Behavioural Change Brought On With Unemployment


I feel a lot of empathy for you if you’re unemployed and really motivated to find work. Having had times in my life when I’ve been out of work I know personally the ups and downs of job searching with little success until that moment of euphoria comes when you hear the words, “We’re offering you a position”.

The interesting thing about being unemployed is that it’s both the lack of employment and the lack of income that while related, force us to make changes in behaviour; to do things differently than we’ve done. It’s these changes in behaviour that elevate our stress levels. Understanding this can and does help immensely.

For starters, very few people actually look for employment when they are employed. If you are the exception, I’ll still bet you don’t go about looking for another job with the same level of intensity that you would were you entirely out of work. After all, your motivation for wanting a different job than the one you have at the moment is more for personal satisfaction or happiness, wanting to accelerate your career or to build on your current income. The work you do in your current job provides some level of income however, and so if you feel tired when you can finally turn to looking for work, you feel no hesitation to put off seriously looking for another day without guilt. There is much less urgency.

When you’re out of work completely, things change out of necessity. Suddenly you find yourself having no choice but to engage skills that might be rusty or completely foreign to you. Writing cover letters, thank you notes, lining up references, networking for leads, composing resumes, marketing yourself. You may not have had to do these things for a while and you might not find these things pleasant, so you haven’t invested any real-time in keeping up with latest trends in job searching or what employers want.

Secondly there’s the change in income or rather your change in behaviour that has to happen when your income changes. You can either keep spending like you’ve been used to and you’ll increase your personal debt, or you have to cut back and save where you can. Saving money and spending only what you have to is a change in behaviour that can add to your stress. Maybe you drop the social dinners out on Friday nights, start clipping coupons, drop the 3 coffees a day at your local café and only use the car when it’s necessary to save on fuel.

These two changes regarding your spending and having to engage in job search activities are both necessary and both things you’d typically like to avoid having to do. Here then is the reason for the stress; unwanted but necessary activity you begin to engage in.

While I acknowledge that we are unique in many ways, it is also fair to say that in many ways, most of us share similar feelings when out of work. We might feel embarrassment, shame, a lack of pride etc. and want to keep our unemployed status from friends and extended family. If we could only get a new job in a week or so we could then tell people that we’ve changed jobs. We do this of course because we want to save face, protect our ego, avoid worrying over what others might think of us and wanting to keep our relationships as they are. We worry they might re-evaluate us, think poorer of us, maybe even disassociate themselves from us. Ironic then that while worrying about possibly being disassociated with us many unemployed isolate themselves from social contact.

But I get it. When you’re unexpectedly out of work, you have really two options; get job searching immediately with intensity or give yourself a reasonable period in the form of a mental health break. This time might be good for grieving the loss of your job, venting the anger and bitterness until you can focus better on looking forward not back. You don’t want a trigger of some sort to suddenly have you spewing out venom towards a previous employer in a job interview after all.

When you’re ready to focus on looking for a new role, ask yourself as objectively as you can if you have the necessary skills to job search successfully. You might be good in your field of work, but are you as highly skilled as you need to be in marketing yourself? How are your interview skills ? Are you in uncharted waters or have you kept your résumé up-to-date?

I understand that job searching ranks pretty low on most people’s list of enjoyable activities. It’s understandable then that if you too don’t love job searching, you’ve done little to invest any time or money in honing your skills in this area. Suddenly of course, you hope the skills you do have will see you through.

You’re in a period of transition and you’ll feel a range of emotions. You’ll get frustrated, maybe even educated on how things have changed since you last looked for a job. You’ll feel demoralized perhaps and hopefully encouraged at times too. It’s the broad swings of emotions, raw and real that can catch you unprepared. These are normal when you are forced to deal with change out of necessity.

 

 

 

You Know What You SHOULD Be Doing But…


Some people are handicapped because they need help deciding what to do next when it comes to moving forward. If someone in the know would only tell them what to do and why, they’d take action. Others though, know what they should be doing yet fail to actually do what they know they should.

Sometimes it’s not a big deal really; you go to bed with good intentions of cleaning out and organizing the garage in the morning. When the day dawns you just don’t feel like it so you don’t. It’s not a big deal because not doing it on this particular day doesn’t impact on anyone in particular. It’s been disorganized for a few weeks and one more day won’t matter. With the passing of another day – maybe even a week, you find the motivation to clean and organize and the job gets done.

