Did my title catch your eye?
What do all these things have in common and why am I writing about them?
Glad you asked.
Well I am in the middle of a continually rough and intense job search. Some days I am torn between finding what I want and getting something/anything to pay the bills. Would be great if I could do both. During this job search I have learned a lot about several things such as;
-How to (and not to) conduct a job search, what tools to use and what techniques work.
– How to better manage my time. What to do when you have too much time of your hands? (Sounds like a song by Styx from the 80’s)
– Re-assess my attitude and how I interact with others.
– What I really want out of a job and life in general. What is important or not.
– What my mom meant with many of the things she would say.
First my job search-
I have realized that one of the best tools for job searching is LinkedIn. It is the largest professional network with 100’s of millions of members learning how to effectively use it has been a process that I believe I am getting better at. Making sure that the title, summary, job titles and descriptions have enough keywords to help me be found by recruiters and hiring managers is very important. A personable, yet professional photo is also needed. I was told that my first one was too grim and serious and I needed to smile.
Job searching on LinkedIn is also important. besides doing searches for job based on all the metrics; job title, location, company, etc.. it is a great networking tool. Since most jobs are by referral, you can find your target company, look up employees and manager that work there and contact them directly. Many times you can bypass the job application process or at least submit a 2nd resume as a formality. Haven’t scored yet but several positions are in my pipeline and it is just a matter of time.
Since I am not working I have time to get everything done right?
Since my wife is working I took it upon myself to do the housework, cooking, yard work, run errands and everything else that needed to be done along with performing my job search. Well that quickly went down the tubes and caused me a lot of frustration. I learned that I had to set up a schedule and a routine as if I was working and then stick to it as much as I could. At the same time because life just happens in the most unexpected times, I had to be flexible but then get back into my routines as quickly as possible. Once I do that I find out I get a lot more done and I feel better about myself.
Dealing with others-
Well I am the only one in my family that is unemployed. They really don’t have a handle on what it is like. Their comments of “Well just get a job”, sound easy enough especially in our ever improving economy(NOT) but what they don’t realize is that it isn’t that easy.
Retail stores won’t hire me because I am way over qualified and they know I will jump ship as soon as a better job comes along. In the QA/QC field there are many areas that require specific experience that I don’t have such as pharma, food and medical devices. I am certainly willing to learn but that doesn’t help my case.
So dealing with family, friends and community members has been a challenge. Some days I get frustrated and need to blow off steam. I know that I have to wait until the right time and place (home and alone). I have learned to be more positive, more often and find things that help my mood such as my favorite music and exercise. One other thing that I find that is vitally important for me to do is help others. This is one of the best ways to deal with the negative of life. Cheer someone up, help out at church and assist other job seekers are just a few ways I have found to make a difference.
Speaking of making a difference, that leads me to my next section. I have realized that as time goes on it is more important to me to be able to really make a difference in the world both in life and on the job. This also seems to get easier as time goes on. Helping others do their job better, making sure products are safe and perform as needed are just two of the ways I can make a difference on the job.
In life I have learned that the 2 best ways for me to make a difference is to listen and make someone smile. Everyone needs to have someone really listen to them. My unemployment has helped me to be a better listener because sometimes I really need someone to listen to me so I know how it feels. Still have a ways to go but I am getting there.
Making people smile is a goal I have every single day. Whether it is a cashier at the store or bank, nurse at the doctor’s office or my pastor at church, I always try to make everyone at least smile and preferably laugh. It really is the best medicine you know. After all, when you are laughing can you be mad, sad or bad? Of course not.
Lastly… My mom and what I learned from her.
It was just a year ago this week that my mom passed away from a long bout of COPD and I know she went to heaven because she surely endured hell here on earth. No one I have ever known or even heard of had suffered more tragedy than she did.
A quick timeline summary of her life to show you what I mean. Born at home at start of WWII, pregnant 15(me), married at 16, baby girl died at 18, baby son died at 19, had 4 more children by 29. divorced at 30 after many years of abuse, father died at 34, 3 children(ages 13, 12, 9) died in fire at 38, COPD at 45(after smoking for 30 years) and the list goes on….
Yet she always persevered and had a good attitude. She took care of my mentally disabled brother until her health declined so much that it was more of him taking care of her until the end. Even after countless hospitalizations she would still be in a good mood and be friendly to everyone. She taught me to never give up, always keep learning, work hard, be kind and treat others with respect and be the best father I could be. When others would be mean to me she said always consider the source and never stoop to their level, just ignore them. Lately I have been reflecting on her words a lot lately. God I miss her….
Well I hope my words help you in some way with your job search, your relationships with others and in life in general. And if you still have your mom, let her know how much you appreciate all that she taught you before it is too late.
Have a great day!