Energy For Your Job Search

Energy For Your Job Search

Advice from Wendy Smith; Career Coach and author of The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book – Wendy’s books on Amazon

You need energy for your job search – just as you do to complete any other project in your work life. It is all too easy when you are working from home – for job search as at other times – to lose the habits that help you stay healthy.

Energy for your job search; the basics

Most of us need seven or eight hours of good quality sleep to perform at our best. Sometimes I ask clients to keep a sleep diary so they can work out exactly how much sleep they need. They record the hours they slept and how the felt the next day. If you try it, you can pretty quickly work out what is the best sleep for you. Make sure your bedroom is comfortable, dark enough and quiet – this really isn’t the place for computers and televisions.

As your mother always told you; eat a good breakfast that sets up your energy levels for the day. Try making porridge and not buying packaged cereals full of sugar and add fruit to the tray.

Grazing on small, frequent meals is better for your system than eating large meals with a long break in between. Eat Energy For Your Job Searchunrefined complex carbohydrates like whole wheat with every meal. Cut back on tea, coffee, chocolate and canned drinks and drink lots of water to feel really good.

Make sure you get out of the house and into the fresh air each day. And have an exercise routine, even if it is just regular walking. A half hour walk each day will help to keep you healthy. Always take medical advice before starting a vigorous new exercise routine; perhaps this may be the time to start swimming again – it is great exercise and very inexpensive.

Other resources to help your job search

In the job market, there are always lots of useful techniques to learn or to refresh. From writing a modern CV to wooing at the interview, you’ll find lots of tips in my handy little pocket-book.

Stress-free Job Search
A concise and practical little workbook. For all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

A concise and practical little work book, it is for all who have the courage to go out and learn the new skills necessary to find a job now.

Find this and my other books on my Amazon page at this link; http://ow.ly/BRSAL

Remember working with a career coach can really help both  job search and career resilience. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. 

Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book your free 30 minute, no obligation, trial coaching session with Wendy Smith now at this Link 

Staying Healthy – A Quick Tip For Motivation To Exercise

Staying Healthy – A Quick Tip For Motivation To Exercise

 Great post on our sister blog, WiseWolf’s Your Happiness factor today!

Staying Healthy – A Quick Tip For Motivation To Exercise

Today we have the first post from our second new contributor – Natasha Gelder.  Natasha is a full time Literature student based in Leeds who is juggling the quests for higher education, money and rock hard abs. She believes exercising is a vital part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle and should not be seen as a chore. I think you will enjoy her post and I know she is taking her own advice.

Each night do you set your alarm an hour early, with the intention of having an early morning workout, but when the morning comes you opt for an extra hour in bed instead? Feeling guilty, you tell yourself that you’ll go when you leave the office, but by half past five the idea of skipping the gym and opting for a night curled up on the couch with a glass of wine and a movie seems much more appealing. In fact, you’ve had a hard day at work and cooking is the last thing you want to do, why not treat yourself to a Chinese takeaway?

Unemployment – looking after your mental health!

Depression (emotion )

Losing a job is one of the most difficult things we have to deal with in life.  It ranks right up there with losing someone you care for or going through divorce.

“It’s a serious fracture in one’s world view,” says Robert London, M.D., a staff psychiatrist at New York University’s Langone Medical Center. “It doesn’t matter if you’re an executive or a bus driver–your identity is very much wrapped up in your job. And to suddenly be without that identity can be devastating.”

That is why it can make you feel down in the first few weeks and seriously depressed if unemployment stretches over months.

It is all too easy to start believing that there must be something wrong with you personally or that you lack some vital characteristic that the rest of the world seems blessed with.

Sometimes you may not realise you are depressed.  You just want to sleep all the time, you don’t want to mix with other people and/or suddenly you start feeling mysterious aches and pains.

Now that you are depressed, of course, finding a job becomes even less likely and you may not feel you can make the effort.  If you do feel like this, then please do seek help from your doctor, coach or counsellor.

But how do you intervene before things become quite that bad?

Well, first, recognise the risk! Then, you need to take responsibility for looking after your own mental, as well as physical, health.

Being jobless can make you feel you have no control over your own life and that makes you feel insecure and unhappy.  So start to take control by giving yourself a set schedule for every day of the working week.

Make finding your new job your new job.  Set a time to start each day and make sure you are showered, dressed and in your new work space (allocate a space at home for this, if you don’t have a home office) by that time each day.

Work to a flexible but firm timetable for the day.  Explain that you will be working at home during the day to family and friends.

Each morning and evening allocate a time to check and revise your work-search “to do” list.  Make sure you build in some networking time – either by telephone, face to face or on social networks – social contact with others will be refreshing as well as part of your job search.

Make some time as well for your own personal development – are there new skills you would like or need to acquire?  The internet and your local library will help you to find free or at least inexpensive resources.

At the end of your working day, if you can, close the door on your working space or at least make it look different.  Then spend time with family and friends doing what you usually enjoy.

