On Sunday, I received a call from a woman who is days away from certain layoff. We’d talked a few weeks ago and, already, her attitude had sunk from determined and hopeful to defeated and frantic. I want to share the conversation because it is relevant to others who are struggling in today’s job market.
Her: I’m looking around and nobody is finding anything and everybody is a short time away from bottoming out and we’re all pushing 50 and none of us is going to get a job and…
Fawn: This is especially hard because so many of your friends are going through the same thing. I hate to say it, but you have to minimize your exposure to the other people you know who are struggling. Their worries are pulling you down. If you can’t compartmentalize it, then you have got to cut it off. You and I are sensitive people and when people we love are in pain, we feel it and carry it. You’ve really sunk in the last month and it is because you see what everyone else is going through and it is making you lose hope for yourself. You have to control it.
But I don’t have long before I bottom out. All of my money is tied up in this house. If I don’t sell it within the month…
Fawn: Get your brain out of that negativity loop. It’s not going to help you. If you don’t sell your house, what will happen? You’ll survive. Even if you wind up going into foreclosure, you will survive. You will never be eating out of a garbage can. You know you will always, always be all right. You have to know in your gut that it will all work out because then, it will all work out.
I don’t know how to stop it.
Give yourself 30 minutes a day for worry. That is it. Pick your time. It can be from 3 to 3:30 in the afternoon. Or 11 to 11:30 in the morning. Or, whenever. But, that is it. No more worry than that.
I am tired of the rejection. I sit for interviews for jobs that should be mine — I am perfectly qualified AND I know the people, so I am networked the way I need to be networked. But, I don’t get the jobs.
Fawn: It takes time. The first thing you have to understand is that you don’t get a job just because it seems like you are destined to get it. Or that you are the most qualified. I’ve applied for things that had my name all over them and I didn’t even get the interview. You are getting interviews. That is fantastic. Sooner or later, the right thing will come to you.
The mistake I see others making is that they work like hell to get their resumes out there the first month, then they get frustrated and only send packets out when they hear of something. You have to treat this like a full-time job. That means you send out at least 10 inquiries a day. Every single day. And remember that most of the jobs worth having are not being advertised. Managers don’t want to sift through a thousand resumes, so they are asking friends and colleagues who they know who is available. That means you now have to focus on networking more than ever.
Her: I can’t stand the rejection.
Fawn: It is a terrible market, but you have to remember that the more you apply for, the greater your odds. You have got to be out there — everywhere — and something will work. It is doing this every day, for months, until you blast through. But, you have to know that you will blast through because, you manifest what you think. If you think you’ll spend the next year or two suffering, you will spend the next year or two suffering.
I’ve got some fiction-writing clients who I coach professionally and I tell them that they can’t whine about how mean the publishing business is until they’ve got 100 rejections under their belts. It’s kind of like paying your dues. You are doing that now. Just keep persevering.
I feel terrible.
Fawn: Are you exercising?
I haven’t been, but I am going to today.
Fawn: That is the single most important thing you must do, without fail. You have to let your body work to help you. If you take care of it, it will take care of you. Your pheromones will make you feel better, and that lift will keep you going. If you are not exercising 30 minutes every single day, you MUST. It is a non-negotiable.
Fawn Germer is the best-selling author of five books. She is one of the nation’s most sought-after professional speakers on leadership, performance and success.