Are you sabotaging your own job search efforts?

141257167In my last post, I talked about the differing emotions that may arise if you’ve been made redundant and how these could affect your actions and job search.

In today’s post, I’d like to focus on how you might well be sabotaging your own efforts to get a new job and how a change of perspective could be just the ticket to take a more positive and helpful approach.

Let’s face it – being made redundant is generally not a good experience. It’s often a shock, can be hard to come to terms with and we often feel that it comes at exactly the wrong time – yet frankly when is a good time. Due to the emotions that arise following redundancy, we may also be in self-sabotage mode and not even realise it. Those feelings of anger or depression that can take hold after losing a job can hold us back if we let them. Have you ever met up with a friend who’s having a bad time of things? You want to be supportive and help them if you can and yet you realise that actually they’re not listening to anything you say – all they want to do is vent their frustrations and talk at you about how unfair everything is and who’s to blame. When this happens, have you found yourself desperate to help them or would you much rather turn in the other direction and walk away? Their negativity can even feel like a weight on your shoulders. The fact of the matter is that they’re simply not ready or open to any help or advice that you may be able to offer them.

Let’s take a look at something that might happen should you have recently been made redundant.

Are you playing out the role of the Victim?
We’ve all met a victim in life – someone that everything seems to happen to. It can be easy to become the victim following redundancy. You feel terrible, you start to believe that you may never get another job ever again, the market is shocking at the moment. It all feels overwhelming. You want to share your woes and how awful everything is with everyone you meet. The positive of staying in Victim mode is you actually get a lot of sympathy and attention and that can feel comforting. While we may all require a little comforting from time to time, it’s important not to stay in this mode too long. Paul McGee refers in his book, ‘The Sumo Guy’ to something called ‘Hippo Time’. He states that it’s all very well wallowing around in self-pity for a while, but there comes a time when you have to move on. He also talks about the fact that if you keep repeating your problems to others, you are actually reliving and reinforcing the messages to yourself and making it more difficult for you to move on.

What to do
Accept that you may want a little ‘Hippo time’ and to wallow for a while. However, don’t let it last forever and don’t feel that you have to tell everyone about your issues. Make choices about who you want to share your woes with. Once you’ve had some ‘Hippo time’ consciously make the decision to move on. The last thing you want is for your ‘woe is me’ mentality to affect your job search. A new employer is not going to recruit you because you sent them a desperate, begging style letter! A networking meeting is going to be far more constructive if you are able to share and discuss ideas with your contact rather than overwhelming them with your current situation. Think about networking with others and what you want to gain from that meeting and what messages you want others to take away.

How might I change my perspective when I feel this way?
Here are a few tips and techniques that you may wish to try:

  • Take a good hard look at how you’re acting. When we’re in victim mode we may not want to admit it – but being aware is the first step in being able to move on and let go of that behaviour. If you recognise this is something you’re doing and you’re ready to move on – consider things from another perspective. What do you have right now in your life to be grateful for? It might be something like a hugely supportive husband or wife or great parents. Perhaps it’s that this time has finally given you a chance to reflect on what you want in life and you’ve had the chance to reconnect with your family and friends.
  • You may also want to look at your life through someone else’s eyes, perhaps a close friend. How might they look at your current situation. They might tell you that this is a great opportunity for a fresh start and remind you of the skills and abilities you have that an employer may want. They may well look at your future in a much more optimistic way than you currently would.
  • Finally challenge and question your beliefs – if you start to tell yourself there are no jobs out there – ask is this honestly true. Of course it isn’t there are jobs available. If you hear yourself telling yourself that you’re too old or you don’t have the right skills or experience – again challenge yourself. Is this true? Probably not – others your age are getting new jobs and you do have skills and experience – it’s all about demonstrating these to an employer who wants them. Sometimes we have to challenge our beliefs otherwise they will continue to hold us back.

