March 16, 2010

Gathering the Energy to Make a Change

Man, it was a long winter. In some parts of the country, the snow fell like something out of a disaster movie, and people got plain tired of the struggle.

When you add the endless economic woes and the stalemates over political actions, it can seem like things will never lighten up.

If the weather, the recession and the politicians aren’t putting you in the doldrums, your own job situation might be doing it. In these circumstances, it seems like no one feels more trapped than those who are seeking work or wish they could change jobs. It can feel impossible to make the changes you need to break out of the situation you’re in.

Energy is the key. When you have energy, you build hope and momentum. Action begets action and pretty soon things start to happen. Ah, but how do you get that energy and then sustain it until it can perpetuate itself?

Energy is a tricky thing. Once you lose it, it’s hard to regain. I was reminded of this recently while dragging myself through a tenacious head cold. After weeks of sneezing and hacking and keeping myself up at night with the symptoms, I’m finally around the corner. I’m getting my sleep, losing the drugs, and feeling my energy return. Now things seem possible, but a couple of weeks ago? Even taking out the trash was overwhelming.

If you have job search or career goals that aren’t being realized, maybe an energy drain is the culprit for you as well. Just in case, here are five tips to plug you back in.

1. Check all the usual stuff: Sleep, diet and exercise. Are you taking care of yourself? It’s easy to fall into sloppy patterns when you don’t have a work schedule, so the unemployed need to be especially aware of these factors.

2. Check your physical health. Get yourself a physical and make sure you’re not missing vitamins or something simple.

3. Check your mental health. Do you think depression could be playing a role? Find a counselor to talk to; you need to stay on top of this.

4. Check your support system. Are you talking every day with people who believe in you?

5. Check your job search plan. Remember that a good plan will be a source of energy all by itself, since it creates and builds momentum.

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