It’s that time of year again, no I don’t mean carving turkeys at Thanksgiving with the family & friends I mean that time of year that stares down at you like eyes on a giant stopwatch ticking away the hours towards another year, another search and more job uncertainty. If you think a big turkey feast will make you tired and want to crash on the couch for days, think about what the uncertainty of your job future will bring when you are sitting around the holiday dinner table and telling everyone you are still looking for a job with no prospects in sight.
The holidays more than anything will bring out the best and the worst of intentions especially if you are in job transition or are miserable in your current situation. It might seem like a lot of pressure but it’s no time to panic when the panic sets in. Your job panic is a warning sign to help get you moving off the couch and into job search mode. You have talents, you have skills, you have a clean set of interview clothes but do you have the right connections to help you move ahead?
Job panic sets in when you have no plan of action, no prospects worth pursuing and no intentions of where you might land. It’s the feeling in the pit of your stomach that keeps you up at night. It’s that nervous anxiety that sets in that makes you know you are alive but makes you wish you some days you weren’t. Finding the power to push through your panic will help you focus your attention and getting the job you want instead of worrying about how you’ll survive.
Here’s a few ways to help calm your nerves as you navigate the panic room of your career:
- Chillax: Easier said than done but running around like a turkey with it’s head cut off is not going to help you figure out your next move in your job search. Meditate, pray, journal, read, hike, paint, talk, try anything and everything that will provide an outlet for your pent up frustration and a way to release your anxiety.
- Make a Plan: Write it down. Whatever you think feels right to you learn to put it on paper. Seeing and reading what you write helps you get clear on what it is you want and makes it easier to create a plan. You’ve got to start with getting it out from inside your head so you don’t worry yourself silly with doubt and confusion when all you need to know is right there inside of you.
- Connect: Making connections to people in your network and start getting the word out there may not land you a job offer out of the gate but certainly helps you shake the trees in getting the word out and getting some leads to follow up on. Staying connected to people and learning what opportunities are out there keeps you informed and helps take the edge off. You do not want to be alone in this process-it’s okay to ask for help.
- Follow Through: It’s not enough to talk to people and learn about new opportunities but how aggressive are you in following up? It’s nice to be grateful for someone making an introduction but if you don’t ask for contact information or ways to follow up then what good are all of your efforts or those that someone has put forth on your behalf? Knowing how to network for success is not just an art form it’s a necessary skill set to ensure your career survival and ward away the career panic.
- Give Yourself Permission: It’s okay if you don’t land the first job offer or the interviews are not going as planned. Giving yourself permission to just be means you are willing to put a little of your job panic in fate’s hands and put the trust out there that you will find what you are looking for when the time is right and the opportunity is what you are meant to do.
There is a path for everyone and some people have a clearer focus on that than others. That does not mean you are a failure or you won’t ever realize your goals, it just means it may take you a little longer to get there and your road may take you to some interesting places along the way. Being kind to yourself when the panic sets in and being your own best friend in your job search may make the journey that much more enjoyable and you may get to learn a little more about yourself along the way.
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