How a coach might help?
Of course if you want a completely fresh perspective, you may wish to consider working with a coach. A good coach will help you set goals, review options and encourage and motivate you. If you were to work with me, I would help you in the following ways:

  • To help you to assess where you are now
  • To understand where you want to be
  • Work with you to review your career options
  • Review your CV and ensure that you have a CV that best represents your skills and experience
  • Help you to overcome interview nerves and act confidently at interview
  • Ensure that you are as prepared as possible in order to aid your success
If you would like to find out more, please contact me at angela@secondstepcoaching.co.uk or give me a call on 07834 6017872 to discuss your current situation and options.
 
In my next post, I’ll be talking about anger at your situation and how this could be sabotaging your job search efforts.

 


What do I do now I’ve been made redundant?

105943231Searching for a new job can be a tough process for anyone but more so if you’re just been made redundant from your previous position. You may well  be feeling vulnerable, unsure of your next move, conscious that you need a new job quickly due to your financial situation and not sure which way to turn first.

As well as the practical factors to contend with, you could well be facing emotional issues too. After all our career is usually significant in our lives. It is often linked very closely to our identity – who we are and what we bring to the world. If we feel this has been taken from us, we can feel lost or angry towards those that we believe caused the situation or depressed about what the future might hold. Despite understanding the rationale for business decisions, it can still feel personal, knock our confidence levels and leave us feeling rejected. I liken it to the feelings that arise during a relationship break-up.  It’s hard to come to terms with why you’re not the one anymore. You might feel unwanted, unable to understand the reasons why this has happened to you and it can be hard to move on and let go.

So what can you do in these circumstances to get your bounce back and to start to move forwards.

  • The first thing is to be aware that you may experience differing emotions following your redundancy. One day you might jump out of bed, full of enthusiasm and motivation to write your CV. Another day, you may wonder what’s the point as you’ve not heard back from any of those jobs you applied for. On a further day you may feel tired and overwhelmed and unsure where to make a start. During the process of change, we can move through various emotions, such as shock, denial, anger and depression towards a level of acceptance. Usually these feelings are temporary but when they arrive, they can feel strong and debilitating. Being aware this is all part of the change process and it isn’t usually going to last forever can be helpful.  You’re simply working through different emotions to reach a level of acceptance where once again you can see that you can make it work and that you are in control.
  • Secondly, try and be kind to yourself. Take some time out if you can. Often people  believe they have to take immediate action and start doing all sorts of tasks related to job search but actually you may need some time to consider your options and to ensure that you’re making the best decisions and choices for you. Otherwise you could be rushing into situations or sending out an unpolished CV or taking an unprofessional approach, simply because you’re not ready.
  • Surround yourself with positive and supportive people if possible. Try to avoid negative individuals who might bring you down. Think about how you feel around certain people. Do they lift and encourage you or do you feel that life is terrible when you’ve spent time with them? Make good choices for yourself right now.
  • Get out and about. It can be easy when you feel low to stay home and crawl into your nest to hide. Occasionally there’s nothing wrong with that, but getting out into the air and interacting with others can help our general sense of wellbeing.
  • Create positive routines. Try and stick to regular patterns in relation to eating, exercise and sleep routines. These will all help you remain healthy and in control.

In my next post, I will be talking about letting go of the past and how to change your perspective to aid your job search.

If this issue is affecting you at the moment and you’d like to meet to discuss the matter and work on your strategy of how to move forward positively, then you can contact me at angela@secondstepcoaching.co.uk for further details of my career coaching programme.

 

“Helping you to eat like an Angel” – on the Radio

We were fortunate enough today to be invited onto the Perry Spiller show on Radio Stoke to talk about our recently released e-book “Helping you to eat like an Angel this Christmas“. Once again Perry was most welcoming and gave us the opportunity to talk about the reasons why this time of year can be particularly difficult for those people who struggle to control their weight and that includes me!

If you’ve the willpower of a gnat and find it hard to say No to the constant offers of food that seem to be just about everywhere at this time of year, you might benefit from our approach to staying in control. Using EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)  and a number of other holistic techniques, the book aims to help you maintain your weight in the run-up to and during the Christmas period. It includes some interactive and practical exercises for you to do as well as raising awareness about why this time of year can be challenging. The exercises are easy to learn and simple to use and can be done in as little as ten minutes.

