First things first


Just recently German president Christian Wulff had to resign due to accusations of corruption. Don’t worry, I won’t discuss this matter any further. But interestingly the first thing he did after his resignation was to go to a monastery to spend some time alone.

If you lose your job you are most likely to put all your efforts into finding a new one as soon as possible. You’ll probably spend hours enhancing your CV, writing catchy cover letters and refining your search-methods. You might even polish your profile on different job portals and social networks and attend every important networking event. Don’t get me wrong, all these things are important. But sometimes it might be even more important to take a step back and think about what you really want to do before you start your search. An attitude of resignation as expressed in thoughts like “In my Situation I will accept just any kind of job” might be understandable,but doesn’t help to improve your professional prospects in the long run.

Take a small break instead, just as Mr. Wulff did. This time will be spent wisely since it might be beneficial in two ways: firstly it’ll give you back the energy you need for a fresh start. Secondly it also provides you with the time you need to clarify which kind of job you really want to look for. Once you have that clear everything else will get a lot easier. A period of unemployment might be seen as a chance to check if you are still on the right track with your working life. Maybe it’s time for a complete change?

The Thinker - Rodin

Take the time to think about a few statements written byformer Harvard Business School professor and expert on business management practices David Maister. He dedicated the following lines to job seekers:

  • You can’t decide what you want from a job until you’re clear on what you want from life.
  • Some people have been too busy “succeeding” to figure out what success means to them. Don’t look for a job until you’ve thought it through.
  • It’s easy to fool yourself as to what you really want from life.
  • Ban the word “should” from your job search.
  • The key to what you really want lies in something that you don’t like to admit. “I don’t like to admit it but I need to be the center of attention.” OK; find a job that will let you show off. “I don’t like to admit it but I really want to be rich.” Fine; go out and get rich. “I don’t like to admit it but I’m a snob.” That’s all right; go work with “upper class” people.
  • Changing jobs is easier than changing family, and a lot less painful.
  • Don’t worry about whether you’ll be good at it: If it turns you on, you’ll be good enough. If it doesn’t, you won’t.
  • Don’t plan too far ahead. In five to ten years, you’ll be a different person who will want different things from life.
  • All job choices are risky, so think about how you’ll feel if it doesn’t work out. If you’ll able to say, “I’m glad I tried it anyway,” then consider the job. If you can’t imagine saying that, don’t bother pursuing it any further.
  • Remember, the point of life is to be happy.

Posted by:
Niels Schagen

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