However, there is a problem when you know what you should be doing, you’ve got no good reason why you aren’t doing what you need rather than want to do, and the problem of inaction persists. Take the whole unemployment and job search picture. It’s probable that you know you should be looking for work, making up those resumes and actually sending them off. You tell yourself you’re going to get at it first thing in the morning and go to bed with the best of intentions. Well done.

Upon waking up however, you don’t feel that same degree of motivation. Unlike putting off cleaning up the garage however, getting down to looking for work weighs on your mind. You get restless, your intellect tells you what you should be doing but you can’t or won’t motivate yourself to get going. You pace around the place, sit down, get back up moments later, look out the window, walk around some more, lie down but can’t sleep, get up and walk around some more. So what’s wrong?

It’s not like you don’t have the skills to do what needs doing. It’s not like you don’t know what you should be doing either. You know the potential payoff is achieving your goal of getting a job which would be good and the money of course would help. So you’ve got the incentive, skills and resources and yet, here you are, almost incapacitated and paralyzed and can’t figure out why. Meantime of course, you’re wracked with guilt because your brain just won’t shut down or move on to other thoughts. You don’t find satisfaction in reading, watching the television or whatever normally brings you comfort.

By the way, we all have days such as these. So if you have the odd day like the one I’m painting above, the experience is normal. Definitely doesn’t make it more enjoyable of course, but it is normal. Looking for work when you’re unemployed is definitely frustrating for many what with the rejections, the unanswered letters and emails, the hanging around waiting for interviews etc. The danger lies not in having the odd day like these then but rather, having day upon day of days like these. If this experience is your ‘normal’ day, this isn’t the normal experience.

It’s not likely I’m telling you anything so far you don’t know yourself. Now you might be asking yourself the classic, “What’s wrong with me?” question. In a very real way, I’m thrilled if you are. Why? Simply because if you are asking this question or some close version of it, you recognize that something if off, you’re not behaving and acting the way you’d like and most importantly you would appear in the asking of the question to be wanting to change. So to summarize, you know something is wrong, you want to be actively engaged and that requires some kind of change. Good!

Now, have you been able to – for lack of a better word – ‘fix’ things yourself? If this was an occasional thing you’d have moved on and you haven’t had you? No. So if you want to feel better and know change is needed, and if you haven’t been able to bring about the change you want on your own, it’s only logical to come to the conclusion that you need the assistance and help of someone else. This my friend isn’t a weakness. Sure years ago if you sought out help you would possibly be called weak; be told to just suck it up, man up, get over it, etc.

Many people today believe that reaching out for help is a sign of wisdom. Organizations like Bell promote a Mental Health Day which endorsed by celebrities and widely promoted. Many workplaces have Employee Assistance Programs (EAP’s) which workers can confidentially access to discuss concerns. So where to start? Starting with your Doctor is a good idea. Remember you know you want to feel differently than you do at the present so admitting there’s something wrong is okay.

If technology isn’t your thing, get out the phone book and look up counselling in your community. Walk up to the local hospital and walk past the Emergency Department and head to the Information Desk. Ask for the location of the Dietician and get some information on eating right, as what goes in plays a huge part in your physical health which you shouldn’t ignore or abuse. It’s all connected. Get out and walk. Talk.

Your wellness and good mental health are worth it. Other suggestions?

Forgive Yourself And Keep Going


As I’ve said time and time again, being out of work and looking for employment is a roller coaster ride of emotions. You’re energetic and productive one day, lethargic  and unproductive the next. On the days you make progress you feel good and on the days little is accomplished it’s so easy to get down on yourself.

My advice to you however is to watch those big emotional swings so you can anticipate and deal better with the self-blame which may rear its head from time-to-time. Depending on your individual situation, you may have noticed yourself becoming short with others or repeatedly asking yourself, “What’s wrong with me?”

What’s wrong of course is that you’re not comfortable with your unemployment and your lack of success so far in getting that next job. Sometimes it’s a lack of jobs to apply to in your field or only entry-level positions when you’ve been gainfully employed for 15 or more years and you’re overqualified for entry jobs but not getting anywhere when looking for mid-level or senior positions. Your reality and your assumption of where you’d be at this point in life don’t match up; that lack of balance is playing havoc with your self-image and that’s bringing on these feelings of inadequacy. Where you want to be vs where you are; someone should be held responsible and in your solitude you turn the finger and blame yourself.

Taking responsibility for your situation is commendable; so good for you. However coming around to the point where you can forgive yourself for those unproductive days is healthy and will eventually lead to more of the productive ones which is far healthier.

