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An Open Letter to Anyone Struggling to Find Work

An Open Letter to Anyone Struggling to Find Work

If you are currently struggling to find new work, I’m sorry, I know this process is frustrating and has the tendency to suck the positivity out of you. That’s in the normal times and we are definitely not in normal times. The struggle is real.


As an Executive Recruiter with over 20 years of experience, this is the third downturn I’ve experienced and I’ve learned a lot through the process. I wanted to share my 5 greatest insights and suggestions for this difficult time.


First, sit down and take time to remind yourself of how amazing you are. Revel in all the things you’ve done well over the years. Make a list. How have you helped your clients? How have you helped your team? Your supervisor? What difference did you make in your organization? What spark do you bring to the day? What problems did you solve? What goals did you reach? Feel in your bones all the special things that you bring to the table.


While you want to make sure you have all your accomplishments ready to talk about at a moment’s notice for an interview (and that your resume is sufficiently stocked with them as well) what is most important, is you need to feel that power in your own right again. This process tends to strip away layers of confidence the longer it lasts, it’s very normal and that ‘feeling down’ feeling will come across in an interview without you realizing it. It makes an unwanted impact on everyone who experiences it. I've seen this happen over and over. It's a natural cycle that causes havoc to large percentages of professionals during these difficult times.


Know that you are not alone. You are among the great very many.


Second, most good positions will have a ton of applicants and there will be a lot of competition. When given a large population to choose from, hiring managers are likely to lean towards people who are still working at one of their competitors, it is a psychological advantage for them. My best advice to deal if you don’t get the call back is to not let it get you down. Know this is part of the process, know that this is normal and do not take it personally. Do not let it erode how you feel about yourself or your skills. Do not allow yourself to become bitter. Any feeling of bitterness and negativity can 100% be felt in an interview process. Do your best to stay as positive as possible, it will make all the difference in your interview process. It will make all the difference in you being hired. People want to work with positive people. Walk into every meeting with that level of confidence you feel when you don’t need something, when you know you’re the best and you’re only there because it intrigues you and you can bring value.


Third, if you are not currently working on projects, then I would suggest volunteering with something you know you can have an impact with. Earn yourself some pandemic accomplishments you can talk about. This is a win/win situation, it builds your resume showing you are an active, involved person and it helps give you purpose which will make you happier in the long run. I’ve found that many people find doors opening for them through the volunteer projects they take on. What value can you offer an individual or organization? What is a passion you can get involved in? Being of service helps you more than anyone.


Fourth, this is a great time for reflection. Make sure you are asking yourself the right questions. If I could do anything, what would I do? If I could work with any company, who would it be? If my life went perfectly over the next few years, what would it look like? Now is the time to follow your passion. To start networking with people in your dream company. To learn something new or finally get that certification. Do you know what your deep wants really are? Take time to figure it out and create a plan to get yourself there. Now is the time.


Fifth, after talking with countless people over the last two downturns I found that while there was struggle during the difficult time, each and every person wound up exactly where they were supposed to be. In a better and more fulfilling role. Some in their same industry, and others in a new-found passion. Know in your gut the right thing WILL come along, because it will. Continue to build up your own psyche and make positive self-talk a daily practice. Continue reaching towards your goals every day. Believe in yourself, do not give up and know, it’s all going to be OK.


Wishing you all the best of luck in finding that right next thing!


All views are my own and are not reflective of any organization I am a part of

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