Looking on the Bright Side of Life

IMG_0246-2.JPG
Standard

There are loads of people out there who consistently and constantly are able to look at life in a positive light, even when something negative happens in their life.  They remain upbeat and cheerful regardless of what’s going on around them.

Most of the time I can’t help but wonder how the hell they do it, especially when I’m going through dark period after dark period and wishing something good would happen in my life.

Luckily things have actually been going really good lately and I’ve shockingly been feeling something I haven’t in a long time – contentment bordering on actually feeling happy!

It’s not like I’ve found the perfect job or met the perfect man (though that one is still up in the air lol). It’s more that I don’t really have a reason to NOT feel happy at the moment.

I don’t LOVE my new job, but it’ll do for the foreseeable future and I think it’s something I could be good at.. as long as I don’t get sucked into the existing staff’s negativity. It’s shocking how much bitching and moaning about the place I overhear in the smoking area.

Although I might get sick of the 8am starts each morning at some point.. But on the bright side, I get to finish at 5:30 and am home just after 6pm because it’s so close. So that’s a bonus at the moment. :-)

As for my dating life, it amazes me how quickly that can change. Over the past while I’d started to feel like the troll under the bridge due to the lack of attention.

Then that coin flip happened, and things seemed to change.

Not only have I continued seeing the sexy Kurdish guy (I’m travelling to Guildford today to spend the night..), but I also had a date with a kinda cute Italian guy last Friday who wants to meet up again .. Although I don’t think I’m interested since he wasn’t that good of a kisser. Lol

As for sexy Kurd, do I think it’s love? Do I think this is me finally meeting my perfect match? Who knows and frankly, who cares. All I know is I enjoy his company, he makes me laugh and smile, and I still think he’s sexy when he’s being goofy or in a grumpy mood.

Are there warning signs with him that should be telling me to walk away from him? Sure there is, but then again nobody’s perfect. Obviously I’m not thrilled that he’s already partnered (long-distance, and rarely see each other) or that he doesn’t live in London and is moving further south.

But at the moment I’m not going to worry about any of that and am just going to continue to enjoy his company. I’m not thinking about the future or any ‘what ifs’, but instead am concentrating on the here and now.

Basically I’m trying to just enjoy life as it comes along… For once in my life.

Fingers crossed it lasts for awhile. :-)

IMG_0245.JPG

Flip of a Coin

coin-toss_mainstory
Standard

We’ve all done it, flipped a coin to decide on a course of action for any number of things.  We do it so much without thinking that it’s just part of our lives and don’t really think of it.

But what if YOU were what the coin was being flipped for?

That’s what happened to me recently on a night out.  I’d spent a lovely day at home, mostly in the back garden trying to get some sun, but come the evening I was feeling a bit restless.  So off I went into Soho for a couple drinks at the King’s Arms (the bear pub) and just to see who was around.

In general, I’m not a big fan of Soho or the King’s Arms, especially not when I’m on my own (I find it hard to approach people I don’t know), but I just had a need to go out.  Earlier I’d been chatting for a bit with a cute Italian and he mentioned he was going out with friends for dinner and drinks, and somehow it made me want to go out too.

It was also the weekend before I started my new job.  Other than a enjoying a bottle of wine by myself the night before, I hadn’t really celebrated the new job and felt the itch to get out of the house.  Even if the guys I normally hang out with weren’t available (damn partnered friends, always busy with their hubbies LOL).

So off I went into Central London by myself, thinking if it’s crap I’ll just have a couple drinks and then come home.  Usually when I go out to places like that I don’t run into people I know, let alone like. ;-)

But regardless I still went, and guess who was standing outside chatting with friends as I walked up?  The Italian I had been chatting to earlier.  Yay!!

So of course once I got a drink and went back outside to join them, he was flirting outrageously with me right in front of a couple of his friends, one of whom seemed particularly interested.. in me.  At one point he said he was jealous that the Italian got to flirt with me because he thought I was cute too.