Resist the temptation to hole up in your house and wait for the world to come to you. As Dr London say “Isolation is a dangerous thing. When you live in your head, you ruminate and feed your depression,”

Try each day to find either something to be inspired by – nature is great for that – or something to laugh at.  Laughing at old comedy programs should probably available for us all as part of public health services.

Wendy Mason works as a Coach, Consultant and Blogger. She works with all kinds of people going through many different kinds of personal and career change, particularly those wanting to increase their confidence

If you would like to work on developing your own confidence, Wendy offers the Wisewolf Learn to Be Confident Program at this link

You can contact Wendy at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com  or ring ++44 (0)2084610114

  • 12 Tips for Confident Interviews (leavingthepublicsector.blogspot.com)
  • 6 Tips for Confident Networking (leavingthepublicsector.net)
  • “Gratitude Moments” (heatheregartshore.wordpress.com)

>Strength for the Journey – staying fit!

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Running with Seagulls
You wouldn’t be wasting time reading this if you were not committed to doing something interesting and worthwhile after leaving the Public Sector. 
You are engaged in a most important task – ensuring the best possible future for you and for those close to you.  This major project will be challenging to manage and making sure it is success will require both your energy and your commitment! 
You need to do your best to make sure you are fit for the task – I mean physically and mentally fit!
You are going through what for most people is a deeply stressful experience. Sometimes people turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of coping, or they may overeat. Unfortunately all of those just provide a short-term fix at the cost of long term physical and mental damage. (I’m not even going to mention smoking!) 
If you are serious about Project You, you just can’t afford those options!   
There are lots of simple relaxation techniques around.  But I’ve put one at the end of this post anyway. 
Sometimes playing a game that keeps your mind working (rather than watching TV) can be a way to relax even if it is just Scrabble on Facebook. I have a NintendoDS and my word can’t that while away the hours and the tension!
This might also be the time to make some simple change in your overall life style that have worked for others.
Replace coffee with tea! In a recent study,   researchers found that drinking a cup of tea 4-6 times a day reduces stress hormone levels in your body. The study’s results suggest “drinking black tea may speed up our recovery from the daily stresses in life.” In any case drink lots of water – 8 glasses a day is recommended.
Eat a balanced diet – plenty of vegetables and complex carbohydrates!  Cut out the fat, salt and sugar and eat small meals at frequent and regular intervals.
Get some exercise every day, even if much of your day is spent in the home office working on Project You! Get out for a daily walk at the very least. Getting outside for some fresh air, a change of scenery, and a quick walk to get your blood going, will do wonders for your mood and motivation.   
Now is not the time to cut yourself off from company, I will be writing here about networking shortly.  In the meantime make sure you stay in touch with your old friends. Remember so many people have suffered the indignity of being made redundant that you are likely to be treated with a lot of understanding by old friends and colleagues, if that is what has happened. 
Now here is that relaxation technique I mentioned.
Relaxed breathing 

Practise deep breathing at a regular time and in a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Loosen or remove any tight clothes and make yourself comfortable! 

If you can, sit in a comfortable chair which supports your head or lie on the floor or bed. Place your arms on the chair arms, or flat on the floor or bed, a little bit away from the side of your body with the palms up. 

If you’re lying down, stretch out your legs, keeping them hip-width apart or slightly wider. If you’re sitting in a chair, don’t cross your legs.
Good relaxation always starts with focusing on your breathing. The way to do it is to breathe in and out slowly and in a regular rhythm as this will help you to calm down.
·         Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly.
·         Fill up the whole of your lungs with air, without forcing.
·         Imagine you’re filling up a bottle, so that your lungs fill from the bottom.
·         Breathe in slowly and regularly counting from one to five (don’t worry if you can’t reach five at first).
·         Then let the breath escape slowly, counting from one to five.
·         Keep doing this until you feel calm.
·         Breathe without pausing or holding your breath.
While you are doing this concentrate completely on your breathing – let the thought of your breath fill you heart and mind completely! 
You will be surprised by the power of this very simple technique which you can use any time and in more or less any place.  Please try it and let me know what you think!

>”It’s natural to feel angry, but…!” Handling that Anger!

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Angry Penguin 

Anger usually arises from some form of perceived transgression against yourself.  It needn’t be real – you just need to believe it happened! 
When the organisation you have worked for years, suddenly seems to be showing you the door, anger is an understandable reaction!
Anger comes about in three main areas
  • Someone or some thing gets in the way and stops you achieving a goal
  • Someone or some organisation breaks your personal rules.  For example, ‘I’ve worked for them for years and now they want to get rid of me!’
  • You self esteem feels threatened

Being made redundant or being “persuaded” to go “voluntarily” can tick all three boxes!