If you’re interested in hearing what we had to say on the matter, you can find the link to Perry’s show here.  You’ll find us about 2 hours 7 minutes into the show.

If you’re tired of all the usual diet books and want a new approach that helps you understand your behaviours and gives you the ability to change them for the better, you might like to take a look at our book. You can find it on Amazon by clicking here.

Web

December Resolutions

141207186The run-up to and the Christmas period itself can be a challenging time for many people. We try hard to apply the message of goodwill, peace and joy to those around us although it can often feel like this is achieved by  sacrificing our own needs. How often have you found yourself writing Christmas cards late at night? How often are you the one rushing around to buy last minute gifts? And how often are you completely exhausted by the time Aunty Gladys pops the last sprout in her mouth from the Christmas dinner you’ve prepared and served. I absolutely love Christmas but there have been times when I’ve wondered if it really is worth all the effort.

And for that reason, I’ve decided to approach it differently this year. I’m setting some early resolutions. Yes, I know it’s a bit alternative, but I’m setting some for the month of December rather than waiting for January.  Well in fact, it’s one resolution really. I’ve decided to be kind to myself this month. I’m not going to get caught up in the hype of Christmas and end up with a horrible cold that arrives on December 23rd and lasts until Christmas is over.  I’m going to pace myself and take it steady. If certain things don’t get done, it’s quite simple, they won’t get done. Christmas Day will arrive whether I rush about like crazy or whether I take it all in my stride.

Here’s my top ten “Being Kind to Me”  list to get things started.

  1. Drink more water
  2. Eat as healthily as I can
  3. Buy my Christmas gifts in small independent shops or fairs avoiding the town and city centre crush
  4. Send fewer Christmas cards
  5. Moisturise my skin regularly and particularly at night before I go to sleep
  6. Take some gentle exercise
  7. Talk to myself kindly
  8. Give myself permission to go to bed early if I need to
  9. Meditate regularly through the month
  10. Take pleasure and be thankful for my life

Would you like to join me in my campaign? If so have a think about how you might be kind to yourself this December. Tell me your top ten or simply share your top three. I’d love to hear the ways you intend to be kind to yourself too.

Sending you peace, goodwill and joy and also permission for you to be kind to yourself this December.

We’re on the radio (again!)

Those lovely people from Radio Stoke have invited us back on the radio again. We’ll be on the Perry Spiller show just after 12 noon on Wednesday 5th December talking about our book: “Helping you to eat like an Angel this Christmas.

We’ll no doubt be sharing some of our tips and techniques about how you can stay in control around food and manage your weight in the run-up to and during the Christmas period. We’d love you to listen to us but if you miss the show, I’ll post the link here so that if you’re interested you can listen again via the wonderful technology that is BBC iPlayer.

And if you’d like to buy the book, you can find it by clicking here.

 

It’s here!

WebIt’s here at last and live now on Amazon to buy and download as a Kindle e-book. (Angela does her happy dance!)

Our book “Helping you to eat like an Angel this Christmas” is now available with lots of tips and techniques to help you stay in control around food in the run up to and during Christmas. It’s been written by me and another lovely coach and EFT Practitioner in Nantwich, Anne Marie Yates.

If you’re anything like me, this time of year can be a bit of a “mare”. Food seems to appear everywhere and everyone wants to feed you when you go to visit them. We’re also pretty stressed out at this time of year too with the never-ending to-do list, the thoughts of four or five days with family we’ve not seen for maybe months on end and year-end pressures of work. These levels of stress might lead us straight to foods that provide us with the most comfort, and unfortunately it isn’t generally the salad bowl!

Our book helps you to understand and raise your awareness around what might be going on and provides simple to learn and easy to apply techniques to help you stay in control.

Click here to check it out.

