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专栏 - 向Anne提问

10大妙招赶走求职忧郁症

Anne Fisher 2011年06月15日

Anne Fisher为《财富》杂志《向Anne提问》的专栏作者,这个职场专栏始于1996年,帮助读者适应经济的兴衰起落、行业转换,以及工作中面临的各种困惑。
连续数月四处奔波,寻找工作,同时还要保持乐观的心态,确实非常困难。本文将提供几条建议,帮助你不被淘汰。

    亲爱的安妮:两年多以前,我丈夫供职的信息管理部门转移到了海外。从那之后,他的面试少之又少,更不用说工作机会了。我们都相信,他最终肯定能找到工作,我们也一直在努力保持积极的心态。但是,鲜有雇主回应,让他(还有我)都备感煎熬。我们甚至都想放弃了。您和您的读者有什么建议可以帮助我们克服这种情绪吗?——疲惫不堪的人

    亲爱的疲惫不堪的人:杰恩•麦特森认为:“所有生活事务中,给人压力最大的莫过于失业了。但是,人们为此付出的心理上的代价却经常被忽视。丢了工作之后,人们难免妄自菲薄,特别是在当前的经济形势下,重新就业尤为艰难。”

    麦特森是再就业与高管培训公司凯斯通联合公司(Keystone Associates)的高级副总裁,专门为与你丈夫情况类似的人提供帮助,避免他们因为过于沮丧,从而失去继续找工作的动力。在她的研讨班和培训课程中,她提供了10条有用的建议。

    1. 正确解读新闻报道。媒体一贯热衷于大肆炒作失业状况,这些自然无法鼓舞求职者的士气。所以求职者要努力在黑暗中看到希望的光芒(不可否认,机会确实很少)。比如,求职者需要记住,尽管总体失业率高达9.1%,但是在拥有大学学位的人群中,失业率还不到总体失业率的一半(约为4%),或许这样想会有所帮助。麦特森指出:“汇总统计数据永远无法全面地反映事实,因此,不要因为这些数据而感到沮丧。”

    2. 努力成为求职专家。麦特森建议:“现在,求职就是你的工作。所以,你要像对待过往的职业挑战一样来对待求职。假设有人雇你为自己找一份工作,你会怎么做?”

    这个任务就需要发挥一些创造性思维。麦特森发现:“求职者往往过于依赖招工信息栏,花费了大量精力去申请广告中的空缺职位。但实际上,借助非正式的就业市场往往有效得多。教堂、大学校友会,甚至在健身房认识的人通常都会带来意想不到的线索。”

    3. 联络信任你的人。麦特森建议:“对于那些会对你说‘你肯定能做到!’的人,应该保持密切的联系。长期失业的人自尊心往往会大受打击,因此需要经常从支持你的朋友、前同事和老板,以及亲戚那里获得鼓励。”

    4. 面对面地与人交流。目前, LinkedIn、Facebook和Twitter等社交网络已经成为找工作不可或缺的工具,但是在线社交媒体无法替代面对面的交流。麦特森说:“每周至少要与三位熟人坐下来聊一聊,哪怕只是在一起喝杯咖啡。与他人聊天往往会让你产生一些新的想法,这是其他任何方式都无法产生的效果。”

    她强调,走出家门,结交新朋友,也能让人免遭孤立。“对于长期失业的人来说,孤立是一种巨大的危险。它不仅会导致抑郁,而且,如果总是闭门不出,就算人们有了工作的机会也不会想起你。”

    5. 主动帮助他人。麦特森表示,人们很容易忽略一个事实,那就是,你的人脉和信息可能会对其他人有所帮助。即便没有帮助,“养成主动询问别人是否需要帮助的好习惯,你会发现,整个过程是互惠的。至少,人们会感谢你主动提出帮助,并因此记住你。”

    6. 投身公益事业。麦特森表示,找一家能够发挥你能力的慈善团体、专业机构,或者社区组织,这会给你带来三个好处。首先,“回报社会”会让你心情愉快。其次,你所接触到的人可能帮你找到新的工作。第三,有助于你保持技术的娴熟,同时保证你获得面试机会时有话可说。

    7. 保持日常生活规律。麦特森强调:“人的生活需要有条理性。越是严格遵守既定日程的人,每天的效率也越高。”她的公司为失业的经理人提供房间,用于职位搜索。她说:“有些人每天一大早就来到房间,好像他们是到‘办公室’来工作一样。这样的人往往能最快找到新工作,这绝对不是巧合。”

    8. 每天都做一些你喜欢的事情。麦特森建议:“每天花一个小时左右,做一些你喜欢的事情,让自己精力充沛,包括健身、园艺、听音乐,或者其他任何能让你高兴的事情。”经常让你的内啡肽流动,可以帮你克服找工作带来的负面情绪。