Within no time both of them were flirting with me at the same time, almost like it was a competition and I was the grand prize.

This was definitely something I wasn’t used to.  I rarely get one guy flirting with me when I go out, let alone anyone showing any interest at all other than a glance across the room.  Admittedly it is rare that I go out these days, but when I did from time to time I never had this happen.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had two guys flirting with me at the same time.  And if I had, it sure as hell wasn’t in front of each other.  LOL

The two guys couldn’t be any more different – the Italian is a ginger chaser who’s a bit taller (or average if you’re not short like me lol) with an average body and a lovely smile; the other guy, a Kurdish-British cub/chaser, is my height with a slight belly, a full dark beard and very sexy.

Well anyway, at some point in the flirting they decided to flip a coin – to see which one of them would ‘get me’ since they were both attracted to me.  Some might find that insulting, as if I didn’t have a say in the matter, but I found it quite funny that these guys were flipping a coin about me.. and even joked several times they shouldn’t fight, that they could both have me.  ;-)

In the end, the Italian won the coin toss, but somehow I ended up leaving with the Kurdish guy instead…

And we’ve seen each other again since. ;-)

IMG_0242.JPG

Settling In

work-shadowing
Standard

As per my previous post, I started a new job this past Monday with a property management company doing administrative work.  Well, I will be once we finally have training which will be this coming week.

Thank goodness, cause it was a bit boring watching everyone else work. lol

So far I’m liking the place, although I wasn’t so sure the first day or so.  Because they deal with a lot of tradespeople (builders, electricians, installation engineers, etc), there seemed to more of a blue-collar feel to the office.  A lot of the upper managerial staff used to work in the field themselves as contractors, so there’s a definite lad’s lad feel about them.  Something I’m not used to.

Or maybe that’s just my inner snob rearing it’s ugly head.

But after a few days and getting to know some of the existing staff, the atmosphere has definitely grown on me.  They’re down to earth, there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of office politics (thank fuck lol), and they genuinely seem friendly.  And a large percentage of them are older (ie: 40+) so it’s more about getting the work done than joking around, though there are a few laughs here and there.

But with the type of environment it is and the type of people working in it, it’s made me be cautious about one specific thing – being out at work.  And I’m a bit surprised by that, as I can’t recall a single workplace I haven’t been open in since I came out.

To be fair, it doesn’t matter as I’m just going to be myself, regardless of where I am, who I’m around and so forth.  Which is how I’ve been living my life for many many years, and I’ve learned when it’s appropriate to be ‘out & proud’ and when to just be me.

Anyway, work seems to be going well, and I’m certain once I’m up to speed on the processes and computer systems, I’ll be flying along.  Already this week I got a load of praise from some of the managers thanks to a simple spreadsheet I was asked to create for one of the contracts.  It was just a simple, colour-coded schedule for contractors in a specific area, and the one who asked me to create it couldn’t stop praising how amazing it was.. even though it wasn’t anything fancy or particularly complicated (wasn’t a single formula in it haha).

20acbbb9cd76f89b1a2eda12ad8d9a9fBut just that got me thinking about the place, and the type of staff they usually get (it’s a regional office above a plumbing centre).  Maybe the staff they’d hired before were more inclined to be from or looking to go into a building trade, and not from more of an office background.  And just maybe this could give me an opportunity to really show what I can do with this sort of thing.

We’ll just have to see how things go, though I’m feeling quite positive about the place.  It’s going to be a complete change of pace for me, since it’s not a call centre (YAY!!), I’ll be learning about boiler installations (which I know nothing about), and it’s only a quick bus journey from home.

And hopefully there’ll be some hunky builder who has to come into the office from time to time.. I need something nice to look at.  ;-)

Life is a Rollercoaster

Life-Is-A-Rollercoaster
Standard

Isn’t it amazing how quickly things in your life can change.  One moment you can be happy as a clam and one little incident could change that, be it losing a job, breaking off a relationship, a family emergency, or any number of things that can affect your life for the worse.