At the end of a day in which you didn’t accomplish anything of significance, you can opt to be down on yourself or not. Now you might ask, “How on earth can I find a positive in a day when I’ve been so unmotivated I go to bed having accomplished nothing?”

Well think back on life when you were working. I’m willing to bet you enjoyed your downtime; time when you turned to a book, a hobby, enjoyed a television show, puttered around the garden or organized the garage for the umpteenth time. No matter how you spent that persona time, it was time spent of your own choosing; doing whatever you wanted. Sometimes you’d feel very productive and stand back at the end of the day and see what you’d accomplished. The garage was all tidy, the grass was cut and the garden beds weeded, 7 chapters of a book you’ve been meaning to read covered..

There were times too when you lazed around the house and read the paper, had a prolonged Sunday morning breakfast 2 hours later than normal, maybe just kicked back lounging on your patio and soaked up some sun. At the end of those days you didn’t beat yourself up over being non-productive; you told yourself you’d earned those days, you’d needed them to recharge and then you went back to work focused, not having really done much on the weekend but still feeling good about those two days off just the same.

Looking for work is much the same as working in that both require effort and stamina. There’s no boss to hold you to account and certainly no cheque at the end of the week when you’re unemployed, but you’re use to one thing and that’s being accountable for how you spend your time. It’s this accountability that’s got you feeling the way you do; accountability not to a boss but to yourself. You my friend, unlike the boss at work, know exactly how much you’ve given the job at hand at each and every moment throughout your day. So it’s only natural then that you know all the times you got distracted, weren’t motivated, sat and stared at a blank monitor, feared picking up the phone for fear of calling someone and being rejected yet again.

Forgive yourself. This is the key. You’re under stress my friend and giving yourself the grace of having off days is healthy at this time. In fact, while maintaining a regular routine of getting up and getting showered, shaved, dressed and bearing down on getting your next job is commendable and excellent advice, it’s not always going to happen. If at the end of a day you’ve done things you’ve found pleasure in; reading, repairing something you’ve meant to do for some time, watching a movie etc. that could be just the stimulation your brain needed. Your psyche might improve having fed your self-indulgence.

Of importance is to acknowledge your feelings and then return to engage back in your job search. Be it the next day, later this afternoon, or even after a 2 hour break to watch a movie you could have watched in the evening but watched mid-morning instead, get back at it free of the guilt.

Prolonged unemployment will have these ups and downs and it’s best to understand you can’t maintain 100% focus on employment 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, for months on end without some periods of low productivity. That little voice in your head that makes you feel guilty whenever you find your mind wandering? Knock it off your shoulder and stop playing the blame game.

You’ve got a lot to offer the right employer. Your self-confidence hasn’t gone for good. Forgive yourself and keep going.

 

 

Give Up; No One Is Hiring


You might as well pack it in right now and save yourself a lot of rejection, disappointment and time; nobody is hiring. All the employers out there have all the people they need; they are entirely satisfied with the talent they’ve currently got and there’s no new businesses opening up where you live either. On top of that, some employers were actually over-staffed recently and they’ve made up their minds to let some of their people go which makes looking for a job yourself even harder. Just give up.

Oh and you were thinking maybe you’d look into getting a job for Christmas? Yeah you should think again because the malls have done all their hiring and everybody they offered a job to accepted it and is working out great being trained for the big holiday shopping season. You’re too late; next year start applying in October.

Looking at the calendar, you should probably start thinking about looking for work in January; after all it’s a new year and you can start fresh with a whole new attitude right? Actually, come to think of it, who hires anybody in January? Christmas help is no longer needed so all the businesses are actually letting their staff go and some close down so the owners can take their Florida vacations because business is so slow.

Yep, you should start thinking ahead to say, March or April when a lot of organizations typically do most of their hiring. Let’s see…that’s November, December, January, February, March; 5 months from now. 5 months? That’s like half a year almost! Who’s going to hire you after being out of work for half a year? Probably nobody; no, definitely nobody. By then your references are out of date or they will have moved and you won’t be able to track them down. Your skills will have become rusty too. Might as well forget it altogether.

Do you believe any of this? Unfortunately there are some that will word for word. Some will believe it simply because it’s on the internet so it must be true. Others will believe it because they genuinely don’t know any better. A few will believe it because an Employment Counsellor (and therefore someone who they view as credible and in-the-know) is saying it. Another group will want to believe it because they aren’t looking at all and will want to use what I’ve said up to now as their justification for not working.