    9. 不要气馁。麦特森说:“我的一些客户会说:‘我已经参加过x次面试了,可是依然没有得到工作机会——我有什么问题吗?’答案是,你没有任何问题!长时间的求职会使人的情绪像过山车一样。求职者得承认,生活中有高潮就会有低谷,现在的低谷只是这个过程中正常的组成部分。这并不是你的错。”

    10. 时刻提醒自己曾经的成就。麦特森表示:“只有你能告诉别人,你有多么优秀;但是,首先你自己要有信心。找出你在职场和生活中做过的最让你自豪的事情,列一个清单,经常拿出来温习一遍。”她解释说,关键是要始终坚持一个信念:“我曾经取得过成功——将来,我也能再创辉煌。”

    Dear Annie:My husband's job in IT management was sent overseas more than two years ago, and since then, the interviews have been few and far between, with no job offers. We know he will eventually find work, and we're trying to stay positive, but the lack of response from employers is really tough on his psyche (and mine). Do you and your readers have any advice on overcoming the urge to just give up? —Tired Times Two

    Dear Tired:"The loss of a job is one of the most stressful life events," notes Jayne Mattson. "Yet the psychological toll it takes is often overlooked. When you lose a job, especially in this economy where it can be so difficult to find another one, it's hard to maintain your sense of self."

    Mattson, a senior vice president at outplacement and executive coaching firm Keystone Associates, specializes in helping people like your husband avoid getting so discouraged that they stop trying to find work. In her seminars and coaching sessions, she offers 10 suggestions that may help.

    1. Keep news reports in perspective.A steady drumbeat of dire unemployment headlines is unlikely to boost any job seeker's morale, so try to focus on the (admittedly few) rays of hope amid the gloom. It may be useful to keep in mind, for example, that while the overall unemployment rate is stuck at 9.1%, joblessness among people with a college degree is less than half that (about 4%). "Aggregate statistics never tell the whole story," Mattson points out. "So don't let them get you down."

    2. Become an expert on finding a job."Finding work is your job now, so treat it the way you've treated other professional challenges in the past," Mattson advises. "If someone hired you to find yourself a job, how would you go about it?"

    The task may require some creative thinking. "Too often jobseekers rely on job boards and waste a lot of effort applying for advertised openings," Mattson observes. "But tapping into the informal job market works much better. Your church, your college alumni association, even the people you know at the gym can often be an unexpected source of great leads."

    3. Connect with people who believe in you."Stay in close touch with people in your life who will tell you, 'Of course you can do this!'" Mattson suggests. "Being out of work for a long time is so hard on your self-esteem that you need a regular dose of encouragement from friends, former colleagues and bosses, and relatives who are on your side."

    4. Meet people face-to-face.LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are essential tools in a job hunt these days, but online social media can't replace in-person conversations. "You need to sit down with at least three contacts each week, even if it's just for a quick cup of coffee," Mattson says. "Often things come up when you're chatting with someone that you'd never learn any other way."

    Getting out and meeting new people will also keep you from becoming isolated, she notes: "Isolation is one of the big dangers of long-term unemployment. Not only does it contribute to depression, but if you're holed up all by yourself, people who might have job leads will forget you're there."

    5. Ask everyone you meet how you can help them.It's easy to overlook the fact that you might have contacts and information that could be useful to someone else, notes Mattson. Even if not, "making a habit of asking reminds you that the whole process is reciprocal. At the very least, people appreciate that you asked, and they'll remember you for it."

    6. Donate your skills to a nonprofit.Finding a charity, professional organization, or community group that could use your help does three good things, Mattson says. First, "giving back" makes you feel good about yourself. Second, you might make contacts that could lead to a new job. And third, you'll be keeping your skills sharp and giving yourself a recent project to talk about when you do land a job interview.

    7. Stick to a daily routine."People need structure," Mattson notes. "The more you keep to a set schedule every day, the more productive you'll be." Her firm provides offices that out-placed managers can use in their job searches and, she says, "it's no coincidence that the ones who choose to come in every day bright and early, just as if they were going to 'the office' for a job, are the ones who find new jobs the fastest."

    8. Do something you love every day."Take an hour or so each day and do something you enjoy that energizes you, whether it's working out, gardening, listening to music, or whatever makes you happy," Mattson advises. Getting some endorphins flowing on a regular basis helps combat the job-search blues.

    9. Don't beat yourself up."I have clients who say things like, 'I've been on x number of interviews and still haven't gotten any offers -- what's wrong with me?'," says Mattson. "The answer is, nothing! A long job search is an emotional roller coaster, and it's important to acknowledge that you're going to have good days and bad days. The bad days are a normal part of the process. They're not your fault."

    10. Remind yourself of your successes."Only you can tell others how good you are, but first you have to believe it yourself," Mattson says. "Write down a list of everything you've done in your career, and your life, that you're most proud of, and re-read it often." The point is to stay focused on the fact that, as she puts it, "you have been successful before -- and you will be again."

 

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