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Old 01-03-2014, 12:30 AM
 
463 posts, read 448,157 times
Reputation: 1192

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First: Get back to the gym. Do NOT let your employment situation affect your physical health.

Second: Call up family and close friends. Right now you need positive emotional support from those close to you.

Third: Secure a steady night job that will provide consistent income. Warehousing/Bartending/Waiting Tables etc.
Stop doing unpredictable low-paid contract work during the day so you may focus your daytime efforts on activities which lead to securing full-time employment. Right now you need the security of a stable income without interfering with your job search.

Every day spend no more than 4 hours applying for positions. Keep track of the companies you apply for and follow-up promptly. The rest of the time spend it on gym and relevant training courses for your field. Also take out at least one of your professional contacts to lunch every week. Expand your network, attend industry functions and meet new people and take them out to lunch also.

Don't limit yourself to local jobs, apply everywhere in the country. Do this every day. Schedule back-to-back interviews, show interest in every position you are interviewing for but always have a Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D in your back pocket. Never let employers think they are your only option....its like dating man they want what they can't have so always be juggling multiple options. Be persistent and follow-up. Even if an employer says sorry not interested, call back a month later to check if any other positions are available.

Take inventory of your skill set from your past contract work and sell the sh*t out of it to your network and recruiters. People need to know what you have to offer and feel confident in vouching for you to the key decision makers. Don't be desperate though; let it be known that you want full-time work. Quit settling for contract-based jobs.

Can't stress the gym part. You need to look healthy and vibrant, out-of-shape and sickly is not going to win you any sympathy from employers. Also quit investing such a disproportionate amount of effort and time applying for jobs. Remember 4 hours a day only. Get it done and get on with your life. If its in the cards, you will get a job offer. Be a well rounded candidate (strong skillset, strong network, strong interviewing skills), not a machine gun resume spitting machine.

I really think you will be fine man.....and if it just becomes to unbearable to continue, don't be afraid to graciously admit defeat and retool for a different career path. My dad always told me that failures are only opportunities with thorns. As cliche as it sounds it has applied in my case. I lost my first job out of college and was able to find something better even though I was laid off for 3 months....so don't lose hope.



I'm rooting for you man....good luck.
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Old 01-03-2014, 12:36 AM
 
Location: Consciousness
659 posts, read 970,951 times
Reputation: 835
Entrepreneurship
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:44 AM
 
45 posts, read 69,378 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
Thank you for this. Working out is something I really need to get back into. I used to be in really good shape, but a shoulder injury initially put a stop on my exercising years ago. The stress of the whole work situation made it all the harder to get in, and also brought about unhealthy eating habits. I agree with the many benefits of exercise, but it's easier said than done. *sigh

-----

Thanks to everyone for the encouraging words. It definitely helps to know I'm not the only one that has gone through challenges like this.
I was unemployed for six months after receiving my undergraduate degree. It was a bad period of my life, filled with self doubt. Living at my parents home again. Not a good time. Even after I got a job it took me years before I became confident I would not lose it..

One thing that helped my cope was walking and jogging. Getting outside, exercising, that has always helped me through the difficult times in my life. I know I would be depressed if I could not exercise. Now I am walking more than an hour a day, and it keeps my weight down too. I'd recommend this to you, no expensive gym membership needed to walk. And some studies have shown that fast walking or jogging helps people's moods as much as anti-depressant medication.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:21 AM
 
4,586 posts, read 4,630,808 times
Reputation: 4358
Now imagine having to stayed home for a while and trying to return to work! Part time is all we have to hope for, even though we have not lost any of our skills; in fact we actually gained several during that period! Job market is flat out a disgrace to our country today.
I was reading this earlier:
Windows on Main Street, U.S.A., at Disneyland Park: Cicely Rigdon Disney Parks Blog

......and was thinking that THIS never happens anymore...where you start working at the bottom and work your way up...there are no jobs, and the ones that are pay crap wages and have no future.
Shameful.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:40 AM
 
1,115 posts, read 2,002,164 times
Reputation: 2111
Quote:
Originally Posted by go-getta-J View Post
First: Get back to the gym. Do NOT let your employment situation affect your physical health.

Second: Call up family and close friends. Right now you need positive emotional support from those close to you.

Third: Secure a steady night job that will provide consistent income. Warehousing/Bartending/Waiting Tables etc.
Stop doing unpredictable low-paid contract work during the day so you may focus your daytime efforts on activities which lead to securing full-time employment. Right now you need the security of a stable income without interfering with your job search.

Every day spend no more than 4 hours applying for positions. Keep track of the companies you apply for and follow-up promptly. The rest of the time spend it on gym and relevant training courses for your field. Also take out at least one of your professional contacts to lunch every week. Expand your network, attend industry functions and meet new people and take them out to lunch also.

Don't limit yourself to local jobs, apply everywhere in the country. Do this every day. Schedule back-to-back interviews, show interest in every position you are interviewing for but always have a Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D in your back pocket. Never let employers think they are your only option....its like dating man they want what they can't have so always be juggling multiple options. Be persistent and follow-up. Even if an employer says sorry not interested, call back a month later to check if any other positions are available.

