Thursday, August 30, 2012

Job Search tip of the day: Focus on what you can ...

Personally, my view is that it is easier to start back on the path to RETURN TO WORK by first determining what you can CONTROL.   Little, if anything, can be gained by spending energy on something you cannot, yourself, control.  It is hard enough to handle the things you CAN control, let the rest go… Those of you who are religious may receive strength from The Serenity Prayer, those opposed, from The Secular Serenity Prayer.  You can find both versions here.

I met with an injured worker recently who wrote me two emails within 24 hours that both ended with, “So, I assume they don’t want to hire me.”  Unwritten, but definitely there was: Because of my injury….    He was so focused on his injury and the resultant disability that he assumed that everyone else is too.  In both cases he was expecting action from the employer that may not have been realistic. 
What we choose to focus on correlates directly to what we see in terms of options. The narrower our focus, the less there is to see. Cup your hands around your eyes and describe what you see – the computer screen?  A piece of paper?  The floor?  Whatever your answer, it is a mere fraction of what there is to see.   There are options and opportunities out there that you will never know about because of your FOCUS.
As adults, we structure our days around our work schedules and identify ourselves as what we do.  Think about it.  When you meet someone new do you say, “Hi, Joe Smith, I am trying to teach myself Spanish and am taking piano lessons in my spare time.”  No.  We typically will say something like, “Hi, Joe Smith, I am a Plumber.  What do you do?”

When someone is unemployed, through injury or otherwise, they often lose this sense of self, which includes:
o    Esteem
o    Confidence
o   Identity           
o   Reliance
o   Determination
This area of loss includes so many aspects that it requires separate treatment.  In short, if a worker has been injured he or she may become almost paralyzed – not sure what to do or in which direction to turn.  I hear, “I can’t…” so many times a day it makes me crazy (it may explain a lot, actually!).   I hear myself say, as many times a day.  “Focus on what you CAN DO and/or WANT TO DO.”

For many of the people I work with, activity helps them to FOCUS and to feel hopeful. First consider, what is in your control – your ACTIONS.  If nothing else, you have control of this.  Next, what do you want?  If it is like most of the clients I work with the answer is to RETURN TO WORK. The very next step then is to figure out what YOU CAN DO (physically, mentally, in terms of your skills, anything you can think of).  Finally, JUST DO IT (thank you NIKE).

So what can you do to regain these important parts of yourself if you have been injured at work, have been disabled, or are looking to make a career change?  It may not be easy, but it is possible:
·        Focus on what you CAN control
·        Think about what you WANT or CAN do
·        Set short and long term GOALS
·        Determine what you NEED to attain your goals
·        Ask for HELP
It may not be possible for you  to get back on your feet and back to work alone – you may need assistance, as we all do from time to time.  Talk to your family, friends, co-workers and seek out expert help.

Other articles that may be of interest:

Aug 24, 2012
When you are out of work, you need all the positive interaction you can get. Employers are impressed by people who can persevere. You want to give the impression you can deal with anything - nothing is going to get you ...
Aug 01, 2012
If you have gaps in your work history or are making a career change it is especially important that your answers are positive and convincing. With the competition in today's labor market, you cannot afford to leave a shadow of ...
Aug 03, 2012
A person following up will find out very quickly they are not able to reach anyone in any positive way that will be helpful. This may feed into those who fear rejection, but shouldn't bother those fearful of looking pushy! Besides ...
Aug 10, 2012
Positive and Upbeat; Caring and Supportive by nature; Have recently been out of work or helped another who was unemployed; likable - just hearing their voice might be a pick me up. It is easy to lose touch with people on ...

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