I hope you have been following the recent blogging series with great advice from my colleagues in various sectors of the “careers” industry. (See the links at the end of this post.) Today, I have a contribution from Lisa Caldas Kappesser, author of The Smart New Way to Get Hired: Use Emotional Intelligence and Land the Right Job.
I think emotional intelligence is one of the most overlooked factors in job seeking and have written about “soft skills” several times. (Follow THIS LINK to learn more about soft skills/emotional intelligence.)
Lisa’s thoughts on the question of job searching during the holidays:
The holidays are a joyous time for many people, but for those who are out of work and looking for a job, it may not feel like such a joyous time.
Losing a job is one of the top five most stressful life events and it is filled with many emotions such as sadness, anger, frustration and worry.Â Losing a job impacts family budgets and plans, and everyone in the family is affected by such an event.
Being out of a job over the holidays adds to this stress.Â Buying presents and food for meals and parties can be very draining on budgets.Â Parents and children also have to cope with the reality of how it will affect their holiday spending and plans.Â An airplane trip to visit grandma may be out of the picture this year.
So how do you get through this tough time and stay productive in your job search?
Well it begins with awareness of your emotions and managing them effectively.
Emotional intelligence is “the capacity for recognizing our own feelings and those of others, for motivating ourselves, and for managing emotions well in ourselves and others” (Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence, 1995).Â It entails four skill areas: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social skills that, when used together effectively, can bring about your desired impact or outcome.
The good news is that everyone has these skills to some degree but they can be further developed to increase one’s effectiveness in reaching goals. I see emotional intelligence as a tool that one can use to be more successful in their job search.
Being aware of your feelings is the first step. Reflect on the bodily signs and label what you are feeling, for example, angry or worried.Â Vent your feelings in healthy ways through talking, writing or exercising. These feelings are natural and normal. Next, reflect on your thoughts.Â Thoughts drive emotions. Are you thinking negative or pessimistic thoughts? If so, this can lead to can lead to unproductive behavior.
Being emotionally intelligent is about challenging and changing your negative thoughts and making them realistic and positive.Â This will in turn drive positive behaviors and create energy.Â Â If you are constantly worrying about getting a job because you are telling yourself there are not enough jobs to go around, or you don’t have the education needed to get a job, you will feel increasingly worried, hopeless and sad.Â Feeling this way can lead you to procrastinate, sleep more or avoid job search tasks which work against your ultimate goal of finding a job.Â The reality is that it is a difficult time. However, there are jobs available.
Turnover is a part of life.Â The reality is that the job market is very competitive.Â You should do all that you can to stay in the running for that position that you are interested in.Â If you feel education is a factor, start taking a class or certification course.
Keep a sense of humor.Â Remember to keep things in perspective.Â Embrace changes by expecting them and use your energy to problem solve and adapt rather than to fight or complain.Â When faced with difficult situation, ask yourself three questions:
1. What do I have control over?
2. What don’t I have control over?
3. What can I do?
The answer always comes back to the fact that you have control over yourself and how you adapt and deal with the situation. You have no control over others or the economy.Â You can influence others and organizations but you can not control or change them.Â So use your energy and manage yourself. Influence what you can and you will feel better and in turn have more energy and motivation.
Communicate with your families regarding the situationÂ as well as the plan. Remember, everyone may experience the situation a little differently.Â Try to see things from others’ perspectives and be respectful and caring.Â This will go a long way.Â Working together as a team through the changes and tough times can bring families closer together.
Lisa Kappesser is president of EQ Coaching Solutions. She develops and facilitates emotional intelligence programs for organizations to improve teamwork and enhance leadership.
Be sure to take a look at all the great advice from my colleagues:
I can help with every part of your job hunt! Need a great resume? Tips to use social networking? Interview coaching?Â If you need help mobilizing your networks and your job search plans, learn more about how I can help you! While you’re at it, don’t forget those social networks! Be sure to become a fan of Keppie Careers on Facebook…I’d be thrilled to have you as part of the community! Since we’re on the subject of doing something new…Are you on Twitter? Jump on and touch base with me @keppie_careers.
photo by donsolo