And of course the opposite is true as well.  When you’re feeling down and something good happens to you, it can be such an amazing ego boost that you just want to run down the road laughing like an idiot.  Or something like that.  ;-)

Well.. I’ve got some good news – I got a new job!!  YAY!!!

Man_streaking_after_skinnydipping*runs naked down the street, laughing like a maniac*

So as I mentioned in my previous post, I had three different interviews lined up over the course of the next week, with the first one being yesterday.  And surprisingly, they called my agency back within half an hour of me leaving the interview to offer me the job.

Brilliant!!

To be honest, I wasn’t 100% certain about this job or company, because it’s an industry I know nothing about, and it’s more of an admin role than the call centre work I’ve done previously – all of which are also good things, since I wanted to change sectors anyway.

But at the same time, I went into this interview (despite the usual nervous tummy) feeling really confident and sure of myself.  I knew what the company did, I could quote things from their website, I knew what the job was about, and I knew how my skills could fit into what they were looking for.

And they obviously did too.  In fact, the interviewer actually said to me before I left that he was recommending me to be hired, and would possibly see about placing me in a more billing/invoicing role (which the HR person knew nothing about when my agency asked about that lol).

I’ve never had an interviewer come out and say that to me before, and to to be so interested in making sure I became part of their company.

Which of course comes to my confidence boost… And makes me think I might have got my mojo back as well (see previous post).  And that a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders once I got the callback (while picking up groceries, still dressed for the interview lol).

I’m not sure what I truly did that was different, but I do know I was completely determined to get this job (or one of the other two scheduled for next week).  The interesting thing is normally when I’m that determined, I usually get super nervous and come across like a blubbering idiot who can’t string two thoughts together.

Confidentiality-250x250But this time I was calm and cool.. and very confident.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt so confident in an interview before, and it was an amazing feeling.  A feeling I’d love to have continue into other parts of my life.

This whole thing has definitely helped restore my confidence in myself a bit, that my skills and abilities truly are amazing and any employer would be stupid to not recognise that.  That I really should believe in myself, because I’m fucking amazing at what I can do, even when it’s learning something new.

Things most definitely are looking up.  *phew!!*

Are Things Looking Up?

fantastic
Standard

So here I am, just over 2 weeks into my unemployment and job hunt, and I’ve yet to have an actual interview.  I mean an honest to god, face-to-face, get all dressed up and try not to sweat through your suit interview.

Sure, I’ve had a couple of chats with recruiters over Skype or Facetime, but those weren’t actual interviews.  Instead they were more prospecting calls to get to know more about me and my experience, and to to determine if they would put me forward for the role in question (I didn’t reach the interview stage for either role, unfortunately).

It doesn’t feel like it’s only been two weeks since I left my job.  Somehow it feels like I’ve been job hunting forever.  But perhaps that’s more to do with how much I’m looking for a new job, not so much as the actual time that’s passed.

economy-usa-sack-sacking-firings-outsourced-redundant-cwan85l.jpgSo far I think I’ve been averaging at least 50 to 60 applications a week.  I’m keeping track of them all through my Job Seekers online profile (because I have to or else I don’t get any benefits..), but I haven’t really been counting.  Much.

The main frustration I’ve been having is that I’m not getting many replies back.. still.

Just this past Monday alone, I sent out about 30 applications to a variety of roles, with different companies, through different websites.  I spent all day job hunting, taking a break to go to the gym (YA!), and then heading to the coffee shop around the corner with my laptop to do some writing.. But before I realised it, I was filling in more applications.  And then I did some writing (the post To Beard or Not To Beard in case you’re wondering lol).

Well apparently all that hard work might be starting to pay off – Tuesday alone I had calls from at least SIX different recruiters!  This resulted in:

  • A phone interview Wednesday morning for a role near London Bridge;
  • Registered in person in the afternoon with an agency in the city for a role not far from home;
  • A call from another company to invite me to an assessment day next Wednesday;
  • A returned call from one agency to let me know the role in Central London they thought had been filled hadn’t been, so would now be putting me forward for it;
  • And an ACTUAL INTERVIEW next Friday from an application I’d sent off a week or so ago – where if I got the job, a good friend of mine would be my BOSS!!

