Whether by choice or as a result of corporate "right-sizing," many of us
in the coming months may be looking for another job. If you find yourself in
this stressful situation, get a copy of a new book, Finding Work Without Losing Heart (Adams Media Corp.). Written by William Byron, S.J., a Georgetown University management professor, the book draws anecdotes and advice from the job-hunting experiences of 150 professionals.
Of particular interest is a section describing the major elements of what the author sees as a solid job campaign:
Attitude. A positive outlook is essential. It is a time to grow, try new things, meet stimulating people--and smell the roses.
Spiritual. Whether or not you belong to a specific religious group, the extra time you have during a job search allows for some serious reflection on life and its mysteries.
Physical fitness. Take advantage of this time and establish an exercise routine that gets you fit for the challenges ahead.
Mental fitness. At last, you have the chance to tackle those books that you have been wanting to read.
Financial management. Homeowners can tap home-equity loans to help bridge the income cap. It's wise to institute zero-based budgeting, which will weed out unnecessary spending and set the stage for better control of finances in the future.
Family. Keep your spouse and children informed about your job search. Without raising false expectations, you need to convey a sense of optimism and of being in control of your fate.
Support group. One or two such groups can help you keep your spirits up, but beware of becoming a support group junkie.
Friends. You'll find out who the true ones are. They will keep you sane.
Networks. Set a goal of making 10 to 15 new networking calls a week, either with job source leads or with stimulating people who can make you feel good or provide useful perspective and ideas.
Active lifestyle. Don't sit at home waiting for the phone to ring or the mailman to come. Get out of the house everyday, not just to pursue the job search but for volunteer work, recreation, or other activities.
Pacing and balance. Be patient. You can burn out during a job search faster than you can under conditions of full employment.
Beyond these strategies, Rev. Byron emphasizes a central truth that some of us forget: Your job is not you. He adds that those who have the toughest time coping during a job search tend to be people who have lost a sense of balance in life by letting the job define their self image.