Each of us knows that being unemployed is difficult enough for us emotionally and can leave one in a state of turmoil. For the Fifty Plus worker that emotional stress, confusion and loss of confidence is magnified. In today’s “world of work”, work is considered temporary regardless of what generation one fits.
As a fifty plus myselff prior to inaugurating CareerCrafts, I understood the stresses and turmoil ones emotions play on oneself. Although I cannot provide you with individualized methods for your own particular situations I can provide suggestions that may assist you during this very difficult period.
There are several categories that one should recognize while dealing with the stress of the job search, these include:
1.Lack or self questioning of your self confidence. 2.Dealing with family and friends during this period. 3.Obtaining emotional help or counseling to assist you when the stress and
pressure is weighing you down and affecting your job search.
4.Utilizing others to assist you with guidance and feedback for your job search. 5.Understanding that you are not to blame regarding your job loss…it is the
current nature of employment.
As Fifty Plus, we represent the most experienced and capable employees for achieving success for an employer. Our strengths are many and the experience we provide is many times over that of younger workers especially the current generation who lack many work skill sets and social skills necessary for job search success.
Lack or Self Questioning of Your Self Confidence
I am sure that many "experienced workers" never experienced the need to participate in intensive job searches only a few years ago prior to the “Great Depression” of 2008. In a large percentage of the job market employers reached out to experienced workers, for their experience. Employers were more open to the need for experience and for the abilities of Fifty Plus to take concepts and ideas and produce viable working methodology. Although there was and remains age discrimination within employers many employers understood the need for the “experience” Boomers offered.
In the employment environment of today the stress on maintaining your self confidence is the number one emotional issue that Fifty Plus experience. Self doubt, regarding job obtainment, where to find a job, how to be competitive, how to meet ones financial obligations are all situations that perpetuate the lack of self confidence.
One method to maintain self confidence during this time is to accept that fact that you must develop a viable job search plan, modify your plan as time progresses and accept that regaining employment WILL take time. The average time to gain full time reemployment is still quite high for Boomers and others averaging from twelve months to eighteen months and in many cases up to two years. This is the reality and Boomers must accept this if they are going to maintain their self confidence.
Look for part time work, as an adjunct to your income, now that unemployment extensions have been severely reduced. This will allow you to maintain a more realistic self introspection of your value and expectations. It is vital that you maintain your job search plans and modify and review them regularly, but more so it is vital that your plans are realistic to the current market. That means there is a very realistic possibility that the type of employment you once enjoyed may no longer exist and the necessity of validating your cross over skills will become more important than ever.
I strongly recommend that you read “some” motivational material daily to assist with maintaining your self confidence. This can be books and articles from key motivational authors or religious materials such as the Bible. The point is to remain positive and receive positive input from this daily reading.
Another viable point to assist the older workers with maintaining self confidence is to utilize all the available retraining offered at the state and federal level. Many if not all states provide retraining, paid by the state that will assist you in obtaining employment. Check with your local Work Force Development or Unemployment Office for more information. This is an excellent opportunity to engineer yourself into a new career with growing sectors of the economy.
Dealing with Family and Friends
Family and friends can be your greatest support network or your most difficult challenge during a period of unemployment. Family feels the stress of reduced income and worries about the future and friends who are working wonder why you are unable to find reemployment. These challenges are magnified when you do not inform family and friends that you need their support and positive suggestions rather than questions about the lack or regaining meaningful employment.
It is vital to your emotional status and job search that you keep your immediate family members informed about what is happening to you during the job search. Ask your family members to meet with you weekly to review what you are doing and where progress is being achieved. Remind family members that you need their support and develop a support system for them where they can actively participate.
These can include:
•Asking each family member to provide you with how they feel about your current status
and request from them what they can do to support your activities.
•Request those family members to who may be working to find valid networking contacts
that can be added to your current networking list.
•Set specific times for the family to meet and share ideas any ideas that each family
remember may wish to offer to assist you with your job search. These ideas may not be
what you are necessarily in need of but it provides an opportunity for the family to feel that
they are participating in your job search. In other words they are providing additiona
l support to you as a family rather than viewing your current situation as negative.
•Establish a rule the negative comments or feedback from immediate family members
while you are in the job search is not allowed. In other words, discuss with your spouse
or other family members that positive reinforcement is vital during this period. As a
psychological point for every one negative comment it takes up to ten positive comments
to negate the negative effects of negative comments.
•Show the your immediate family members during meeting times your job search planning
process and how things are progressing, this provides your immediate family with positive
information that indicates you are actively seeking reemployment.
