Master Career Counselor

Carla Hunter, President of Career Span, Inc. is a Master Career Counselor (MCC) by the National Career Development Association and a Certified Career Coach by the National Board for Certified Counselors. She is an expert in writing resumes, effective job search strategies and interviewing success. Most recently, with over 20 years of navigating the complexity of today's world of work, she published "Finding Your Place in the World of Work", a career interest inventory (2014) and CareerView, an iPad app. As a private practice career counselor and a workforce development consultant, this blog is Carla's trove of ideas, trends, forecasts, and career tips for finding meaningful work.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Remember Who You Are

The search for work often feels like navigating impossible terrain with hidden land mines.

The high points are amazing!  The immediate relief when an employer calls to interview is indescribable.  The low points of multiple rejections cause disappointment that can spread over your confidence like a bad case of poison ivy.

The journey to employment can fatigue the strongest among us. It is an exhausting process.

The palpable combustion of uncertainty and stress cause wear and tear on one's very soul.

The longer it takes to find work, the greater intensity of stress and a continuous cycle of unanswered questions. It can be gut-wrenching.  The gnawing sense of loss causes the jobseeker to forget who they are as a talented professional with much to give and gain.

A sense of identity can easily be shattered with a pink slip.

I see grown, burly, strong men cry like babies when faced with the rupture of job loss.  I'm convinced losing your job calls for a funeral of closure, grief and consolation. But we can't stay forever at that visitation.

Questions surface and race through the swirling mind of a job-seeker:

What's my purpose?

Am I good enough to work again?

Who will hire me?

What's wrong with me?

What could I have done to prevent this?

When will this nightmare end?

Ways to protect your esteem and confidence

In the end, the greatest correlation of seeking and finding work is inextricably linked to your levels of motivation, confidence and determination.  When those levels are high, you're likely to gain momentum that naturally works in your favor. Conversely, when they are low, your search drags on endlessly.

What strategies can you intentionally use to keep your self esteem intact?

Listen to beautiful music.
Take a walk everyday.
Listen to motivational people.
Remember the good, let go of the bad.

Everyday, imagine yourself employed.

After landing a job and exiting from the career counseling process, I hear three primary themes of the job loss experience:

1.  Losing the job was the best thing that could have happened to me.  It ends up that job loss led to a better opportunity. Imagine that?
2. I had to view my job search as full-time work and I could not call in sick.  My best work was to maintain confidence. Having supportive friends, family and colleagues is crucial.
3. I had to remember who I was and that nothing, not even job loss could steal my sense of self without my permission.
Remembering my value as a person diffused the explosion of job loss and rendered it powerless.

Finally, if you are the friend of a jobseeker, please encourage them today with a kind word or note.  Express how much you appreciate their friendship and remind them of how important they are to you.
Validate their talent, skills and all the strengths they bring to the table.

The power of being connected and remembering our importance to each other is an important life skill that we all need to practice even when employed.

What additional strategies would you would share with someone who feels frustrated and at a loss with their job search?


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