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‘Tis the Season for Gratitude

Maintaining a thankful outlook during your job search

By Mary Beth Barrett-Newman

Mary Beth Barrett-Newman is President of 2nd Career Consulting, She spent almost 30 years in the corporate world and brings her experience, expertise and enthusiasm as she coaches clients on their journey to a new position. Mary Beth is a frequent contributor to the iRelaunch blog and podcast and is a moderator of the the iRelaunch Return to Work Forum on Facebook.

If you’ve been working on your relaunch for even just a short time, the ups and downs of the job search roller coaster can start to take a toll.  It’s taking longer than you thought, you’re overwhelmed by everything you need to do for a successful job search and, on any given day, there seem to be more downs than ups.  

You know you need to stay positive and be grateful, but how?

  • Focus on the process, not that ultimate goal of a “job offer.” Ask yourself the question “What am I doing today to get myself one step closer to a new position?” Put together an action plan, and more importantly set realistic weekly goals.  Schedule these on your calendar the way you would a haircut or dentist appointment.  It’s better to list 5 goals you want to achieve this week, compete them all and maybe more, than to create a large list that may be paralyzing. If you achieve those 5 goals by Wednesday, keep going!
  • Celebrate all successes, no matter how small. Baseball is the perfect example of celebrating successes, not failures.  If I get on base 1 out of 3 times, my batting average is 333, which is really good. The focus in what WAS achieved, not what wasn’t.  So, start counting all the things you’ve accomplished, from the 5 former colleagues you connected with on LinkedIn, to the focused hours you spent refining and updating your resume to the person you reached out to for an informational interview.  Just the act of asking for that informational interview can be counted as a success. 
  • Applaud your strengths, rather than bemoaning your weaknesses. Our strengths come naturally to us; they are our “gifts.” As a result we may not value them as much; others however will.  In fact, an employer is going to hire you for those very strengths, as well as the skills you’ve developed over time.
  • Recognize people who have helped you. As lonely as a job search may sometimes feel, there are plenty of people who are supporting you during this process.  Not just the former colleague who shared a lead, the neighbor who introduced you to someone at a company you’re targeting, the friend who shared her resume and helped you with yours, but also others. Your spouse that took your kids out so you could have the morning to focus, or the person who babysat so you could sit in on the iRelaunch virtual conference.

When you go through all of the above, you can’t help but feel thankful for all you have, and those in your life. So, let them know that their actions, help, kind words, advice has been meaningful to you.

And at the end of each day, ask yourself “Who have I thanked today??”

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