Phew!! It’s been busy couple of days!Dressing_for_success_tips_on_dressing_for_an_interview_330x330

UPDATE – Received a call back from the agency I’d registered with yesterday and I’ve been invited to an interview tomorrow afternoon for the job not far from my house! :D

Although I’m very VERY hopeful that something comes from all these calls, meetings and invitations, I’m trying to not get my hopes up in case none of them pan out.  Mostly because I know myself – when I get excited that something is going to work out, I start thinking what it would be like working at such-and-such place, which leads me to become absolutely crestfallen if it doesn’t happen.

Or if I screw up the interview.  Trust me, it’s happened before where I’ve been super psyched to get a specific job, thinking I had it in the bag.. only to be a blubbering mess at the interview.

What I will do is remain positive and confident that I can get any one of these jobs.  None of them are at the same level I was at before the redundancy a couple years ago, but who cares.  It’s a JOB, and I need one as my bills won’t pay them self.  LOL

Mostly I’m just happy that I’m finally seeing some movement from my applications.  Let’s just keep our fingers crossed that something comes out of one of them.

And pray that I’m not jinxing anything by writing about it here. ;-)

zits-cartoon-for-jun132011

How To Get Your Mojo Back | LinkedIn

Standard

Layout 1When most people think of someone losing their ‘mojo’, they generally think of that scene from Austin Powers when he’s lost his sex drive.

More generally, losing your mojo means you’ve lost your self-confidence and belief in your own abilities, and not just when it comes to sex.  That you’ve lost your ability to bounce back from a debilitating trauma and negative attitude.

Like when you’ve lost a job and you’re left feeling adrift or with no idea of what to do next.

Yep, that’s been me for most of the past 2 years.  The longer my unemployment went on, the less confident I was in my own abilities.  And I couldn’t stop the negative thoughts creeping into my head – that maybe I wasn’t that good at my job, or that maybe my past successes were just a fluke.

And despite friends trying to bolster my confidence by reminding me of all the great things I’d done, all I could muster was something non-committal.  Because in my head, all I could think was ‘I suck’.  Even though I didn’t.

Basically when you’re in this situation and your mojo seems to be playing the most annoying game of hide-and-seek ever, you need to take it as a sign from the universe that it’s time for a change.  That maybe you need to go in a different direction, and soften your usual rushed go-go-go approach to life.

Here are a few helpful tips gleaned from an article on LinkedIn a friend posted on Facebook (click the link at the bottom for the full article).

Write it out

As evident by this very blog, I like to write out what I’m feeling and thinking instead of letting it bounce around my poor head.  By journalling your thoughts, it allows you to look deeper into yourself, find ideas your conscious mind might not have normally thought of, and allows you to guide your own reinvention.

Change it up a bit

If-you-do-not-change-directionSometimes you just need a break from what you’ve been doing or trying to do and take things in a different direction.  A lot of people tend to get a survivor job while looking for more gainful employment, and this allows them to do something completely different. It can help you stay focused mentally, as well as keep an income coming in.

In fact some people continue to work a second, part-time job once or twice a week just as a way to shift their attention.

Get Out of Your Head

This is advice I need to take – stop trying to ‘solve’ everything like a logic puzzle, because you’re not a puzzle.  Instead you need to look at this as a time for reinvention, like the physical transformation when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.

So the best advice for this is to do something fun and possibly artistic (like working on that damn novel I started a few months ago).  Go dancing.  Enjoy the sunshine.  The more you care and respect your body by letting your brain have downtime from the normal job hunt, the faster your mojo could return.

You’ve come a long way, baby!

We’ve all gone through rough times and came out of them flying like the wind.  You need to remember where you’ve been and how you’ve gotten to where you are, as it’ll paint a picture of your path and remind you of how far you’ve come.

