10 signs your emotions are getting in the way of getting a job
1. You didn’t go outside today (or yesterday.)
2. You stop taking calls from friends.
3. You wonder when telling people what’s going on if you’ve done enough or worse.
4. Your favorite thing to do is sleep. Or you wake up in a dark place you don’t like.
5. Late night television is better than going to bed.
6. Alcohol consumption increases to point of distraction. Whatever your drug of choice is that physically changes you or distracts you from getting a job.
7. You don’t go to networking meetings because “they don’t work.”
8. You talk to potential employers and network connections about how wronged you’ve been.
9. Even you wouldn’t hire the person on your resume.
10. You resent your coworkers who didn’t get laid off.
If you identify yourself in one of these issues, you’re reeling from the impact of layoffs. Yes, there is the financial part which is hard and fast. There is the tactical, technical part which again is logical and tangible. These are completely understood by you and your family.
But what are you doing with the actual process of grieving the loss of who you are without the J.O.B.? Many large brands laid off hundreds of thousands of people this past year or two. In our culture branding is synonymous with decision making. You decide quality and purchase value before you even enter the buying market. When employed by that brand your job is to build that business. That means you compare and contrast to the businesses you compete with in the line of business you sell. Number one in your industry or was your team number one in your class? Without the giant brand behind you what are you? Are you the candidate of choice? How does that translate to home? It’s worse when you are subconsciously asking if you are the spouse, friend, son, daughter of choice. Branding is innocuous so we don’t think about it. It’s always there. It’s just understood. Walk (or be pushed) away from personal alignment with that brand and you are, um, what? That void is real.
The second issue is time. Time for a job search is non-comparative to the “normal world. If you held any success in your previous position you could be on your blackberry 24/7 and it was active with lots of other people just like you. You called it keeping pace. In fact it was how you stayed relevant. Now how is the pace? Quiet? Can make your follow up calls in twenty minutes? Can you peruse the usual job sites in another hour? Thankfully it takes a couple of hours to truly commit to sending a well written cover letter to the right person by doing a little research into your extended network. Or then what do you do? Do you watch daytime television? How do you fill your day, days, weeks…and now is it months?
Third, how do you explain to those around you how productive you are when you don’t feel like that’s enough? Do you tell your spouse, yes, I only applied to one job? Has your enthusiasm faded in your search? You feel it, your family feels it. How do you reassure them when you need reassurance? They have the same fears as you. When they ask you about the path you’re on they want you to be strong and they may not be able to mask their fears after time either. When you both need reassurance what happens? You still need to have a brave front face that empty page every day.
There are people who can help. Get individual or group support with people who aren’t directly impacted by your layoff but can support you through yours. Even if you’re excited to be moving to the next step it’s okay to surround yourself with a productive group of supportive people. Who are facing the same issues as you face. It’s time to talk about what’s going on inside. I know…I have been there. It’s a wild, but not fun ride.