If you’re aiming to lose weight in 2014, why not start now in December (I know it sounds odd and goes against what might be the norm for this time of year). But do you really want to start in January with an extra stone or half a stone that you’ve managed to put on in December or would you like to start your journey from where you are right now? I’m going to make a start today. I’ll let you know how I get on.

And did I say you can find the link to our book by clicking here.

 

 

Nanowrimo Checklist

Have you:

  • Written your novel plan?
  • Thought about your first 1667 words tomorrow?
  • Connected with similarly crazy folk on the Nano site to be your writing buddies?
  • Bought enough food for the month?
  • Tidied the house within an inch of its life?
  • Completed the washing and ironing and have enough clothes to last until the end of November?
  • Talked to the dog about the fact that he/she can only use the garden for 30 days?
  • Sent your kids to your in-laws?
  • Set your alarm to get up an hour earlier each day?
  • Told your boss not to expect too much this month?
  • Made a giant casserole that will last you 30 days during November?
  • Cancelled any commitments you had?
  • Told your friends you’ll see them in December?
  • Stocked up on beautiful new notebooks?
  • Written down the emergency number of another author – just in case?
  • Downloaded Scrivener or another writing tool for your computer?
  • Disconnected from Facebook, Twitter and any other distracting sites?
  • Turned off the Internet?
  • Put motivational messages around your computer or house?
  • Stocked up on coffee, biscuits and writing snacks?
  • Bought a bumper pack of pens?
  • Tidied your desk or writing space?
  • Phoned the local coffee house to ensure they have enough coffee over the next 30 days?

If you’ve answered yes to all or some of the above, you’re ready or as ready as you’ll ever be.

Let the madness begin!

Preparing for Nanowrimo (Part 3)

One of the main purposes of Nanowrimo is to encourage you to get words down on a page and at the end of 30 days to have accomplished at least 50,000 words of your novel. Remember, however, that these words do not have to be perfect. This is your opportunity to write your first draft without worrying too much about whether you’ve selected an ideal word or sentence to portray what you want to get across.

You have to be able to switch off your inner editor (which is easier said than done) and focus instead on writing down the words. As Neil Gaiman says:

“This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.”

If you let your editor get involved in the Nano process, this can be a real distraction from writing. So in this instance you have to practice letting go. It really is quantity over quality. But how can you let go of your editor if you’re always used to him or her looking over your shoulder.  Like a lot of things, it can be as simple as being aware of it. Once you are aware that your editor is present, tell him or her to go away. Advise that they’re not needed at this point, but come December, they will be welcome once more. During November, you may even wish to wear a band on your wrist. Each time your editor appears, ping the band to remind you to let go. Or perhaps put a note on your screen or in your notebook that reads: ‘Editor – be gone’ or whatever appeals to you.

When I successfully completed Nanowrimo back in 2011, my writing was all over the place. There were chapters missing, lots of tell, not show and the final chapter didn’t have an ending. But I certainly had fun along the way. I wrote scenes that I enjoyed writing and introduced random characters who aren’t in the current version of my novel and ate cakes and drank coffee with other writers at least once a week. And when I reached my target on day 30, writing 10,000 words in the last two days, and the final chapter wasn’t finished, I didn’t care. I submitted my words and printed off my certificate – proud of what I’d achieved.

So simply throw yourself into Nano. Write without that critical voice reading over your shoulder, write it down, rather than being worried about getting it right. Here’s your opportunity to write with absolute abandon and most importantly enjoy it and have some fun along the way.

Preparing for Nanowrimo (Part 2)

Right le100841098t’s get straight to the point – the Nanowrimo site is a fabulous resource during the month of November. There are genre specific forums on which you can ask questions, seek advice and connect with others writing similar material. There are also the regional forums in which you can liaise with others in your area also undertaking Nano and celebrate your successes on reaching targets or alternatively get a kick up the backside if you’re not cutting it. In addition, you will receive updates and motivational messages from Nano HQ. It’s all there right at your fingertips. And there in lies the problem, it’s right there at your fingertips – rather than your fingertips being on the keyboard typing your manuscript. I think you know what I’m saying.