Whenever I start to think life is crap, I try remembering how I got here in the first place.  And by here, I mean London.  I was living in Montreal, bored with life, and I decided one day to do something about it.. and spent the next year planning, organising and saving to move to London.  It wasn’t easy, but I put all the naysayers behind me and achieved something I never thought was possible before.

It reminds me that anything is possible if I want it hard enough and actively move towards it.

impossible1Move your booty

Get off your ass and step away from the computer!!  Or at least that’s what I tell myself when I’ve spent untold hours every day sitting at the laptop looking through job ads.  So I’ve been making myself leave the house and going for a walk, or forcing myself to go to the gym (I’ve been quite lazy about that lately..).

You can’t force your mojo back by sheer brain power itself, so you need to let your body take over and take care of you.

Helping others

A great way to boost your own mojo is to help someone else in need, be it through volunteer work, listening to your mate’s boyfriend troubles, or helping a fellow job seeker with some advice.  By helping someone else, you’re boosting your own sense of self as you’ll realise you have more wisdom and knowledge than you ever thought before.

Be aware of what’s around you.

When looking to reinvent yourself, you need to remember it doesn’t happen in a linear process.  Instead you need to keep an eye and ear out for the little messages around you.  It could be something overheard on the bus, something you notice sitting in the coffee shop, or even something that pops up in a dream.  Whatever it is, it could lead you to your next adventure, so listen up and enjoy the ride.

Un-define yourself from your past

I felt lost and confused when I first went through my redundancy, as I’d defined so much of my life based on my job.  Those feeling caused me to become unsure about myself and who I was as a person.  What I needed was to remember that a job is just a job, and it isn’t the whole of my existence.  And it most definitely didn’t define me as a person.

You need to remember that bigger adventures are always on the horizon, and that you are fine and amazing.  You need to give up on that perceived fixed identity and be ready for the possibilities.  You don’t need some high-paying, powerful job with a fancy business card to be amazing, because you’re already there.

Be yourself and let life take you where it’s supposed to.  Trust me, you’ll enjoy the ride all the better.  You just need to give it time for your mojo to come back to you.

dilbert_cartoon_powerlessnessClick here to read the original article - How To Get Your Mojo Back | LinkedIn.

To Beard or Not to Beard

Standard

hipster beard2Does anyone else out there think the whole beard trend has gone a bit too far?  Am I the only one who’s tired of pretty much every guy out there has a beard of some sort?

Of course, that is probably an over-exaggeration, but we’ve gotten to a point where most guys have a beard or scruff of some sort.  And it’s not like it’s their day off and didn’t need to shave.

Personally, I love nothing better than a sexy man with a nice beard or stubble.  For some guys, it’s what may actually make them sexy in the first place.  I know I’ve looked at pictures of guys with and without beards, and thought they looked a lot better with one.  Not that they were ugly or unattractive without.

I suppose it’s all a matter of wanting that perceived masculinity in a partner, that the beard somehow makes him seem more virile.  That the beard makes him seem more of a man.

And for awhile, at least for me, it made it a bit easier to identify beary or bear-friendly guys.  ;-)  You rarely found a twink or some muscle queen with a nice, full beard.

Unfortunately these days, with the social acceptance of facial hair over the past few years it’s gotten to the point where you can’t throw a cat without hitting a guy with a beard, and not just in the gay community.

Beards Keep You Young, Healthy & Handsome, Says Science – World Observer Online.

In fact, as I sit in the coffee shop writing this, out of the 8 guys in my immediate vicinity, only one doesn’t have any kind of facial hair… then again he’s 10 years old and hasn’t hit puberty yet.  Lol

beard spelledI’ve seen guys of all walks of life with big bushy beards, gay and straight.  But the thing that bothers me so much these days is how this whole beard trend has been taken to the extreme.  To the point where there are some damn ugly beards out there, all because they think it’s ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’.

