Don’t Let Stagnation Stop You in Your Tracks

by on September 21, 2011

Don’t Let Stagnation Stop You in Your Tracks

For quite a while now, the word “stagnation” has shown up quite a bit in newspaper and internet articles, particularly when speaking of the economy.  While I certainly know the sentiment of what stagnation means, I decided to look up in my online dictionary some definitions of the word.  The definitions included, “a failure to develop, progress or advance.” Another definition indicated “the state or quality of feeling sluggish or dull.” While economic stagnation is not something that can be changed by one person or likely even a small group of people, there is no reason for an individual to allow their life to stagnate, no matter how dismal the societal conditions around them may be.

I realize we live in one of the worst economic periods in our nation’s history.  It can be frustrating looking for work and either not to be able to find it, or to have to spend several months before finding a job.  However, waiting for government to “fix the problem” or wait until corporations are ready to hire again is not the answer.

Even in the worst of times it is in the individual’s hands to move their career development forward.  There is more to a job search than updating your resumé, posting it on several websites, giving it to a recruiter and then sitting back and waiting for prospective interviewers to call.  A job search consists of continual research on behalf of the one seeking to change their career prospects.  That research involves researching potential career positions, different employers and what they offer and latest trends in salary information.  Research can also be conducted in many different ways.  Library investigation, internet searches, networking conversations with colleagues and those you meet at events are all forms of research.

A job search consists of continual reach out and contact with others.  That contact is in the form of letter writings, e-mails, telephone calls and meetings.  It often involves numerous follow-up contacts to get to the person with whom you want to speak.  The search also involves multiple interviews of all types.  While all interviews should have as their basis the sharing of information, some interviews are ones where you are predominantly seeking information such as when you start a search and explore a field which is new to you.  Further on in the process when you are pursuing job openings, yes you are providing more information, but at the same time you should still be seeking information to learn more about the position and the needs of the company for which you are looking to work.

Job search requires a lot of preparation. Some of that is preparation of documents such as resumés and cover letters.  Another part of preparation is in preparing for those interviews indicated previously.  Preparation is also a part of being able to present yourself verbally when asked the question, “What is it that you do?”  There is additional preparation that takes place after an interview when you are looking to continue the interview process by looking to influence the decision makers in a hiring process why you are the perfect candidate for a job.

Yes, a job search can be difficult, time consuming, frustrating and energy draining.  However, there is so much to do during it, that there is no room for the word “stagnation” as part of the process.  If you find that your job search is stagnating take a step back and look at it for what it is.   Are you truly searching, or are you putting out feelers hoping that something will take?  Are you productively spending your days on activities that are all part of a true job search process, (such as research, contacting and networking with those who can lead you to hiring managers and following up on every lead that either currently or previously has come your way)?  Or do you choose to sit by the computer waiting to see if someone has answered one of the many ads to which you have posted your resumé?

Unfortunately, an economy can stagnate.  And, that makes it more difficult for those who experience its effects.  However, your own individual situation is always very much in your control as to how you choose to respond.  Look to move yourself forward today.  And, if you have trouble doing so, consider reaching out for support from others, (a coach, a support group, a job buddy, etc.), who will help to get you back on your way.

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