Then add Twitter into the equation, checking your Facebook page and the time you need to review your emails and suddenly great swathes of time are eaten up and you’re wondering why you’re behind on word count when surely you’ve been writing all day.  In fact, no you’ve not been writing all day, you’ve been reading about writing all day.

It is a lot of fun being part of this marvellous Nanowrimo community and I found it to be a hugely supportive and encouraging place. But, it is also a massive distraction from writing and if you’re like me, it doesn’t take much to distract you from the task of writing. Did you just say – biscuit? Oops there I go again…

So, have a think about when you’ll visit the Forums and get involved with Twitter. Will you be someone who only connects once you’re written the 1667 words per day? Will you discipline yourself to visit only first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Yes, I thought that too, but then it creeps up on you. Perhaps I’ll just go on to update my word count, perhaps I’ll just check out how my writing buddies are doing and before you know it, you’re back in.

My plan this year is to head to my local library to write.  They currently have no Wifi available and so once you’re there, you really are committed to writing. The only downside is that there’s no coffee or muffins either – darn it!

I understand that there are a variety of Internet and website blocking software packages that you can install which switch off the Internet on your computer for a certain period of time. I’ve not ever used these. I’ve always been a bit paranoid that I might not ever be able to switch it back on again, but that probably says more about me than anything else.

So as with most things, it’s all about balance. Do use the Nanowrimo site to encourage and support you, particularly as there are likely to be days when you really need that support – usually for me around day 12 once the novelty has worn off. But do remember that you can switch it off too or at least limit your use and participation.

If you want to get more actively involved, head to one of the regional write-ins and actual meet some writers in the same situation as you. That way you can have a coffee, eat cake, discuss your characters and plot issues but most importantly you’ll also write while you’re there!

Preparing for Nanowrimo (Part 1)

145183630They say there’s a book in all of us.  Nanowrimo gives us an opportunity
to prove that. However, if you’ve decided to give it a go, this year,
there are some things to consider.

Having undertaken Nanowrimo for the past two years, the first year
successfully and the second not, there are some things that I have
learnt along the way that I thought I’d share with you. And of course
if you’ve done Nano yourself I’d love to hear from you. It would be
great if you’d share what worked for you and what didn’t. Plus of course
I’d love to engage with you generally on this Blog. Come on, don’t be shy. Say hello and tell me a  bit about yourself.

Anyway back to the original subject – firstly, remember that committing
to writing 1667 words every day for 30 days is manageable. However, you
might want to think about what other things you’ll  need to sacrifice in
order to achieve it, particularly if you are working full-time, running
a family, have a life etc. It’s a pretty easy equation to work out. In
order to say yes to Nano, you may well have to say no to dinner out with
a friend one evening.  In order to say yes to a walk on a sunny
November afternoon, you may well have to say no to Nano.  See simples!

You might also wish to consider what’s the best time of day for you to
write. Perhaps getting up an hour earlier each day during the dark
mornings of November works for you (it sounds crazy to me but hey
everyone’s different). Or perhaps you’re a night hawk and choose to stay
up at night once the rest of the household is in bed.  Give some
consideration to when you believe is a good time for you to write. If
you can get into a routine, this will help. After all most writers will
tell you, the best way to become a prolific writer is to write every
day. If you read Stephen King’s book ‘On Writing’, he states:

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others:
read a lot  and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that
I’m aware of, no  shortcut.”

Undertaking Nanowrimo at least gets you half way there – well for 30 days anyway.

So that’s it for today. To summarise, I think undertaking Nanowrimo is
like starting lots of new projects in life. Are you committed fully to
it or is it something you hope to slot into your life? Have a think
about what’s going on for you in November and consider what sacrifices
you might need to make whether that be not doing some of the things you
usually do or sacrificing an hour in bed each morning to ensure you get
up and write.

If you’re in, I wish you well and hope to see you here again.