Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lessons Learned (thus far)

Besides providing information and support in dealing with the loss of a job I also agreed to post my learning experiences in authoring a blog for the first time.

Here are a few of the more "technical" aspects I've learned just in three days.
  1. How to set up the blog using the provided template
  2. How to add images (and where to look for images)
  3. How to find and add widgets (like the Dilbert widget along the right side)
  4. I've even started to learn, through trial and error editing, how to edit the html code that builds the blog and its pieces
  5. Initial blog promotion - I've identified sights where you can upload the blog and make it more visible like Technorati
  6. What RSS means (Really Simple Syndication)
  7. How to make the blog available via RSS through FeedBurner

And, here are a few of the "softer" things I've learned along the way.

  1. Be careful - the blogging effort can be addictive and can be a distraction from the primary effort of looking for a new job
  2. Blogging can be somewhat cathartic - providing an outlet for your emotions
  3. When developing new posts - slow down, remember to spell check before you hit "Publish Post"

The final few lessons... for now -

  • learn to keep the blog posts short (tough to do at times)
  • there is so much more to learn
  • read what you post (listen to your own advice)
  • read other blogs, see what makes them appealing

Coming In The Days Ahead:

  • More on dealing with the emotions of a job loss and the job hunt
  • Taking time to celebrate. Yes, even at a time like this are things to be celebrated.
  • Viable, validated sights for online or telecommuting work alternatives
  • Making the most of the time you have available

Friday, January 30, 2009

Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!

Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my! - Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.

In dealing with the loss of a job we will each go through a wide range of emotions as we work our way through the various stages that are inevitable.

When we hear the unemployment rate is 8% and rising some us will find solace knowing that we're not going through this alone, that we're not the only ones suffering a loss.

Not so with me. When I hear 8% unemployement I hear my thoughts going to -
"That means 92% of the people who want to work are still working! What's wrong with me? Why do I find myself in the minority? I have significant experience, skills and talent. There are others who are less skilled, less talented, less experienced than I am and they're still working! I'm mor productive than most the others, but they still have their jobs!"

What emotions are you feeling as you deal with the loss of your job or the frustations you experience in trying to find a new job?

Our emotions will vary by individual, gated by individual situations. Regardless, most of us will experience a wide range of emotions as we work our way through the inevitable stages.

What are you feeling? Do you identify with one or more of the terms below?

**** Lions and tigers and bear! Oh, my! ****

Fear - Anger - Sad - Alone

Abandoned - Hate - Tired - Worry

Left out - Guilty - Embarassed - Panicked

Nervous - Powerless - Violated - Hopeless

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Emotional Stages of Dealing With Job Loss

I've heard it said that the loss of a job and the emotions we go through follow close behind those we go through when dealing with the loss of a loved one, followed by experiencing a major medical/health issue.

In reading a number of articles dealing with the emotional stages we all go through when dealing with the loss of a job. I can tell you from experience, it doesnt matter if it's your first time in this situation or ou've been through it before you will go through all of these stages or some variation.

The articles I've read vary, with some defining 5 stages of emotion and while others have 7. Regardless of the number of stages the emotional struggles you go through will be the same. For purposes of our blog here I've chosen to use the 7 stage model.

Are the stages already familiar to you? Where are you at in your journey through these stages? Wherever you're at, don't go it alone. Confide in a loved one or a friend. Most people have been there at some point in their career and life. Each day we'll explore a different stage - what emotions we exhibit in each stage and then discuss how we might deal with those emotions.

The Emotional Stages of a Job Loss


First Things First

This is my first for quite a few things:
  1. First attempt at a blog
  2. First time being unemployed in fifteen years
  3. First time as Big Bird of a flock
  4. First time sharing with others my trials and tribulations in looking for a new job
  5. First time trying to do something to help others as I find my way around and through the simultaneous worlds of blogging and job hunting

I'm still fleshing out what I want this blog to be exactly. My early intent is to chronicle my personal journey in searching for a new job in what many of us find to be a very challenged environment. Part of that effort will be to pass along my learning experiences both in finding employment and learning this tool called a blog.

My hope ...

Is that you'll find this blog, you'll find it to be of some solace as you trod along your own path in search of a new job, you'll find it a place of support and learning, and that you'll have some fun along the way. I want you to realize that you are not alone - that you don't have to be alone in your quest.

We'll share...

We'll share experiences - the good and the bad. We'll share resources, tools, links, employers and reference materials that we find helpful.

We'll share what the experts have to say in how to deal with the loss of a job and how we relate to that.

We'll share how to keep everything in proper perspective and how to keep the fires of hope going.

We'll celebrate...!!

We'll celebrate progress. We'll celebrate when one of us finds that next job and perhaps leaves the nest. And, we'll always remember to celebrate life.

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