Monday, November 17, 2008

How to stay postive when unemployed

Oy veh, have you read the paper? It can drive you meshugga!

Seriously, Fidelity, which had laid off 1,300 announced another 1,700 jobs will be cut. JPMorgan will be cutting jobs. Citibank lays off some 75,000 people over the past few months -- that is three times the size of my suburban community!

So there are a lot of folks who are looking for work. I met a woman who has been looking for another position as an office manager since last July. She wasn't very positive at this point.

No one argues that times are hard. A lot of experts believe that they are going to get harder before they get better. So, no one would fault you for feeling sorry for yourself should you be in the position of needing to find a new position. However, it's the worst thing you can do for yourself.

In just the same manner as sound business theory dictates that one should save cash when times are good and spend when times are bad, one must stay positive when one is in a tough position. If you are depressed, you will simply not be doing the things that you should be doing. You simply cannot afford the luxury of staying depressed.

In the hopes that someone benefits from seeing that they are not alone in tough times, here are some of the things I do regularly to keep myself positive and recommend them enthusiastically:

  1. Count your blessings. Seriously. Daily. I do. My wife, my children, my health, my skills and experiences, my well-trained dog. Everything. And I do it vocally. Here is what I said to my wife this morning "Good morning, my love. I am so glad that you married me." That wouldn't be too hard for you to do, would it?
  2. Enumerate your strengths. Call 'em out. Your years of experience. Your doggedness. Your perseverance. Your ability to judge people. Whatever it is that you know gives you power and ability.
  3. Mitigate your weakness. Whether you feel you procrastinate, or you do not negotiate well, or you do not follow through, or you loose your temper, or whatever, there is a way you can mitigate these failings. First of all, you are in control of your life. You can make amazing things happen. These things you do not like about yourself are not fatal characteristic flaws -- otherwise you would already be dead! They are risks to your positive life style that you can identify, mitigate and control.
  4. Write down your Values and Goals. List your Abstract Goals (long, healthy life; financial security; etc.), Concrete Goals ("A position as such and such earning so much annually") and your Immediate Goals (Two high-quality job applications today and four follow-up calls). Read daily out loud.
  5. Exercise. Yes; take time for yourself to do whatever you need to do as exercise. Whether that be walking to the library for a new book, going for a jog, or swimming a mile, get yourself out of the house. There are tons of reasons why exercise is good for you, so only a great fool would deny themself such easy benefits, and you are no great fool, so what are you waiting for?!
We are here on this earth for such a short period of time and our opportunity to create things of wonder and beauty that outlast us shoots quickly by. So don't waste a moment. Your dreams are converted to goals as soon as you make a plan and start following it. The first step to achieving those goals is to be positive and believe that you can accomplish your goals.

I would very much like to hear what you do to get yourself positive when you're feeling down. Please take a moment to click on the "comment" link below and send me your ideas and practices.

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