According to a recent survey by Right Management, the talent and career management division of the Manpower Group, 84% of the 1,000 North American employees surveyed are unhappy with their current jobs and plan to seek new employment in 2012. A mere 5% said they intend to remain in their present jobs. No insights were given regarding what the intentions of the remaining 11% might be.
That’s a lot of people looking for work at the same time! One of my clients recently shared the perception that employers are beginning to hire . . . showing confidence and enthusiasm in interviews is critical in getting job offers. So how do you overcome lack of confidence or the anger that bubbles up when you think about your current work situation? Altering what you focus on can restore both your confidence and your enthusiasm. Focusing on what you can control helps. Choosing to reflect a positive attitude in adversity also helps, if only to give the perception that you’ll be productive and pleasant to work with.
By spending wait time between jobs productively, you’ll stay motivated, be a more interesting conversationalist and will also have some personal goals and achievements to discuss and take pride in. If you’ve endured an extended unemployment period, you’ll have positives to share with recruiters who inevitably ask how you’ve spent the time since your layoff or termination.
Here are some ideas to help you make the most of your transition time:
- Read Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, M.D. to learn why you need to adapt to thrive.
- Get healthy: get a checkup, lose weight, exercise, get enough sleep and establish healthy eating habits to increase energy, stamina and mental acuity.
- Take a class; learn something new that will increase your knowledge, upgrade your skills and make you more valuable—to your current employer or the next one.
- Spend quality time with the people you love. You can overcome a lot of workplace unhappiness with supportive personal relationships.
- Volunteer for a nonprofit whose mission you support. This is also a great way to gain leadership experience to position yourself for advancement.
- Join a networking group or revive lapsed relationships; there’s no better way to find your next opportunity at any step on the career ladder.
- Get a makeover and update your wardrobe to give yourself an emotional lift and improve confidence in your appearance.
- Research companies where you’d like to work; you’ll be better prepared to ask intelligent questions, key to making a good impression during interviews.
- Update your resume. If you can’t do it yourself, find a credentialed professional writer who can provide a great payback on your investment.
- Forgive the employer that has mistreated/underpaid/terminated you. Candidates with a positive, “can-do” attitude attract offers.
And here’s one final tip: if you don’t get the offer but know someone else that would be perfect for the job, speak up and offer a referral (and make a friend for life). Want to share a helpful tip? I welcome your thoughts.
Ellie Vargo, MRW, CCMC