“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung
“The only journey is the journey within.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
I dedicate this posts-series to all the job seekers I have coached or I am currently coaching, to those looking for a new career path or to free themselves from job-slavery, to those tired of boring or unfulfilling jobs, to those concerned about the state of the world and willing to do something about it, to those who have touched my heart and to a young friend currently struggling to find his own path, because you have given me the gift of re-visiting my purpose in life and for that, I will forever be grateful.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” ~ Alice in Wonderland
Yes, this post is about Job Search…after all, that’s what I do from Monday to Friday: help people to find decent jobs or to figure out how to create their own and become independent.
After a few years facilitating workshops, listening to people’s stories and coaching them through the ups and downs of job search, it is natural to burn out a bit, run out of fresh ideas and even feel as if my work is useless…add all the other concerns about the world (climate change, soil degradation, resource scarcity, social inequality, economic injustice, abuse of power and so on) and you have a formula for total “right livelihood” crisis.
Since December 2013, however, all this has slowly started to change. I have discovered a new sense of why I do what I do and how to help people not just to figure out how to “look for a job”, but what they really want and need in life…mostly, I’m starting to discover how to match the work I do with the work that needs to be done (if we really want to create a better world). I am starting to see that you can “make a living by making a difference” and without accepting boredom, abuse and drudgery as the “normality” of day-to-day work.
Does this mean that the usual career-planning/job-search process needs to change? That the old tricks don’t work any longer? That career counsellors need to re-invent their trade?
What if the entire idea of “work” is rethought? What if the job-seeker/employer relationship is challenged, if a new order emerges?
How do career coaches facilitate this? How do we convey to job seekers that they need to recover the power and control over their lives in a society that is increasingly unequal and where scarcity of real jobs encourages competition and discrimination?
For both professional and personal reasons, these thoughts have been in my head lately…
It doesn’t help knowing why we have so many wonderful, talented and highly educated people working in menial jobs: how can we be realistic and aware without crushing somebody’s dreams?
As in any relationship of two (in this case, job seeker and potential employer), nobody has all the power nor control.
As a job-seeker, you can’t control the market. You can’t control discrimination, abuse, saturation, competition from other job seekers or employers’ random decisions about who to hire.
But you can control other things: your own behaviour, your own decisions, your target, your mood swings about the process, the plan you create (or not) and the strategy (or lack of) you use.
How to Job Search in an age of constant change, competition and scarcity:
As you will see, the steps and the tools are more or less the same. What makes the different, in my experience, is to become serious and…apply them!
As a certified Permaculturist, I will also bring some Permaculture concepts to this process, so don’t be surprised if I talk about Permaculture here as well…and remember: Permaculture is not just about gardening or forests, but in the garden as in the forest, you can discover the entire universe…including the one within yourself.
Let’s visit the steps one at a time:
(these posts will be coming up on the following days, so…stay tuned!)
- Job Search Series I: Know yourself – discover your purpose in life
- Job Search Series II: Take Responsibility
- Job Search Series III: Pay It Forward…and Pay it Back!
- Job Search Series IV: Know what’s out there – embrace your purpose and give, give…
- Job Search Series V: Help Yourself ~ Or Feed What You Want To Grow
- Job Search Series VI: Make sure what’s out there knows you exist and what you are looking for
- Job Search Series VIa: Informational Interviews
- Job Search VII: Dealing With the Roller Coaster
- Make sure you match what what’s out there needs
- If you don’t match, change yourself…or change the target (you can’t change what is out there, at least not by yourself…but! this may be part of your purpose in life…)
- Check your attitude (constantly!). Be curious, stretch beyond your comfortable zone. Be curious. Be thirsty.
- Create the appropriate tools to get where you want and need to be
- Be organized and strategic
- Accept Feedback. Be open to learn
- Have a back-up plan and be open to the unexpected
- Take a break and enjoy life
- Stay healthy, curious and thirsty
- Go to step 1 and repeat the cycle until you are where you want/need to be…(note: this may take forever, and that is absolutely OK, unless you want to be dead…life is about re-connecting the cycles and journaling on an endless spiral to discover your purpose in life and live it!)
“Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” ~ Buddha