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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Adopt a Few Healthy Habits During Your Job Hunt

As the nation’s economic recovery continues to pick up momentum, and more jobs are added to the workforce each month, those of us who are still unemployed or underemployed may find ourselves becoming even more anxious … with thoughts that maybe we’re being left behind. If this is the case with you, read on for a few tips to get into the right mindset that will increase your confidence as you wait for your next great career.

One of the first things you can do to ease your stress is to come the realization that job changes are a normal part of today’s landscape. Professional culture has changed. Few adults in the workforce today can expect to stay at one job — or even within a single vocation — for the duration of their career.

Though statistics aren’t clear on how many times in his or her life a person actually will change employers, the need to shift careers or employers seems to be a fact of life in our tumultuous and ever-evolving economy.

It also is not unusual to lose your job. There will be periods of unemployment where people are recuperating from the death of an industry that’s become redundant or obsolete by rapid innovation. There will be periods of unemployment where people are getting educated in order to promote themselves into a field of work that they feel more passionate about.

Discover your passion

Periods of idleness can lead to obsession over your job situation. There is a wide range of options you can explore when you suddenly find yourself without a day-job. One of them will definitely always be ‘looking for a new job’, obviously. But if you stay single minded in your job search, you’re likely to see diminishing returns. Obsessive compulsive job-hunting is a great way to develop anxiety, which, in turn, can lead to a loss of perspective.

Vary your activities during periods of unemployment. Healthy habits aside from job-hunting tend to fall into four main genres. A mix of all four usually leads to the best results in terms of the kind of psychological and physical well-being that will make job-seekers all the more fit to re-enter the workforce when the right opportunity arrives.


During times of high unemployment, education often is touted as the best solution for job seekers to gain a competitive edge in a tight market. However, education can go far beyond the traditional college coursework people typically have in mind.

You don’t necessarily need to return to school every time you’re out of work or seeking more gainful employment. You could expand your skills by spending some time surfing the web and increasing your familiarity with the most recent developments in the industry you would like to be in.

Home improvement and handy hobbies

Remember that whining noise in your food processor or the wobbly table you never got around to resolving. Now is a good time to address these type of household issues. Even if you’re not a home improvement guru, the resources for you to learn fix leaks and patch roofs are abundantly available to you on the internet. You don’t need to know how to snake a drain; in most cases, all you need to know is how to do a Google search and follow instructions.

Home improvement activities can be meditative. Slowing down enough to make a cabinet, a chest or fx a coffee-table can help you gain perspective and renew your feeling of self-worth. Whittling and woodworking are famously Zen activities. You don’t need to go to a mountaintop in Tibet to achieve enlightment. Just go out to your garage, organize your tools, gather your materials, set up your workbench and start on your projects!


As mentioned above, there is an unhealthy shame about unemployment in our culture that is just out of synch with contemporary economic reality. People avoid visiting friends and family in hopes of avoiding conversations about their employment status. The exact opposite should be the case. When will you have as much freedom to enjoy the company of friends and family than when you’re not committed to an 8- to 10-hour work schedule? Take advantage of the extra hours you have in your day to catch up with the people that are most important to you. It could be that one of them points you in the direction of your next job.


Including exercise in your routine during your period of unemployment not only keeps you physically healthy, it also helps to reduce your anxiety. You will be more mentally focused and relax when its time to sit down and continue your job search if you’ve made time to exercise in the past 24 hours. Exercise leads to a number of positive feedback loops: it will lead you to have an appetite for healthier foods, which — again — will lead to greater mental acuity. It may increase your confidence and confidence, even if it is an elusive and subjective quality, can give you more of an edge when you’re searching for a job. If you feel certain that things are going to work out, it is more likely that they actually will.

If you find yourself in a period of unemployment, take the time to access where you are and take the steps to get into a healthier space. In a rapidly evolving economy, staying sane during periods of unemployment is essential in getting to the next phase of your career.

Jesse L., who blogs on behalf of Sears and other prestigious brands, blogs about personal development, professional networking, and the job search.

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