What you believe becomes your truth; your experience, your reality.

Say something long enough to yourself and it can become what you truly believe and impede you from coming to experience the way things truly are. Essentially  you create your own vision of the world as you live it.

Now perhaps you’re thinking I’m nuts, I’m loony, I’m smoking something that’s disturbing my usual good thought process. Your rebuttal is,  “Ah but if it was only as easy as that I’d have a job in no time.”

You argue that had I wrote everyone is hiring, getting a job is easy, there are jobs everywhere, now is the best time to look for work etc. and people believed this, they’d all run out and get good jobs right away. Well no, I don’t believe that to be the case and I don’t believe many readers would either.

You see it’s easier to believe pessimistic news and views as real than it is to believe optimistic news and views as true.  People tend to be cautious and question the good. They say things like, “Really? I’m not so sure about that”, or “Well, I’ll have to think about that one before I believe it.” Tell the same people pessimistic news and they’ll more often agree right away with comments like, “Aha! I knew it all along” or “See I told you so, nobody is hiring and here’s a professional who agrees with me.”

Job searching can often be a drawn out frustrating experience and a large number of people looking for work do wonder where their next job will come from and how long will it take. If you’ve never questioned out loud, “Will I ever get hired?” at least once consider yourself lucky.

Don’t give up; don’t pack it in. You’ll be tempted more than once to give up and on the days when you’re really fighting and struggling with your energy and resolve, maybe you should put it aside for the day and do other things that you enjoy more. However, get back to the job search and go about it with a plan; a plan that if adhered to, removes your barriers to finding the job you want.

Look, people are hiring. Not all employees do work out so there’s always openings and not all those jobs get advertised in traditional ways. Talk with people, look into the organizations you’d like to work with and learn how they operate and what they value in the people they do hire for the jobs you are interested in.

Take a course, volunteer your skills and time, take a part-time job, learn on-line for free, brush up your keyboarding skills or upgrade your education. Be active not idle in other words.

I wonder how many readers only read the first 4 paragraphs and then stopped because it seemed so negative? Then again, I wonder how many stopped in the 5th paragraph because it started sounding positive?

 

 

“I’m Willing To Do Anything.” NO YOU’RE NOT!


“I’m willing to do anything.” Whenever I hear someone say this, I immediately know that the person is going about their job search in a way that is likely to take much longer as they search for work that pays well, is meaningful and which they enjoy. So I have no reservation about replying, “No you’re not.”

When someone says, “I’m willing to do anything” there are numerous jobs and careers that I could suggest which the person would find boring, hate, beneath them, scare them and outright refuse to do. In addition to these jobs, there are those jobs that the person is entirely unqualified to even compete for. It’s only a sign of their ignorance and stubbornness if they still insist on saying they’re willing to take on some job with training that they aren’t currently qualified to do. For example I might say, “Are you qualified to be a Forensic Scientist working in the field of Archeology?” and if they reply, “If they train me, sure”, then I know the person isn’t in touch with their present reality. If they haven’t got any education beyond grade 12 at the moment, no one is going to even look at them to do this kind of work. In short, they aren’t qualified to do everything so they can’t do ‘anything’ even if they are willing.

So the question I always ask of people who claim they are willing to do anything is, “What kind of work do you want to do that you are qualified to do?” This question almost always results in the person sharing what they’ve done in the past and they then tell me they which jobs they no longer want to do or are able to do, and the jobs they’ve liked or want to pursue.

I’m guessing you’ve had the experience yourself where you ask someone a question to which you get some ambiguous reply; the result being you have to ask a second or third question to get them to reply with an answer that gets to the question you originally asked. It’s like when you speak with a child and ask them why they did or didn’t do something and they say, “Because.” That’s never a satisfactory answer and so you realize you’re sucked in to asking the obvious next question, “Because why?” As the adult, you have to probe to get at the motivation or lack of motivation behind the child’s actions or inaction. The same is true when you ask someone what kind of work they are looking for and they reply, “Anything”.

As an Employment Counsellor, I get this reply quite regularly from those I come into contact with. My instincts tell me as they utter the word, “Anything”, that a conversation is in order before I can realistically help them. Some typical questions include:

  • What jobs have you done in the past?
  • Have you got any physical or mental health issues that limit what you can do?
  • What have you enjoyed in your past work?
  • What education or qualifications do you have?

