I think everyone can attest to the fact that the job-search market is demanding more creativity and engagement than ever before. It is interesting to observe ourselves throughout the day to see what engages us and what makes us check out and go “numb.” I know that folks are tired of searching and not finding, tired of sending resumes and getting no response, and tired of staring at the computer day-in and day-out. So, take a break! All of these activities when overdone create a glazed, automatic routine that does not engage us but numbs us. While you need to continue to post your resume, watch the job boards and be in front of your computer, you do not need to be chained to it.
For example, think of a new activity or hobby you have incorporated into your life. In the beginning, it is fun, exciting and encouraging. Yet, when it becomes just a pattern, rote – old news – our actions become automatic and lose the feeling we once attached to them. So what keeps you engaged in the job search or the current job you have? I find I go “numb” when my energy is drained, when I am not being stimulated and when I feel over-stressed. So for me, doing things that make my body move and give my brain a rest keeps me engaged. Just breathing, standing up and stretching, or taking a 10-minute walk around the block helps me wake up and pay attention. Laughing is another great way to zap the “numb zone.”
If we could look at every action in our job search from a place of discovery, how different would our perspective be? If we take time in our week to meet people for coffee, get away from the computer and build relationships, and to approach these conversations from a place of curiosity and discovery, how different would that exchange be? When we approach our job search and life from a place of no expectations, no preconceived ideas of what we hope will happen, acknowledging any fear and doing it anyway; when we approach the action from a place of curiosity, I believe that keeps us more engaged and alive.
Likewise, when we meet people, are we only focused on giving them our resume and talking about what we want, or are we finding out about them and how we can help them? Approaching the conversation to learn about them, their life and who they genuinely are and taking the focus off of ourselves and our crisis may just lighten up our day and allow us to help others. Then we really feel appreciated and engaged about giving back. Volunteering is another great way to not get stuck in our own story and our own drama. Even if it is just helping out a friend or family member, something that keeps us giving will always open the door to receiving. And who knows – you might even receive a promotion or a job offer.