You feel angry and you may lash out verbally or physically.  Or you may displace your aggression and take it out on someone else; the family at home, for example, or someone more junior who is staying.  
Instead of attacking you may withdraw – storming out or simply opting out of active engagemnt with the work you are expected to complete!
Or you may attack indirectly – for example, subverting or spreading rumours about what the changes really mean – a passive aggressive response.
the "angry wasp", ensign of the 21º ... 
But it is clear that prolonged anger damages you mentally and physically!
You may believe that letting it out is the best way to deal with it.  But big, explosive, ‘cathartic’ expressions of anger reinforce your anger because the underlying beliefs are strengthened. 
To get over being angry you have first to get over the idea that others make you angry!
If others annoy you, it really is you who presses the anger button so that you ‘blow your top’!  
You ‘lose your temper’, no one takes it from you!  
And you probably regret it later, which shows that other options were available.
Your self talk determines how you respond to a situation. Anger results from how you think about a situation, not the situation itself.
Examine the potential results of your anger building up on top of the other challenges you face. 
  • Do you really want to risk damaged relationships?  
  • You will probably need to reference from your employer so now is not the time for poor performance!
  • Being in a constant state of anger will take a toll on both your physical and mental health!  

Look at alternative responses!  
You will be much better placed if you can be assertive rather than angry.  You should stand up for yourself  but without  loss of control.  
Begin to develop an early warning system by recognizing the early signs of anger (muscle tension, clenched fists, the rising voice and impatience) and then learn how to diffuse it,  You can talk yourself down or leave the situation and, when you are calmer, think how to deal with the situation in a more constructive way.
Start slowly and keep practicing.  If you can, talk to those closest to you, tell them why you are doing it and ask them to support you.
Here is a really useful website


Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public   Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@leavingthepublicsector.net or ring ++44(0)7867681439
You can find her business blog at www.wisewolftalking.com  

>So now you know what it means for you – 10 strategies for coping with bad news

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York railway station and Royal York Hotel - Ap...
YORK RAILWAY STATION AND ROYAL YORK HOTEL

Some four and a half years ago, I was sitting in the Royal York Hotel at a team away day.  As I listened, I realised what the latest cost-reducing exercise was going to mean for me!  It meant the end of our working group and, for me, doing the kind of work that I loved, as a Civil Servant. 

We’d been talking about the change for months but this was the first time I really took it in! It took me a while to come to terms with my  feelings and to start looking forward!  

Losing a well-loved job can be like like losing someone close to you, for example, a well loved friend! Sadness is a very personal experience, unique to each of us. It can come in waves and your usual calm and balance can suddenly be overcome by emotion. This is disturbing, particularly if you are used to being very much in control of your emotions. 

If the same thing is happening to you, here are a few suggestions to help you ride out the storm! 
  1. Take time out. In many ways, experiencing loss can be similar to recovery from illness! Give yourself time to come to terms with the news.  
  2. Avoid making major decisions immediately. Loss can cloud your judgment and make it difficult to see beyond the immediate disappointment. Impulsive decisions can have far-reaching implications for you and those close to you. If you need to make an urgent decision, discuss it with someone you trust, such as a friend or financial advisor.
  3. Talk. Feelings like anger and disappointment can fester if held inside. They need to come out but in a safe environment. When friends and family offer to help, ask them just to listen.   If you think you need more support than friends and family can provide think about working with a coach or, if necessary, a professional counsellor. Both have been trained to listen!
  4. Honour the past.  That this is happening now, doesn’t devalue your working life so far!  Take time to think about your past successes and the respect in which you have been held. There is no disgrace in being made redundant – many of the most successful people have it in their career history!    It doesn’t make you better or worse as a person –  usually it just means you were unfortunate enough to be there at the time! 
  5. Take care of your physical health. Loss takes a physical, as well as an emotional, toll. Rest, exercise, and eat properly!  Keep yourself fit for what might be quite an adventure ahead! While you may not be motivated to exercise, taking a brief walk every day can lift your spirits and help you sleep at night.
  6. Avoid using chemicals to numb your feelings. A glass of wine can be good for the soul and help to settle jangled nerves, but overdoing it can bring a host of new problems. Attempting to numb your feelings about what has happened with alcohol, drugs, or prescription medications won’t help you prepare to make the most of what might be a very good opportunity ahead!  Usually, it will only prolong the pain. Eventually, one way or another, you must come to terms with what has happened. 
  7. Have fun. Sounds odd, doesn’t it?  But losing your job doesn’t mean you have to feel bad all the time!  In fact, it’s important to take a break from focusing on the change. Spend time with the family and have fun when you can, even if it’s just reading a good book or watching a movie!
  8. Reach out. In the beginning, you might not feel like mixing with other people at work. Soon, though, you’ll be ready to ease back into contact and start networking. Make a date with an old colleague to have lunch and make contact with others going through the same experience – you can support each other. Helping them, will help you to feel good about yourself again.
When I got over the shock of my sudden realisation, I went on to re-think my whole approach to work.  Things turned out well for me a
nd for many of my former colleagues.  I am sure they will for you too.

Here is some further reading

In terms of regaining you overall confidence – here is a website that can help; Recover Your Balance. Ann Lewis’s website supports you to recover emotionally so that loss of confidence is less likely to hamper you in deciding your best course ahead. You will also find her book very valuable  ‘Recover Your Balance: How To Bounce Back From Bad Times at Work’   

Wendy Mason is used to working with people moving out of the Public Sector! She is a performance, programme, contract management and change specialist. She works as a consultant, business coach and blogger.  Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439
You can find her business blog at www.wisewolftalking.com