There are several other questions to ask, but if you’re someone who is looking for work and don’t really know what you’re after, you might consider answering those 4 questions yourself.

Of course there’s the issue of preparation in order to make the most of your job search. We both know that job searching can quickly become a frustrating experience and as humans, we don’t tend to voluntarily engage in things we find frustrating for very long and we don’t throw ourselves into such activities with much enthusiasm. Enthusiasm however, is exactly what you need to have if you want your job search to result in success.

Yes, you could just get lucky and land some job you find soul-sucking and mindless, but wouldn’t you rather find work that you actually enjoy doing; work that pays a decent if not good or great wage? Would you like your next job to be one you stay at for some time so you’re not back looking for work in the near future? Well maybe yes and maybe no depending on what you like or don’t.

My suggestion to you is to seriously look at what kind of work you want. You may have to upgrade your education with a course or two or possibly a few years to get a degree. If you really want that job bad enough in the future, get going on that education now. You might need to revise your entire resume, and if you lack the ability to target your resume to the jobs you want, get some help down at the local employment centre in the city or town you live in. These activities and others like them aren’t a waste of time but rather an investment in your own future.

When you know what you’re after and you communicate that clearly to anyone who asks, you stand a much better chance of the person being able to assist you solely because you obviously have some direction. Saying, “I’m willing to do anything” reveals your key weakness which is you haven’t figured out what you really want to do. The person you’re speaking with isn’t likely to point you in the right direction because you don’t know where you’re going so how would they?

I’ve yet to meet the person who is really willing to do anything.

Making Resumes? Save Yourself Time


You’re not still making a single resume and then photocopying it 50 times planning on handing it out to every job you want to apply to are you? Good for you if you know better. If you are unfortunately going about your job search by doing this, I really hope you’ll stop wasting your paper and your time and start targeting each job you apply to with a uniquely made resume.

Now for those who are in fact targeting your resume to each job, I have a question for you. Have you made a single resume for each KIND of job you are applying to, and then handing this resume out for each job you apply to? You know, a standard resume for Welder jobs and a standard resume for Material Handler jobs and say a standard resume for Forklift Driver jobs? In other words, in this scenario, do you have three resumes and then depending on the job you are applying to, you simply send one of the three versions? Oh no; to coin a phrase, “You’re doing it wrong.”

Unfortunately you misinterpreted what targeting a resume to each job actually means. Targeting your resume to each job means each actual job you apply to even when the job titles may be identical. You make a resume and apply for a job, then when you find another job you want to apply to – even as I say with the identical job title, you apply with a resume that is unique from the last one you used. One job = one resume.

Most job seekers have come to accept this premise with other job seekers dig in their heels at the suggestion and argue that to use this strategy would mean far too much time making resumes and much less time actually applying for the jobs. They envision themselves handing out their resumes all over town while their competition is stuck behind a computer monitor making resumes. Surely, they say, the sheer volume of resumes they are spreading around must have better results than sending out fewer resumes even if they are more specific to the job postings; and they’d be wrong.

Here’s what I’d suggest you try. Go to a job board in some employment centre, or better yet, go online to your preferred job search website. Look for a job you are interested in and once you’ve located one, look for a second with the same title. Lay both job postings on the desk in front of you or pull them both up on the screen of your computer side by side. Now look for at the qualifications that each employer has cited as mandatory and desired. Use a highlighter or if you haven’t got one, just underline in pen the qualifications that are identical in both ads. No doubt you’ll find some words that exactly match on each and that’s great. If you made two separate resumes; one for each job posting, you’d have whatever you’ve highlighted or underlined on each resume.

However, going back to the two job ads, I’m confident you’ll find there are some qualifications that only appear on one of the two job postings – and these you didn’t highlight or underline because they are specific to one ad but don’t appear in the other. Am I right?

These key qualifications set out by each of the two employers have been identified by the employers as required skills or qualifications that are essential if you the job seeker want to get an interview. Sometimes the qualifications are close to each other, like one employer wants someone who can safely lift 40 pounds and another wants someone who can safely lift 50 pounds. If you figure these are pretty much the same and I’m just nick picking, you’d be wrong.

Don’t assume I mean you need to start from scratch with every resume you produce because I agree with you that this would be very time-consuming. Once you lay down a resume and save it, the next resume you produce could be one you produce by tweaking the first resume; making revisions rather than an entire re-write. Editing the amount of weight you can safely carry would mean changing the 4 to a 5 and the meaning from 40 pounds to 50 pounds. A single digit change on the keyboard that aligns what you offer to what the employer needs.

