SLOUGHENED NO MORE!
When I was a child my grandfather used to have an expression for an emotion, the one that you felt after a huge disappointment, when the pit of your stomach was aching and you had no idea which way to turn!
On the morning I was made redundant I felt it, understood it but simply couldn’t remember what the expression was. But mine was an overwhelming feeling of shock, followed by anger which dissipated into despair and then anxiety. What was I going to do, how would I pay for the mortgage, how would I find another job, why and how could they do this to me….
In the cold light of day it had been on the cards for a while. I’d ignored it, believing that it wouldn’t happen to me but it had!
Like many people in this situation I buried my head in the sand, my lack of motivation was mind boggling as was my sudden appetite for appalling day- time TV!
After arguments with my partner, rows with my nearest and dearest, heated discussions with the banks and soul destroying clashes with the benefit office, it suddenly dawned on me.. I had to get a grip. I needed direction and some kind of focus. I needed help!
Most of us live a life that is usually disciplined in some way by routine. From an early age we get up at a certain time for school, have dinner at 7, go to bed at 8 and so on and so forth all the way through to adulthood, when we develop different routines, but routines all the same. In my last job I caught the 7:40 train to Sheffield every morning, arrived at work at 8:30, made a coffee, checked my on-line diary , had a team meeting at 9:30am and progressed through the day, the week, on schedule and according to the routine I had established over 10yrs.
That was the Answer!
The answer was to do what I had always done, create and follow a routine. I needed a plan and I needed to take the view that getting another job had to be treated as a job!
From that day on I awoke at 7:30am every morning and went for a short walk (my commute) to clear my head and plan the day ahead, just as I had always done on the train to work. I created a desk space for my new job away from the TV (which now stayed unplugged until 5pm) and I stuck to strict break-times. I began to attack the task of finding a job full time.
One thing that quickly became evident was that I needed help. The market place had changed. No longer did the local newspapers have pages upon pages of jobs. Why? Everything had gone on line and I needed to know how to find jobs on line. My CV was atrocious, who could help me articulate my experience professionally? Interviews? I hadn’t had an interview for years, who could coach me, prepare me and get me in the right frame of mind?
I met with a couple of recruitment agencies, sucked up all the advice and information they had. I created an on-line profile to market me, to make me easier to find. I began to attend networking events, job seeker seminars and basically anything that could get me in front of someone, anyone who would recognise what I had to offer.
Within 2 weeks I was applying for 10 advertised jobs a day, I was sending speculative CV’s and targeting and making calls to researched employers. Things began to happen, don’t get me wrong I had to be tenacious, often persistent but what did I have to lose?
Oh, I’ll be honest and admit that often I sat with my head in my hands, had to really fight the urge to just turn the TV back on. I got angry when agencies and employers didn’t even acknowledge my emails and calls. But I stuck with it.
It isn’t easy but…
After 4 weeks the interviews started to roll in, my skills had been improved, I understood how to sell myself, how to tailor a CV, how to answer competency based interview questions and how to research my opportunities. 1st interviews became 2nd’s and then finally it happened, I was offered a job! Bizarrely the job I secured turned out be better than the one I had lost. The skills I had learned, the renewed discipline and the sheer drive and determination involved in the whole process had made me leaner, keener and sharper, more flexible and focused and what employer could resist those attributes..
My advice is simple. You have to attack the whole process. Treat it like as a job, but most of all ask for help, seek advice and stick to your routine.
Oh, that expression my Grand-father had, it was something like sloughened, I suspect it is a Barnsley or Yorkshire term. Regardless he would be proud, of how I turned my despair around, I know he would!