I talked with two anxious job seekers by phone last week. The first caller’s 8-month job search has turned up two second-place finishes for excellent jobs, and he’s now sounding desperate–approaching bitter. The next day, I heard from a former colleague who has been unemployed for almost a year, yet he somehow remains positive, at least publicly. While I felt like I was forced to become an amateur physiologist with the first caller, I found myself spending twice as much constructive time with second caller.
While I believe there’s a flicker of light at the end of the PR job tunnel, the search process remains frustrating for many. The longer the search process, the more likely you’ll let your guard down when, in fact, you must remain positive whenever you tap into your networks.
If stress is building, talk to family members and very close personal friends, and check out some of the excellent online stress reduction advice sites. If severe, see your doctor or try stress-reducing acupuncture or massage therapy. For a quick hit of wise counsel, check out Every Day Matters.com, which warns against internalizing a job loss or job search into your personal identity. Sunday’s Search column in The New York Times also provides excellent tips on how to accentuate the positive after a layoff.
The second caller ended his conversation by asking what he might be able to do to help me–an nice gesture that supports the two-way, mutual benefit of networking. Despite the draining search process, his positive attitude keeps him top of mind with everyone in his network. I’ve since heard from another mutual friend who mentioned hearing from both job seekers. While expressing sympathy with the frustrating job search for the first caller, we mostly talked about the great attitude of the second guy. Bottom line, a positive attitude projects the right image to those who want to help land your next job.