I am a former journalist turned start-up collaborator and storyteller looking to use this blog to spark some authentic conversations about the job search process.
Other topics to explore: What’s with all the IQ tests companies are issuing—before they’ll even talk to people? Does the “follow your passion” career model still viable in this economy? How do long-term seekers manage rejection?
I also come across job search tools—new apps that address aspects of the process—which I will share as well—but mainly I am looking to you, dear readers, for insights, experiences and your stories that net that most precious commodity of all: unconventional wisdom.
Since exiting a start-up consulting venture in mid-winter, I have been back out searching for work. I have been in this spot before, looking for work that is, but this time I have plenty of company.
I’ve accumulated many stories from people who have gone to great lengths to get a job. I’ve also encountered directly, and heard about extraordinary acts of kindness from people who have helped them—sometimes strangers– along the path to employment.
Looking for a job takes resilience. It is not a trait, as you might think, but a process. And that, say experts, can be cultivated.
In her blog, Mindfulness: the art of cultivating resilience Dr. Lynda Klau addresses how practicing mindfulness in the face of a life crisis, such as losing a job, a protracted job search, can help re-frame the crisis and add perspective.
“Although it’s understandable why we might react from fear when facing the prospect of losing our job, or other challenging situations, mindfulness is a powerful tool that offers us the opportunity to make a radical shift in orientation.”
In the same blog, Klau also shares a simple, powerful exercise on how to practice mindfulness in difficult situations.
Dr. Ann Masten studies resilience and risk at the University of Minnesota. She was recently interviewed about resilience in a piece that aired earlier this week on Minnesota Public Radio.
“We’re fascinated with the idea of overcoming difficulty in the stories of heroes and heroism. Another interesting feature – they’re an ordinary seeming person who rises to the occasion. I think they inherently recognize that we all, in a way, have the capacity for resilience. Even a regular person can make it through adversity.”
My recent story about perseverance.
The picture above is a banner announcing a forthcoming Target Store and includes a number to Text for Job Information. A friend told me about it, so I took a drive over and found that the banner was flipped over, just like you see it, with the Text instructions illegible. I stopped the car, got out, walked over and took a picture. Cars blazed past at speeds upwards of 45 miles an hour on this busy road, and the wind was high, as I scrambled over to the banner. When I got there, I saw that the banner was pinned up, held in place with a piece of wire fastened to the fence. I unhooked the fold, took down the information, then tacked the banner back up as I found it.
I told my friend about my escapade and she was convinced that the wind had flipped the sign over. I think it the work of a fellow-job seeker thwarting the efforts of others—as least temporarily.
To listen to the MPR Story, click here.