I remembered one of my clients “Jean” called me and I immediately sensed her desperation. “Hey, I don’t think I can stand this job another day!” I know many of my callers have expressed the same feelings. Just like “Jean,” they’re all proactive, smart people who know it’s time to move on but are overwhelmed by the prospect of job hunting and salary negotiations.
Getting the Energy to Start
“Jean” quickly gave me the list of what she felt she needed to do to make her goal of a new job happen. “I need to revise my resume, get my profile up on LinkedIn and some of the other career sites, and I need to let go of this fear I have of interviewing.” But she went on to say that with her family obligations and current job stress she was finding it hard to even work up the energy to start.
A Little Feng Shui
When faced with an already maxed-out schedule, the best bet is to shift your environment to support your goals. In other words, this situation calls for a little feng shui. Feng shui is a 2000-year-old method of creating a personal space that supports your intentions. While it’s ancient knowledge, its basic concepts are backed up by many scientific studies done in the Environmental Psychology community.
Start With the Front Door
For “Jean,” and anyone who’s looking for a new job, it’s best to start with the front door. All new energy comes in the front door. Picture Oprah coming to dinner at your house. What door would you have her use? Would you have her come in the garage entrance, squeezing past your Prius, and past your washer and dryer into your kitchen? Most people would say no. People prefer their important guests be met at the front door. It’s the same with career opportunities. Job and career energy “knocks” at the front door.
I had “Jean” clear away any clutter around the door. That included organizing winter boots and jackets, school book bags and the pile she was collecting to go to charity. By clearing the clutter she was allowing the energy of a new job to come in.
A Trick to Finding Time
The next step was to help “Tanisha” find the time to update her LinkedIn profile. After a long and stressful day, it’s so tempting to just plop down on the couch for a night of TV. “Jean” usually watched TV in the living room while the kids had their own devices and watched in their own rooms. I suggested that if she wanted to get some job hunting done in the evening, that in the morning she take the batteries out of the remote control. She laughed and said it would never work; she’d just put the batteries back in the remote, but she agreed to try it. A few days later she called me and said, “It really did work. I’d sit down, completely forgetting there were no batteries in the remote, and when the TV didn’t come on I remembered I wanted to work on my career stuff.”
The Interview Process
The final tip I had for her was to help her through the interview process. I had her write out a list of what she wanted her new job to include.What hours did she want? What salary would be best for her? Did she want the flexibility to work from home? She taped this to her bathroom mirror so she could see it each day. I reminded her that many employers, above all, want someone who is pleasant to work with. So each day when she read over her list of what she wanted in a job, I suggested she smile into the mirror as she did it.
A New Office
It was two weeks and two days later when she got her first interview. She sailed through it with ease and had the second interview with the regional manager and a company vice president. Again, “Jean” felt confident. She knew, from her list, what she wanted and she knew she would be a great asset to the company. Less than a month later “Jean” was sitting in her new office, celebrating and feeling a lot less stress.