•Discuss the idea of alternative employment or retraining with the family to supplement any
unemployment compensation or other household income. It is more valuable as a job
seeker to obtain part time or even contractural or voluntary work to promote a positive
mental state during the job search.
Obtaining Emotional Help or Counseling
This is a very “touchy” subject but vital when one is unemployed for a long period of time. It is so vital to maintain a positive mental status that I strongly recommend that anyone out of work for a period of three months or longer look for some means to obtain counseling. Although in a large percentage of situations there may be times where you may not be able to afford such services but there are alternatives.
1.Read positive motivational books and job search materials that are positive rather than negative. Accept that this information is to assist you during these times and accept the fact that positive motivational sources is something that you need. 2.Many counties, municipalities or states offer free or very low cost counseling services for residents with reduced income. Yes that may even mean you may be forced to accept Medicaid for a period based on your families current financial situation. It is vital that you achieve a positive mind set about yourself and your job searching processes. 3.Another suggestion is to take a few moments each day and write down on paper how you feel, start with the negative and then answer each negative point with a positive response that shows you are doing something to reduce the negativity.
In the book “The Secret” many successful individuals talk about listing on paper daily all the things that you are grateful for. The object for this is to assist you in planting within your mind the positive things that you have and not the things you do not have. Also while writing down this list, list in that list all the things you want as having them now! This will reinforce developing a positive attitude so you can view a success to your job search as a finite result not something that you wish to achieve.
Utilizing Others with Guidance and Assistance in Your Job Search
This is not an easy thing to do but with some effort and planning you can achieve the support you need. This point is not in reference to your family but in reference to previous work associates, previous managers, supervisors and others who you may have in your network or may be lead to by others.
Today’s job search is not a single or individual process. Since the new paradigm for work is that all jobs are temporary there is a need for mentors or guides to assist you. Mentors are vital in today’s job search for Boomers. A mentor provides an external view of what progress you are making and can and should provide you with various new paths to follow for your job search.
Finding a mentor is a process and one that must be planned in advanced. However, a mentor can be someone you know or someone you may not know, and in many cases there may be more success for your job search by utilizing a mentor that you currently do not know. The reason is that this mentor will have no preconceived ideas about you and will be more honest in the feedback you receive.
How to find a mentor should be carried out in a process outlined below.
1.Establish as part of your job search plan just what type of work or position you are desiring to obtain. 2.Determine what companies or organizations will be your specific targets.
3. Search for individuals within those companies or organizations that are either within the type of position you desire.
4.Establish contact with the individual either via LinkedIn or Plaxo or some other source including the company’s web site if you know the individuals email. 5.Explain to the individual once you have made contact that you first are not looking for a job in his or her company but you are seeking a position similar to the one they hold. Share information that you can offer to the individual to establish a relationship. This may lead later to a “Relationship Network” where by sharing information that the other party may be able to utilize in their position provides you vital credibility and assistance from that contact. 6.Ask the new contact if they would mind acting as your mentor, someone you can bounce ideas off and receive honest feedback in your job search. (I have had many of my clients do this extremely successfully leading to reemployment in a short period of time.) 7.Establish times in which to contact your new mentor to review your job search status and request ideas or feedback that will assist you. 8.Finally and most important ALWAYS show your appreciation to the individual who becomes your mentor.
Understanding you are NOT to blame for your Current Situation
I find this the most difficult point to express to job seekers today. Most people usually feel they are to blame when they are terminated regardless of the cause being a RIFF, an actual termination for performance, lay off or any other reason. In the vast majority of job loss it is NOT YOUR FAULT! The “world of work” has changed, and the new paradigm that defines work is continuing to change.
College and University graduates are being educated to the fact that within their work careers, they will have as many as six different careers and will be changing jobs on an average of every 2.5 years. There is no longer the old adage that once you become a member of a company or organization you are there for life. That notion has been terminated in reality since the late nineteen nineties.
Mary Popcorns, book the New Paradigms discusses the changes in not just work but in our culture with work only being one part of it. None the less, understanding and accepting the fact that even as Boomers you will be continuing searching for a new position even while employed. The object is not to become discouraged by this but to plan for the eventuality.
What does this statement mean? It is rather straight forward in that if you can accept the suggestions prior to this you find reemployment sooner and be in a more positive frame of mind during the job search process.
Remember the following suggestions and it will assist you in developing a new you that employers will want to hire.
1.Maintain a positive attitude through the job search 2.Obtain counseling whether you think you need it or not, in most cases job seekers don’t
recognize they need it.
3.Establish your viable job search plans. 4.Develop and connect with a mentor. 5.Obtain retraining as offered by local, state and federal agencies. 6.Never forget to like yourself.