Up Front and Personal

When You’re Looking for a Job…

by Ellen Mary Egerter

The clock has struck a seemingly bleak hour. You have just been informed that you are being laid off.  Your reaction may be one of surprise, anger, disbelief, frustration, panic, and a variety of other emotions. You may possibly experience some physical symptoms, including headaches, an unsettled stomach, sleeplessness.

In these uncertain economic times and when unemployment rates are high, expressing concern and doubting a rapid return to the job market seems reasonable. Nonetheless, there is hope. People are being hired everyday. For some, it seems to be luck – being in the right place at the right time. For others, a friend or relative comes to the rescue offering a viable solution to a desperate situation. Still others may have had that truly “needle in a haystack” experience of being chosen to work for a company after their resume was scanned for between three and five seconds. Whatever the process, and it is a process – jobs can be obtained.

But, how does one launch into such a daunting task?  The Nike tagline is “Just Do It,” and, to some extent you have to “do something.” Concrete actions lead up to your next job. You need to employ organizational and time management skills.  There are books to use as research for resume writing, to develop interview skills and to aid in negotiating.  There are free seminars to attend, as well as the possibility of hiring a job and career coach.

Organization is the key to staying on track and conducting an effective search. One can start very broad, think “out of the box,” and come up with a comprehensive to-do list. We all know there’s a lot to do to land a job. The key strategy after creating your list is working out your priorities. You must figure out where to begin. A good place to start is recommended by many job coaches, career counselors and self-help books, and that is: define exactly what you are looking for. It seems simple, but part of this self-assessment is to determine what you are qualified to do, what gives you pleasure and is personally rewarding.

What industry do you want to work for? Narrow it down to companies within that industry. Furthermore, analyze your geographic preferences. Tracking down friends, relatives and colleagues who may know people at the companies you are targeting is your next step. Getting their referrals so you can call or write a hiring manager is a wise decision.

Meanwhile, throughout this challenging task, working to find a job, you may get frustrated, depressed or feel unmotivated. Look to friends, relatives, and colleagues for support. And the extra step that can bring you to success is to reinvigorate your prayer life.  Ask God for help. As the saying goes, “when one door is closed, another is opened.” Believe it; pray about it; maintain hope. “Jesus I Trust in You,” the prayer of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy can work to get you through the bleak, dark and discouraging times.[hr] Ellen Mary Egerter is a job and career coaching consultant who has over 20 years in the outplacement industry, and has worked with such firms as Dress for Success, Grace Institute, Our Lady of Loretto Church and Essex Personnel. She also works at NET (New Evangelization Television) as a business and project manager.