to help people align their work success with their life success. Whether supporting leaders in creating a strategic plan that builds an aligned company culture, or supporting individuals in their personal leadership and productivity, I believe that success lies in your clearest and most energized mission and direction. Other accomplishments that support me in my work are: • 15+ years of corporate and individual experience – coaching professionals in their work strategies and career development. • Completed CoachU Coach Certification in 2002 • Completed Executive Coach Certification in 2003 from Executive Coaching Institute • Past Board and Committee member of the International Coach Federation (ICF)- New England • DISC expert and trainer since 2002 • Received Professional Coach Certification (PCC) in 2005 (requiring a minimum of 7500 active coaching hours) • Published in Human Resource Executive Magazine (“Empowering Key Managers”) • Inducted into The Results System™ (formerly PaperRoom™ System) Founder’s Circle in 2011 • Nominated for ICF-New England Executive Coach of the Year Award, 2014
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