The Dirty "U" Word

What? You’ve never heard of the dirty “U” word? It’s unemployed. If you are between jobs right now ― as so many Americans are ― stop hurting yourself with the dirty “U” label. It has too many connotations and frankly it isn’t even correct. You aren’t unemployed. You are employed in the business of finding a new job. More than that, you are a business of one seeking clientèle: employers.

One of the best things you can do for yourself in 2012 is to join Career HMO, an online career coaching program with personalized advice from career experts that’s guaranteed to cut time off your job search, run by CAREEREALISM Founder and Career Guru J.T. O’Donnell. No, this post is not sponsored by anyone. I joined this revolutionary program myself when I was between jobs and became an Ambassador for new members. Though this program is excellent for those between jobs, it is equally extraordinary for anyone seeking a satisfying career. Get a promotion, find a job, choose a career… get expert help on all of it.

This cutting edge program taught me more than I could ever fit into a single blog post. But as so many Americans will be resolving to find a better job in 2012, I thought I’d share a few of the top lessons I’ve learned from Career HMO:

Reframe Negative Self Talk
It’s easy to feel ashamed of your employment status when it isn’t all that you’d hoped. I was between jobs myself for an extended period; I know. Have courage. But most importantly, learn to rewrite your Negative Self Talk (NST). Start with a journal and write down all of your negative thoughts, your doubts, all of your NST. And REWRITE it. That’s right. Stop and ask yourself: Where did I learn this? Is it really true or not? Rewrite it as truth. Write objectively and challenge your assumptions. That becomes your new mantra. Only then can you release those NST emotions and make peace with yourself. It’s about being proactive and positive. Reframe the story as a learning experience. Stick to the facts. Keep it clean, simple and objective. What did you learn?
Recommended Reading: “Be The Hero” by Noah Blumenthal

Get Your Ducks in a Row
Be prepared with your Carer Toolkit: your Personal Brand Statement, Resume, Career Story, LinkedIn Profile, Interview Prep and so much more. Career HMO members can download the full checklist as well as read about each piece in the CAREEREALISM Guidebook. Best of all, you can hear straight from J.T. about the creation of each of these components in the program. Members can get step-by-step help from experts and receive a personal assessment of their career toolkit.

Don’t Waste the Interviewer’s Time
Prepare. Do your homework. Be able to give examples demonstrating you are ready to work for them and why. Define how they’ve impressed you and what value you would bring to their team. Give specific examples. Understand the value of telling a story that connects with them.

Interview the Interviewer (Nicely, of course!)
Once they’re done interviewing you, then comes your turn to interview your potential employer. Ask the right questions when you’re interviewing. I’ve learned that the work can be learned, but developing relationships with others is key. When it’s my turn to ask questions of the interview, I now ask: What kind of person thrives here? What do you think this companies flaws are? How did you get your job? What’s been your greatest challenge?

Recognize that every job is temporary
Americans are now predicted to change careers seven times in a lifetime. Changing careers might seems like a huge step. How does one decide on which career next? Talking to people who are in those careers might provide insight. Complete the Career Matrix in the Guidebook. Do some research and find two people per career with whom to have an informational interview. People love to talk about themselves. Ask the person if you can bring them a coffee and hear their story of how they chose this path. Explain that you’re trying to determine which of a few careers will best utilize your unique skill set.

A Community of Support
One of the most important and intangible things I gleaned from Career HMO was the community of support. During live sessions, the members supported each other as professionals, friends and cheerleaders. Members participate in a private, live chat with each other, J.T. and other career experts. Celebrating successful interviews, creating inspirational playlists, networking with each other, admitting difficult days and the desire to hide, brainstorming new side businesses, learning new techniques to improve every aspect of your career, discussing the latest TED Talk or industry news, making friends and having a laugh… all happening inside Career HMO.

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