Thursday, February 19, 2009

Eight strategies for an effective and satisfying job search

How do you remain optimistic after a layoff. We talked to the experts and distilled what they had to say into eight power tips that will keep you upbeat, greatly enhance your odds of finding a job -- and help you enjoy the process.
Eight strategies for an effective and satisfying job s...

Being laid off can be a traumatic experience – for some as devastating as a divorce, or even the death of a loved one.

Fears of being unable to financially support your family, anxieties about prospects of being re-hired – even doubts about your self worth can have a very unhealthy effect on body and mind.

On the flip side, maintaining a positive attitude after losing a job can be crucial to one's mental – and physical – health.

It definitely improves your odds of finding a job – and career counselors are unanimous about that.

Upbeat folk, who are able to deal with stress well, are more successful in their job search and appear more appealing to employers, says Dave Opton, CEO and founder of ExecuNet Inc.

Norwalk, CT-based ExecuNet provides executive career management services – bringing C-level executives and recruiters together.

While remaining sanguine and stress-free isn't easy, Opton and other experts we spoke to offer proven stress-busting strategies laid off knowledge workers can pursue to stay on top of the job hunting game.

Here are eight.

1. Get perspective – and don't feel bad about feeling bad

The first thing people should understand is feeling badly about losing a job isn't unusual, said Opton.

It helps put the layoff in perspective when you remind yourself that this is but a minor aspect of your overall career experience.

This realization, he said, should help you find healthy ways to deal with your concerns, while staying optimistic about your skills and capabilities.

People should also understand the layoff has nothing to do with them, personally.

Layoffs are happening because of an ugly global economic situation, not your own skills or performance, Opton noted. "So don't be discouraged. Remember the skills that made you successful in your previous job can be brought to a new opportunity."

2. Create a plan

After being laid off, many people have a tendency to over-react, the ExecuNet CEO said. He cautions against that.

Rather than look for a job immediately, he said, it helps to sit down, assess your finances, and create a plan for moving forward.

It's a view echoed by Robert Bacal, CEO of Bacal and Associate, an Ottawa-based career advice firm.

In fact, he says, knowledge workers should have a handle on their financial situation at all times. "You never want to be in the position where you're laid off and can't feed family."

If you do lose a job, he said, "sit down, do an honest appraisal of your finances, and make decisions based on that knowledge."

If you have a nice cushion, he says it may even be a good idea to take a few weeks off and try to relax. But don't spend time at the beach if you're going to be stressed out the whole time, he said. Only do it if helps you calm your career worries.

2/18/2009 5:00:00 AM By: Michelle MacLeod

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