I finally gave in and started watching “Modern Love” on Amazon Prime.
It’s a series based on essays published in the New York Times; essays about love. It’s also a podcast featuring celebrities reading some of these essays. I’ve always loved the podcast.
In essence, the stories are about the little things that become big things.
Gestures, glances, passing occurrences. Small triumphs that we could pass off as anomalies. Failures that are really steps to victory. They are things we easily can overlook, but that when we take them together, add up to something powerful.
I relate this to the dramas I see playing out daily with my clients.
They are looking for new jobs or new lines of work. They are engaged in many activities to help them meet their goals. Many of these are mundane and repetitive. Some feel like the act of slogging through mud or paddling against a swift current.
Some feel downright useless.
Until they realize that it’s the little things; the steps along the way that hold the key.
If you are having trouble with your job search; not getting the responses you had hoped for; not getting picked after several rounds of interviews, then it could be time to take a closer look at the progress you actually are making.
Because you likely are making progress.
So, do this:
*Try a little mindfulness.
There is a lot out there right now about slowing down and listening to the breath.
You can get a lot out of this practice of taking things down a notch, because when you are still, you have a chance to let yourself feel what his happening with your body.
Maybe you are angry or anxious. Sit with it. Let it occupy space. Let it be. Until it dissipates.
Not working? Exercise! Go for a walk. Fresh air can help you feel better. And walking without listening to your ear pods can allow your mind to feel free as you absorb sunlight and enjoy fresh air. (Scientific research tells us that movement is healing.)
1. The people you have met.
2. The opportunities you didn’t see before, because you didn’t have time.
3. New sources of knowledge and self-awareness that you weren’t seeing before (because of #1 and #2).
I have a client who has just gotten serious about finding a new role. He confessed to me that some days it feels like a slog; like nothing is happening.
Except that when he gives me an update, that’s not how it looks to me. Here’s what he’s doing:
1. Reaching out to colleagues and friends.
2. Networking, at events and with individuals—even when it’s not comfortable.
3. Keeping his resume and profile updated and optimized for every individual role.
4. Contacting recruiters and hiring managers—when he sees a job, and just to let them know what he’s offering.
Fact is, he is having conversations. He is conveying his value. He is getting feedback. His new connections are leading him to even more connections. He even has had an interview.
I remind him that many people are not doing even half of what he is! Many people are simply submitting applications and waiting. Or they are paralyzed by inaction and cannot do even that much!
Most job searches take time.
Each action is a building block to another action.
Each result is step toward another result.
Until one day, the final step is a job offer.
It’s hard to see that progress is happening when you’re living the story. But hopefully, if you keep at it, keep working the plan, keep following the path that emerges, one day you will arrive at a place where you can rest comfortably for a while.
It’s life. It’s love. It’s the career path.
The secret is to never give up.