Archive for March, 2009

Best way to find a job

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Have you seen the lines of people applying for jobs every time there’s a job opening or a career fair? Have you actually stood in one of those lines yourself hoping to land a job?

My question is: What are the chances of you getting a job for which there are thousands of applicants? If you take into consideration the waiting, the frustration, and the anxiety you experience as you talk to other unemployed people, it is definitely not the best way to spend your time.

Volunteering in a project or organization you care about is a much more effective way to invest your time. You get to develop meaningful relationships with people who share your interests and who appreciate your dedication, you stay active and you might even learn a few new skills that will come handy when you find work again. And as 70-80% of jobs are still found through networking, building a stronger network is a better path to employment than anything else.

But there’s an additional benefit to volunteering: you get to discover what you are really passionate about, something critical in a time when you might need to change careers or the industry where you work. Realizing that you are good with people and that you’d rather spend time helping them get healthy than, say, trading stocks, is a great first step towards a more fulfilled life.

Take the opportunity to seriously explore your options and to connect your skills with your knowledge and passion. You may be surprised by how good it feels to do something you love even if it means you will make less money or that you will have to create your own job. Speaking of which… I think this is the way of the future. But that’s the topic for a different post!

Positive stories wanted

Monday, March 9th, 2009

“It’s my birthday and I cry if I want to, cry if I want to…” But I didn’t want to! Friday, March 6th was my birthday (no, I’m not telling how old!) and I had an awesome party at home with many of my good friends.

We had a great time, ate empanadas, drank wine and shared stories into the wee hours. It was the best antidote to weeks of hearing bad news. And here’s my point: doing things you enjoy, even if they are small, is a great way to increase your energy. With a good level of energy you can be creative and think of ways in which you can take advantage of the bad economy. You can spend more time with your family and friends, you can think of a new business that makes sense right now, you can figure out how your skills can be used in a different industry.

None of these things are possible if you’re glued to the TV or the Internet reading all the reports about layoffs and the market collapse. Few positive thoughts will come out of hearing depressive story after depressing story. Most likely, it will make you feel depressed and paralyzed.

Let’s all rebel against this gloom and doom environment and start sharing our stories of positive contributions to our families, our friends, our communities. Things we are doing that we didn’t use to do and that makes us happy. Creative ways in which you are surviving this downturn and helping others along the way. Successful business launches.

It will take a lot of positive stories to start changing the downward spiraling path we are in, so we should start really quickly. Celebrating my birthday with a nice party despite the bad economic times, is one way to stay positive. Launching my initiative is certainly a bet on the future.