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Four Tips to Survive Unemployment

Four Tips to Survive Unemployment

Everyone needs hints and tips on how to survive unemployment. Even the most confident among us at some point might find themselves online searching topics like this one. No matter the reason for leaving the job, the outcome (most of the time) is unemployment, which only rarely is fun. My unemployment was a personal choice. I knew it would be challenging and that it would take time to figure out next steps, open eyes and mind to new opportunities, and find another job. I have to admit that even though I knew what I was doing, it turned out to be harder than I had expected and I had to bring an A game to survive my unemployment period.

Put together a puzzle.

I did not think this activity in any way could help me survive unemployment, yet it did. Because I suddenly had an infinite amount of free time, I found a puzzle in the basement of my parents’ house, where I happened to be sniffing around for old goodies. I got so involved in putting together the puzzle that I started to look at it as bits and pieces of my life that needed to be glued together. I sat down and put together a small part, then got up and sent out CV’s. I sat down again to put a piece into the puzzle, got up to read some business articles, checked email, then went for an interview. The pattern was always the same: time for puzzle, time for productive activities. There was a thought in my mind- that by the time I was done with the puzzle I would have a plan for the near future, and I did.

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Think (but not too much).

Think of an ideal scenario in which you are working in your dream company doing a dream job. Seems impossible? Not a problem, just move from there, what is the second best option? Third? Even if at the moment it seems there’s not even a small chance you could end up having an ideal job, you have to keep in mind that there are always baby steps towards your goal. Plus there are things you can do to raise your chances in the job market: read useful material, talk to experienced people, attend seminars and workshops.

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Bother friends (but not too much).

If you have friends like the ones I have, consider yourself blessed. These intelligent, successful, positive people are there for me during both bright and dark times. They are all so different yet each one is my role model in one way or another. Our life paths took us in different directions, yet that is what binds us so strongly. We share our experiences and learn from each other. I knew they could listen to me for hours day or night. However, after a certain point I chose to reduce my talking level and focus on actions to do on my own.

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Get to organizing and reorganizing.

For me this was a fun part of unemployment. I reorganized my closet, I threw away/sold/gave to charity clothes and shoes which I no longer needed. I got to reorganize my books, re-read a few and keep in mind useful bits. I did a big favor reorganizing my parents’ basement. It worked out well for everyone. I found things I could use and my parents found things they’d “lost”. To be honest, organizing is my anti-depressant. Decisions are made in the process of cleaning, organizing, and even shoveling snow. When I start any of these activities, all unnecessary thoughts go away because I focus on actions, my mind becomes raw, and decisions are made.

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Last Updated on November 19, 2018

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

How to Find a Suitable Professional Mentor

I went through a personal experience that acted as a catalyst for an epiphany. When I got fired from a job, I learned something important about myself and where I was headed with my freelance career. I realized that the most important aspect of that one rather small job was the influence of the company owner. I realized that I wasn’t hurt that the company and I weren’t a perfect match; I was devastated by the stark fact that I needed a mentor and I had almost found one but lost her.

Suddenly, I felt like J.D., the main character in “Scrubs,” chasing Dr. Cox and trying to rip insight and wisdom from someone I respect. The realization that a recognized thought-leader and experienced entrepreneur severed ties with me felt crushing. But, I picked myself back up and thought about five ways to acquire a mentor without having the awkwardness of outright asking.

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1. Remember, a professional mentorship must be mutual.

A professional mentor must agree to engage in a mutual relationship because, as the comedy T.V. series showed us, one simply cannot force someone to tutor us. We have to prove that we are worth the time investment through persistence and dedication to the craft.

2. You have to have common interests with your mentor.

Even if a professional mentor appears at your job or school, realize that unless you and this person have common interests, you won’t find the relationship successful. I’ve been in situations where someone I respected had vastly different ideas about what was important in life or what one should spend his or her free time doing. If these things don’t line up, you may find the relationship won’t be as fruitful, even when the mentor knows a great deal about one industry.

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3. Thought-leaders will respect your passion.

One of the ways you can prove yourself worthy to a professional mentor is through your passion and your dedication. No one wants to spend time grooming and teaching another who will not take advice or put the effort in to improve. When following thought-leaders on Twitter and trying to engage with higher-ups in a work setting, realize that your actions most often speak louder than your words.

4. Before worrying if he respects you, ask if you respect him.

On the other side of the coin, you should seriously reflect on those common interests and make sure you respect your professional mentor. Just because someone holds a title, degree or office does not mean that person is trustworthy or honest. Don’t be swayed by appearances and take the time to find a suitable professional mentor.

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5. Failure is often the best way to learn

I honestly have made more mistakes than I can count. I know I’ve learned a great deal from poorly organized businesses and my own poor choices. The most important quality I’ve developed is an ability to swallow my pride and learn from my mistakes. If life knocks me down nine times, I get back up 10 times. One of the songs Megadeth wrote, “Of Mice and Men,” resonates in my mind when I pull myself up by my bootstraps and try again for a goal I’ve set: “So live your life and live it well. There’s not much left of me to tell. I just got back up each time I fell.” Hopefully, this brief post can act as a professional mentor to you in your quest to find not only a brave leader but also a trusted adviser.

Featured photo credit: morguefile via mrg.bz

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