Mindful Job Hunting

For those readers who are unemployed, you know all too well how difficult a prolonged job search can be. Finding the right career, or the decent paying job or even just a part-time gig to earn a few dollars more in savings can be a job in and of itself. But as a recent column from the Democrat and Chronicle pointed out, mindfulness is a low priority among job seekers and job posters alike.

Dr. Ellen Weber, there are extensive physiological and psychological triggers that play a strong part in job satisfaction.  She says that "Mindfulness fosters love for what you do – and enables you to do what you love."  Take a moment to consider that statement. Does this apply to your current situation? If you are seeking a job, have you successfully narrowed down what it is that you love to do? If you are employed, can you answer honestly? These considerations are key to bettering our lives. If we can avoid negative situations, it only stands to reason that productivity--for ourselves, for colleagues, and employees—is assured.

And Weber is not alone. The concept of a mindful approach to job hunting has picked up steam in recent months.

But speaking from recent and very personal experience, a prolonged job search does obscure mindfulness almost entirely. In the past few months, I have had a handful of stressful and exhausting days job hunting. These are the days when my confidence, patience and esteem have been challenged. In such a state it hardly seems appropriate to consider the ideal work environment. One can be so focused on the small details that the greater picture is lost. A job is not simply a job but an ongoing occupation that will monopolize much of our time and energy. We should be careful not to allow the job (or the job search) to become a force of negativity.

As for prospective employers out there, the article does raise some interesting points. Have you considered what sort of environment you are asking prospects to join? Can you accurately say that you foster a positive and encouraging work environ? Does the satisfaction of your employees matter? And if so, how do you demonstrate this?

Periods of unemployment are a stressful time in any person’s life. But when viewed as just another obstacle in life to overcome, we all have the power and fortitude to get through. All it takes is patience, even poetry. And, of course, the right approach.


Jason Motz is a North Vancouver-based freelance writer and editor.


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