I have talked to several career coaches. They all had different work styles, systems, and approaches, but they were consistent on one key fact: the most successful job hunters are also positive thinkers.
Ok, breathe. Yes, the job market is horrible. Yes, there are far more highly qualified people than jobs at the moment. And that helps us…. how?
I do have one solution to getting those negative feelings out, though. Clean up.
I’m not a neatnik. Heck, dust bunnies hold a regional conference behind my bed every winter. But the day after my layoff, I decided my closet was fair game. When ALL the closets were cleaned and organized, I felt better.
I’ve talked to a lot of women who have said the same thing. (Men just looked at me, puzzled, but feel free to speak up). So what’s the connection between cleaning and career searches?
I watch Clean House on the Style Network. A family of pseudo-hoarders get a little armchair counseling while a design team and clean up crew give them a fresh start. No matter the reason why we are hunting for work, we also need a fresh start, free from the cobwebs and stains that taunt us. They can include:
Regrets. “I wish I had…” “I should have done….” “I should never have….”
Anger. One networking group gives a new person 2 minutes to vent. After that, the rule is no venting or complaining–ever. “We learned from experience that it wasn’t productive to let someone whine for long,” explained the group’s leader. “We are a supportive network of job seekers with a goal to look ahead, not behind.”
Stir in insecurity, resentment and fear, and you have a real mess. So what is the psychological equivalent to bleach?
- Experts state that physical activity activates endorphins that help us feel, if not great, then at least better than before.
- Tackling a small project successfully inspires a feeling of accomplishment.
- Doing something mundane helps the brain to mull things over, to daydream and work out issues without interruption.
Essentially, a lot of us could use a small project that requires some level of physical activity while allowing the brain time to sort things out.
My theory only goes so far, I admit. My husband could lose 10 jobs and still never be inclined to address the disaster he kindly calls a basement.