When Being Overwhelmed is a Good Sign

During your job search, you may feel overwhelmed.   This is a good sign, for it means you are trying to do the following 20+ activities:

1/ Create, or update your resume,

2/ Create/update a LinkedIn Profile,

3/ Apply to posted jobs,

4/ Visit libraries to create lists of target industries, so that you can create lists of target companies,

5/ Network to build your contact list

6/ Touch base with your existing contact list,

7/ Draft your stories to be used in phone screenings and interviews – strengths, weaknesses, and experiences,

8/ Network with currently, and recently unemployed people, to learn from their experiences,

9/ Join a job search work team, and become an active member,

10/ Map (plan) out your immediate, short-term, and longer term finances,

10.5/ Hit the ‘Find Job’ button to locate and sign up for your next gig. (If only….)

We all know that this key does not exist.  Public Domain Image

We all know that this key does not exist.
Public Domain Image

11/ Apply for COBRA (track progress, and follow up if/when coverage doesn’t appear on time),

12/ Apply for new health insurance,

13/ Apply for unemployment (and begin tracking activities in job search in case you are audited),

14/ Discuss unemployment situation with people you have known for a long time,

15/ Discuss your unemployment situation with people you do not know (such as folks within your doctor’s office, financial advisors, your children’s teachers, etc.),

16/ Read up on how to conduct an effective job search (and then contemplate the contradictory advice),

17/ Create a handbill,

18/ Create and order business cards,

19/ Assess “what you could have done better, or differently” to avoid being unemployed,

20/ Assess ‘what you could have done better, or differently” to have generated more call-backs,

21/ Exercise and/or increase involvement in other activities to help keep your mind “fresh” and your self-confidence solid, and

22/ Take confidence in yourself and your ability to make a positive impact for those you interact with. 

If you have been in transition, the length of this list did not surprise you. (And it is by no means an exhaustive list.)

I didn’t even list out topics that deal with your day-to-day activities such as cooking meals, paying bills, maintaining your home/car/laundry/relationships, picking up/dropping off kids, mowing the lawn, or shoveling snow, etc.

If you had a similar sized list for your “paid work” job, there’d be no question that you had a lot of work to do, and that some assistance and guidance would be very beneficial.   Being unemployed does not make this list any easier to accomplish.  Asking for, and accepting, help shouldn’t be seen as a ‘weakness’ nor a ‘sign of helplessness.’  It shows that you are actually engaged in trying to achieve something, and so you are involving the people you feel may be able to help you to that goal.

I often told folks who were newly unemployed, “If you are feeling overwhelmed by your transition, that is a really good sign!

So,… if you are in job search and feel overwhelmed?  Good for you for feeling overwhelmed!

You are in job search and are letting folks know how they can help you (when they ask)?  Great!!

You are in job search and are letting people know that you’d appreciate some help finding your next role?  AWESOME!!!    

Feeling overwhelmed is reasonable in job search.  It demonstrates that you have sized up the “job” in front of you, and are working through all those aspects as best you can.


Allan Channell is a new ‘Blog to Work’ contributor.  He has experience in software development, project management, and has interests in communications, Tai Chi, and humor.

© 2014 Blog to Work | Blogging your way to a job, All rights reserved

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