So much of my day is spent here, writing and editing on Yahoo! Shine, and there, picking up my kids and taking them where they need to be after school, and trying, somehow, to pull together a meal in between it all every afternoon. That's why when I get the chance to get together with some smart, wonderful, funny friends at night, I grab it. Sustenance!
The ending of a decade-plus at a company for one friend brought a few us other together one night recently. Around the table was another friend in between jobs for the second time in the past few years, another who made a major career change in recent years, another who is home full time with her three kids, and another who began a teaching career, also within the past few years. So many stories of change and transition. Amid the laughs and story-sharing about kids, I culled some gems of wisdom in times of job transition from our small group that knows a few things about change and how it is the one true constant in life.
Take every conversation. When you're embarking on a job search, talk to everyone who comes across your path, through recommendations from colleagues and friends -- even if there is no job right now or it's to talk about a job or company you don't think you're interested in. You never know what will come out of that conversation, and where and to whom it can lead. And, as one of my friend says, "You can't turn down a job you don't have." Until an offer is made, all you're doing is exploring options.
Don't apologize for your resume. Whether you have been at one place your entire career, you've got gaps because you stepped out of the work force to care for kids, or if you've been at a few jobs for short stints, don't apologetically explain what you think may be perceived as shortcomings. Focus instead on the work you have done, the skills you've amassed, and how you have uniquely crafted a work history that fits your life as well as your abilities.
Walk. Exercise. Should you suddenly find yourself with more time on your hands than you planned and a job search beckons, set aside some of your day to walk and think. Get some exercise. Finding time to exercise has probably been a challenge, so take this opportunity -- and it is an opportunity -- to tend to your health and well-being during a stressful time.
Do good works and don't feel bad about networking with others as you do. If you find yourself between jobs, finding a job is your number-one task, for sure. But you have extra time and that's a good time to devote to charitable causes. You know you'll get a lot out of it, and one thing you may get out of it may be new connections with people who may help you along your career journey.