You’ll also find that looking at your one completed resume and a second job that you have qualifications on your resume that the second employer has not stated at all. May be you’ve got down that you’re hardworking, honest and dependable and while these are good traits, the second employer stated what they are looking for is someone with a valid driver’s licence who can read inventory orders and can work a variety of shifts.

In the above paragraph, you can see that it would be preferable to replace what is on your first resume with the things the second employer is asking for if you want to come across on paper as the better qualified person to interview.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe me or not by the way. What you should know however is that some of the people you are competing with are taking this advice and using it with every application. Could be one reason you find job searching a frustrating experience with few results if you don’t.

A Better Frame Of Mind


Whether you’re out of work and looking for a job; feel trapped in your current one and are looking at a transfer or promotion, or yes even burnt out and counting the days to retirement, do a self-check on your state of mind.

You see how you feel is no doubt being picked up by those around you, those you meet, and those you work with now. How do you want to be perceived and viewed and most importantly is the way you want to be viewed by others close to how you feel?

It is a good practice to do a self-check from time-to-time no matter how you feel. For example, when you’re working doing your job, try to keep the same expression on your face and get to a mirror. Without relaxing any facial muscles, smiling or changing in any way, look at your face reflecting back at you. What do you see? Are there furrowed brows, crease lines on your forehead, droopy eyelids or a frown? What does you face communicate to you as you look at yourself.

As you stand there, change a little at a time. Add a smile, relax your jawbones or stop clenching your teeth. Breathe out and in deeply a few times and then re-examine the face in the mirror. Does it now seem different to you and if so in what way? If it does, why does your, “I’m in the middle of work” face look different from your, “I am consciously relaxing” face?

Most importantly, does your face communicate openness and do you seem approachable? Or does your face send the message that everyone should steer clear of you? If you’re trying to position yourself for that promotion or transfer, it might help your cause to look positive, engaged, pleasant and approachable. Remember that positive people generally like surrounding themselves with others who are positive. If you go around looking hostile, burnt out or miserable most of the time, you just might attract others who look like you do; misery does like company. The danger here is that once surrounded by others who are negative, you might find yourself much more miserable and having a dour outlook on things you once felt positive about.

Reminding yourself that you, as a member of the organization which employees you have a role to play in keeping the culture and atmosphere a positive one is critical. Too many times I’ve listened to unhappy employees blame Management for the rotten atmosphere they say they work in. We all have a part to play in making our workplaces an enjoyable place to work, and while it can be the case that some others just seem to look for reasons to be negative, you need not be one of them.

One thing you can do with respect to your self-check is compare how you feel about your job on a typical work day with your time away from work. Do you feel anxious the day before you return to work or do you look forward to going into your job? While you don’t have to love the work you do with giddy infatuation, you should certainly enjoy the job and being around most of those you work with as you’re going to be spending a significant amount of time working surrounded by these people. If you’re not happy most of the time, if you don’t feel inspired or feel that your work is meaningful, why are you still dragging yourself in? Look around, life is too short to spend it in misery. Start planning your departure from this line of work or employer, and then be gracious when you leave for something better.

Now if you’re out of work, you’ve got to work hard at projecting your demeanor; coming across as someone who will have a positive influence in a new employer’s workspace. If you are brooding, look frustrated, look far too serious and weighed down with personal issues, it’s unlikely you’re coming across as attractive to those who might be in a position to hire you.

Of course when you’re unemployed and need to work you are under stress. The anxiety of mounting financial liabilities and any shame or embarrassment you might be experiencing by being unemployed can be a burden for sure. Add in some other stressors in your personal life and it gets harder to constantly project that rosy exterior that says, “Life is good and I’m glad to be a part of it!”

Yes I get that. You need to understand or perhaps be reminded that your issues are exactly that – your issues. Potential employers don’t really concern themselves with resolving your issues because they have no investment in you until you join their ranks. To join their ranks, you and I both know you have to come across as qualified, experienced and a personal good fit; meaning you have to be attractive in some way.

So, mind what you think and how what you think is being communicated non-verbally through your facial expressions and your body language. Move with confidence, smile more – even if in the early days you find yourself having to force this trial period. Like most habits one tries to change, alter or adapt to, things become more matter of fact and routine the more you do them.

And you’re never fully dressed without a smile!