Staying Positive in the Job Search

It seems to me that each time I read a career-related article lately, it laments a group's limited, dwindling, or seriously compromised prospects in securing employment.

Women have trouble getting ahead, new Canadians struggle to land jobs in their fields, young people cannot gain traction, and in this weekend's Globe Careers the title reads "The plight of the middle-aged white guy."

Apparently no one is landing jobs or is happily, productively employed.

Obviously I am exaggerating and the articles all have sound statistics to back up the proposed premise. But one cannot help but wonder how so many sectors struggle.

My suggestion is to not allow yourself to dwell on the many limitations and restrictions that might impede your job search; rather, keep those rose coloured glasses firmly perched on your nose and to quote a popular British saying, Stay Calm and Carry On.

Along with the above-mentioned demographic challenges, my clients often admit to feeling "less than" due to any number of challenges related to having "enough" education, experience, skills, knowledge ...

Truth is, many people achieve than 100% employability perfection - however one defines this word. Nonetheless, Canada is built on a strong workforce and there are many young people, old people, new Canadians, women, and "middle-aged white guys" gainfully employed.

Yes, there are strategies that one can and should use to overcome barriers to employment - for one's own self-confidence as well as a way to get beyond flaws in perception of perfection. If you need help with these, New Leaf would love to be of service. We balance our rose-coloured optimism with practical steps.

If you're in a job search, it's a good idea to ignore those "dooms-day" articles that tell you why you might not land a job. You can choose to join the ranks of successful job hunters. Let New Leaf show you how!

Contemplating Life and Career Changes

As the days grow shorter and darkness deepens, I find myself in a quiet state of mind. My thoughts turn to assessing the past and planning the future.(I love this photo of me nestled between the behemoth trees on Vancouver Island - it feels contemplative.)

Another year is soon gone and the new year, full of promise, hope, and possibility, beckons.

My introspection received a jolt from a book I just finished reading and am immediately re-reading, Anita Moorjani's "Dying to be Me." Aside from retelling her unbelievable, but fully documented return from death's door brought on by an advanced stage of cancer, the author's journey to the realm we might call "heaven" or "nirvana" or (insert your version of an afterlife) and what she perceived there is the more jarring aspect of this story.

I won't try to tell you what she returned to share, as I won't do it justice. But I will say that the way culture, religion, society and family impacted my life are being challenged! In a good way, a healthy way, in my opinion.

It's an amazing read, not daunting, not difficult, but compelling. I highly recommend it.

One thing the author says that I will share is her perception that we look too often outside ourselves for the answers. We read books, rely on talk shows, look to so-called experts, when all the while the answer resides within us. We need to relearn how to look within for answers to our big questions. Questions regarding love, our life's purpose, and yes, our careers!

If you cannot stand Sunday evening because it means you have to return to a job you hate on Monday, a job that drains your energy, batters your soul, and is likely hastening ill health, then you must pay attention! I did this about nine years ago, and gave up a corporate paycheque/pension/security for a fulfilling career as a resume writer.

I'll share a secret with you: many of my clients change their minds after working with me! Yes! Once they see their work well defined on paper, some decide that they have so much expertise to offer that they go into their own business! And others see that a well crafted resume gets results and this empowers them to begin reaching higher in their careers, establishing loftier goals, surpassing their self-limiting beliefs, striving to break through their own glass ceilings.

That's what I love about my work. It can have implications far beyond "getting a job." It allows people to dream, dream big, and supports career change and transitions.

I hope that each of you takes time to assess whether your job or career, where you spend so many hours of so many days, is fulfilling. If it doesn't fill your being with gratitude and anticipation, might I suggest that it's time to make a change? If you need a push, pick up "Dying to be Me." It might just propel you out of "stuck in a rut" into "moving on to a new goal."