Friday, August 27, 2010

Patience and Persistence Will Prevail

In spite of recent efforts to improve the employment picture, it’s looking more and more like a job market recovery is nowhere in sight. Whether unemployed or underemployed, future prospects look and feel bleak. There is an emergent sense of anxiety and desperation for these millions and the many more that support and depend on them.

Career coaches teach their clients how to network and leverage their resources, how to build and market their skills, and how to remain flexible with their goals and plans. These strategies, effective in a “normal” job market, seem less so in the “new normal,” where there as many as five people available for every job opening. No wonder there is a growing sense of frustration and despair.

So, what does this mean for someone who is looking for new employment? The simple answer is to become very skilled at the art and practice of transition, with particular emphasis on being patient and persistent. This is neither new nor particularly profound advice, except to say that it is truer now than at any time in the recent past.

Patience is the ability to keep things in perspective and recognizing that things will work out over time. Being patient teaches us to not get caught up in the non-rational aspects of the transition process and to understand that how we move forward has a great deal of impact on our ultimate success. Some things to help with patience:

Ø Remind yourself that the process unfolds one step, one action at a time.

Ø Don’t put pressure on yourself and others to move things along faster than is normal and natural.

Ø Recall that you have been through challenges before and remember the lessons from those past experiences.

Ø When you are feeling discouraged, give yourself permission to take time away from the process.

Persistence is the behavior that combines discipline with an appropriate sense of urgency. This includes being active and focused every day, reaching out to others even when feeling unsure of oneself, and to act as if our actions will yield positive results. Some things to help with persistence:

Ø When you think you have finished for the day, take one more step, make one more call, send out one more resume.

Ø Remember that staying connected is important to the process; take steps to develop a disciplined follow-up practice.

Ø Don’t take “no” as the end of the process; instead, see “no” as an opportunity to ask one more question or make one more request.

Ø When you get frustrated or stuck, step back, take a couple of deep breaths, have a good laugh, and begin again.

In conclusion, remember that patience and persistence go hand in hand, and both must be appropriately tended to for the process to give you what you want.

Best wishes.

Mark Guterman