Ok. So you are out of work either by your choice or not. You’re scared. Most people do not have adequate savings to allow for a long period between jobs. Not having savings or a spouse/partner to support you financially through this period adds tremendous stress to your already stressful position.

And then on top of your own fears, everyone around you is scared for you. Thinking of themselves, they fear what being out of work would be like for them. This is not helpful. Who cares how scared they would be if they were out of work? This is not their reality; it’s yours! You don’t need their fears pushed on you. And yet, in my experience, you need to expect this behavior from others and learn how to deflect their fears and negativity. You have in your head your own voice saying all sorts of negative things to you; you don’t need to hear more from other people!

Fear does not serve you. Yes, some fear is good because it keeps you focused on what you need to do to find new employment. However, if you allow your fear to guide your decisions and actions, if you come from a place of fear and lack as you write your resume, interview and network, you will come across sounding desperate making it harder to find work. You also make the whole experience more stressful than it needs to be.

You need to take control of your mind, your beliefs, and the meaning you assign to both work and being out of work rather than allowing your mind to run wild. Taming your mind requires awareness of how you think and the beliefs you hold. Your beliefs drive your actions which creates your reality. Beliefs are simply programming or conditioning you picked up along the way. You are responsible for the thinking that guides your behavior and you need to regularly reexamine your beliefs. Pay attention and use a journal to discover how you think about, your beliefs about or your perception of things. Then you can challenge your current thinking and create different beliefs that better serve you.

What if, instead of leading with fear, you decided to enjoy yourself? There is nothing worse than finding a new job, getting back into the day-to-day grind and then wishing you had done more fun things while you had the time. The time is now! You can either worry and be scared and talk about how scared you are… Or you can trust in yourself and your abilities, that you’ll find another job shortly, and you can have some fun while looking for the job you want.

What if you decided to use this time between jobs as an opportunity for self-exploration? You have been given a gift – without your current job distracting you, you can see yourself more clearly and ask the questions that require your attention. What are your skills that you love using? What are your values, those things that you find most important in life? Choosing a job that allows you to live your values will make you much happier than working at a job where the values are different than yours. What would be your ideal job? If you could do anything at all, what would you do and where would you do it? Perhaps your next job could be that dream job or at least bring you closer to it by helping you to develop the skill set required for it. This is how you chart your course for a purposeful career, one that allows you to live your personal vision and mission, and fulfill your life’s purpose.

What if you chose to approach job hunting as an adventure, an opportunity to meet new people and expand your network of professional connections? Networking is a lot of fun and should be part of career regardless of whether you are working or not. A strong network of peers and colleagues can assist you tremendously in finding new employment. Seventy-five percent of all jobs are filled through networking – without ever being advertised. This means, your chance of finding a job through regular channels – internet, newspaper and professional journals as well as headhunters – is much more difficult.

Everyone finds him or herself between jobs at some point in life, whether through downsizing, changing jobs by choice, or retiring. By challenging your thinking about how the experience will be for you, by learning to keep others’ negativity and fears at bay, and by charting your own course for success by not only defining success for yourself, but by exploring yourself and your dreams for your life and your work, you empower yourself to live your life your way and you enjoy your journey.

Author's Bio: 

Want to explore what happiness would look like for you? Julie Fuimano, MBA, BSN, RN is The Coach with Nurturing Your Success, Inc., working with people who are frustrated, stressed and unhappy and who are ready to give up the overwhelm for the time, peace and happiness they desire. Clients report increased clarity and focus, confidence, and control in situations. They say no to what they don’t want - without guilt - and yes to what they do; they receive more respect, have more time for themselves, and have more fun. Sound good to you? Julie works by phone and is currently accepting new clients! Call today (610) 277-2726 or write to Julie@nurturingyoursuccess.com to explore how coaching would work for you or your organization. Julie is a popular speaker, world renown writer and author of “The Journey Called YOU: A Roadmap to Self-Discovery and Acceptance,” the manual for personal leadership-available in bookstores. Sign up for her e-newsletter at www.nurturingyoursuccess.com.