Disengaging from Job-Search Crisis Mode

Do you know that person? The one consistently in crisis? The one whose voice is always a pitch or two above their normal when explaining their day to day challenges? Someone who is never quite satisfied and always  the victim or simply the sad sack with little hope?

Though we all, as humans,  share a given fact of life — we WILL endure a crisis (or crises) at SOME point in our existence  — it is not necessary to perpetually hang around a crisis, befriend it and make it a way of life.  It is possible, in fact, to convert a crisis into a journey that unfolds into a more beautiful life than we previously knew.

Every week, I encounter job-search clients, some who who appear to be in crisis. Many times, because of the point in time during which they engage me, as well as my pragmatic and creative role in their marketing process, I am not directly touched by their crises — am not the brunt of their emotions. Many, I’ve noted, have risen above their crisis, created and implemented an action plan to re-frame their negativity into positivity and hope and are fueling their own traction, gaining momentum as they reinvent their path.

How did they manage to progress to this better, more positive place? I’ve got a few ideas.

a) Sought out emotional support from friends, family members, partners, spouses. Engaged listeners to hear their story, then vented a bit. As well, allowed others to console them, to cry with them, to laugh at the absurdity of life with them. Gained perspective through holistic emotional therapy.

b) Detached from negativity. Separated themselves from disruptive  influences, personalities and dead weights that may otherwise have dragged them down into a deeper abyss more dire than that in which they began. Chose not to engage in a regularly scheduled whine fest. Sought out “the good.”

c) Made a plan. In the case of my clients, that plan included hiring a partner writer and career strategist to help unearth their unique value and articulate it to a target reader.  Beyond hiring a career consultant, they revamped their personal budget, revisited short- and long-term personal and business goals and stemmed any bleeding so that they could move forward with a semblance of health and calm.

d) Executed the plan. Day by day, step by step, breath by breath.

e) Allowed the plan to morph – to ebb and flow  – to expand and contract. When Plan A wasn’t working, shelved it and moved into Plan B. When Plan B didn’t work, looked on the shelf, and revisited the timing and validity of Plan A. When Plan A and B resulted in zip, took a walk in the country and rested their mind, only to dream up a new plan that took half the time to Plan A or B but netted double the return, or at the least, got them back on a forward-moving path.

f) Stepped away when the overwhelm began mounting. Laughed daily. And if laughter escaped them, chased down a resource for new laughter and lingered in it as long as needed to heal and refresh.

g) Recognized and declared, “I am valuable!” Reinforced this by writing it down – via career documents and online social media profiles. Reinforced this by talking to others, hiring career coaches and resume strategists trained to help them reclaim and crystallize their value, gaining heightened perspective. Custom built their value proposition; then believed what they built.

h) Empowered themselves to make their own decisions about their vision, their plan and how to execute the plan. Listened, respected and responded to the experts and friends from whom they sought advice. Knit together a plan that threaded the best of the advice through their own personality ‘fabric,’ and ultimately tailored their own decisions. Didn’t play the blame game; instead, embraced their options and their own ability to choose. In doing so, found they chose wisely a majority of the time – a winning proposition.

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