Take inventory of your skill set from your past contract work and sell the sh*t out of it to your network and recruiters. People need to know what you have to offer and feel confident in vouching for you to the key decision makers. Don't be desperate though; let it be known that you want full-time work. Quit settling for contract-based jobs.

Can't stress the gym part. You need to look healthy and vibrant, out-of-shape and sickly is not going to win you any sympathy from employers. Also quit investing such a disproportionate amount of effort and time applying for jobs. Remember 4 hours a day only. Get it done and get on with your life. If its in the cards, you will get a job offer. Be a well rounded candidate (strong skillset, strong network, strong interviewing skills), not a machine gun resume spitting machine.

I really think you will be fine man.....and if it just becomes to unbearable to continue, don't be afraid to graciously admit defeat and retool for a different career path. My dad always told me that failures are only opportunities with thorns. As cliche as it sounds it has applied in my case. I lost my first job out of college and was able to find something better even though I was laid off for 3 months....so don't lose hope.

I'm rooting for you man....good luck.
Thanks for this. The contract jobs were actually very well paying. I was doing very well financially with my last contract before it unexpectedly ended (I was assuming it was going to go for at least another 9 months!). Regardless, I don't get benefits, the instability is stressful, and it's also very sad to work somewhere for a year or so, get to know the company and people well, then have to move on away from it all!

I actually am looking for jobs in all states as well, but I will honestly admit I am getting sick of moving... I've moved 5 times in the past 4 years, and have even lived in 3 different states in that time because of work. It's getting old!

Thanks for the reminder about wining and dining my network too. I was doing that very heavily for awhile, but it didn't seem to be going anywhere and I'll admit in December I didn't really attend any of the normal industry events or ask any colleagues out to lunch. In some ways I did need the time to just reflect and recuperate, but I definitely need to get the ball rolling on this again and keep pushing forward.

Thanks again so much for this post, it really helps.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:15 AM
 
463 posts, read 448,157 times
Reputation: 1192
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_grimace View Post
Thanks for this. The contract jobs were actually very well paying. I was doing very well financially with my last contract before it unexpectedly ended (I was assuming it was going to go for at least another 9 months!). Regardless, I don't get benefits, the instability is stressful, and it's also very sad to work somewhere for a year or so, get to know the company and people well, then have to move on away from it all!

I actually am looking for jobs in all states as well, but I will honestly admit I am getting sick of moving... I've moved 5 times in the past 4 years, and have even lived in 3 different states in that time because of work. It's getting old!

Thanks for the reminder about wining and dining my network too. I was doing that very heavily for awhile, but it didn't seem to be going anywhere and I'll admit in December I didn't really attend any of the normal industry events or ask any colleagues out to lunch. In some ways I did need the time to just reflect and recuperate, but I definitely need to get the ball rolling on this again and keep pushing forward.

Thanks again so much for this post, it really helps.
Happy to help brother. I don't know your situation fully but any rate, get in the habit of doing these things anyways regardless of the outcome. Networking will keep your people skills sharp, applying for jobs/follow-up/persistence teach you the power of finding and seizing opportunity (think about all the contract jobs you scored, when others would have thrown in the towel much sooner). The benefits to staying in shape and eating healthy are obvious.

Don't limit yourself to your field, see if any opportunities exist in other related fields where you can parlay your skills to make a career switch. Consider going back to school and trying something completely different.

Try not tie your entire identity to your job. I think this is a big issue for us guys since we feel our self-worth is derived solely from our ability to secure resources. Don't let society make you feel worthless because your employment situation is not ideal. In today's economy, no one's job is really secure so that person calling you a lazy bum may be the next one to the unemployment line.

Being a well-rounded person in all areas of your life as well as keeping a positive attitude will help to keep you grounded and seeing the big picture. See your stalled career situation as nothing more than a temporary and minor setback.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:43 AM
 
417 posts, read 714,779 times
Reputation: 481
Grimace - What are your qualifications, what field are you working in? Sorry to hear.
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:18 PM
 
170 posts, read 240,202 times
Reputation: 221
This situation is similar to mine and yes it has consumed my life but I regularly work out. Just need to think positive most of the time. I'd had sleepless-nights but I always think that tomorrow is a better day.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,534 posts, read 8,792,710 times
Reputation: 12243
I'm 70 and trying to retire, but i can't seem to convince my employer to let me go easily to make room for the younger generation. I have to "train a replacement". It took almost 40 years to learn my job; does that mean I can't retire until i am 110?
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:24 PM
 
Location: Mt. Lebanon
1,844 posts, read 1,950,171 times
Reputation: 1899
Grimmace whatever you do the job, your profession is NOT who you are. Dont let this consume you. I know it's stressful; I know someone who committed suicide after 6 month of unemployment after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
Please try to stay focused on yourself and your family; on your goals in life. Your profesion or your job is just a mean to to gain money to live, but you could support yourself in many ways if jobs in your field are not plenty. Consider a career change or opening up a business. In any case I can't stress enough that you shouldnt let depression get the best of you. At the end of one,s life nobody regrets they didnt work more. Your life and who you are is not your job. There are poor people out there who are perfectly content with their lives and with the little they have.
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