Take the hipster look – a generally skinny guy, with odd clothes, and now with a huge bushy lumberjack beard.  This is a common look for a lot of guys living in East London.  And on some guys it can look super HAWT!  But on most it looks like they’re auditioning for some film about the Amish.

I recently read an article on The Guardian website that suggested that perhaps we’ve reached ‘peak beard’ – that a man’s attractiveness to potential partners may fade as facial hair becomes more prevalent.

Fashion-conscious men warned we may have reached ‘peak beard’ | Fashion | The Guardian

Is this true, or just a matter of some fashionista not liking beards so is hoping to get people to start shaving again?  Or is it just a matter of pointing out the obvious, that this trend will too pass?

Interestingly there was a conversation about beards at a picnic I attended recently, where the majority of the guys there were clean shaven or just hadn’t shaved that day and only a couple of us with full on beards.  Most of the guys there just associated beards with the bear community, and one guy went so far as to say that smooth-faced guys are quickly becoming the more desired since too many guys out there have facial hair now.

Paul_BunyanTo be honest, it’s a thought I’ve had many times myself over the past while.  Usually when I’m standing in front of the mirror dreading trimming my beard to ensure it doesn’t go all Paul Bunyon-like.  LOL

Hell, I’ve come very VERY close to just shaving the entire thing off in a fit of frustration .. and probably laziness.  Haha.  Though I think I’d look quite weird without a full beard – I’ve sported one for close to 10 years now!

Anyway, regardless of the ‘peak beard’ effect or whether fashion trends will swing back towards clean-shaven men, they’ll always be somewhat trendy and prevalent in the bear community.

And yes, damn sexy. ;-)

Dating in the Gay World: Extinct…or Evolving?

Standard

business-men-in-coffee-shop-300x235So this is a subject I’ve been wondering and worrying over for ages now – do gay guys even bother with dating any more?  Or is the idea of meeting someone for a coffee, dinner, or a walk in the park to get to know each other such an archaic form of meeting guys that it’s practically extinct?

Being a single and gay in London, I’ve find it increasingly difficult to meet other single guys, be it online or in person.  Personally, all I find are partnered guys who are in open relationships looking for a bit of fun on the side.  Or guys visiting London looking for a hookup while on holiday.

I’ve tried talking to some friends about this on many occasions, and they all say I shouldn’t worry about it, that it’ll happen when it happens.  Like I’ve never heard that before.  lol

I’ve even talked to a couple partnered friends about introducing me to some of their single friends.  But they all said the same thing – that they don’t know any single guys who are looking to date.  In fact, the few single guys they do know are only looking for something casual or a bit of fun.

GrindrSo what is a single guy like me to do when I’m bored of the casual shags or hookups?  Especially when it seems like I’m not even getting those any more.

To be honest, I haven’t a fucking clue.  LOL

The odd thing is it didn’t used to be this way for me.  A few years back, before the job issues and such, I used to go on dates fairly regularly.  Sure a lot of them ended up just being shags, good or bad, but at least I was getting interest from some really cute and sexy men.

Ok, so I had periods where I was just a downright slut, but I was enjoying myself and meeting some interesting guys.  And I was getting out of the house.

But it makes me wonder if the way guys are using these apps have changed and I didn’t notice or change with them.  That I’m perhaps still looking at things from several years ago and they’ve moved on.

Or perhaps I’m the one who’s changed.  Maybe because I know I’m not that interested in casual hookups and want to find a boyfriend that I’m looking at things in a different way.

I used to be somewhat more forward (despite being a shy guy) about approaching guys online.  I’d send a quick hello or message saying the guy was cute/handsome/sexy/etc, even if it didn’t lead to a possible shag or meeting for a drink.

But now I just seem to wait for them to message me first.  There are load of guys online that I’m attracted to, but perhaps my self-confidence has taken such a hit that I couldn’t stand the possible rejection.  Or perhaps it’s that all the guys I do find attractive are partnered or are just looking for sex.

Side note – it’s scary how many profiles I’ve seen lately that are looking for bareback sex, ‘FF’ (aka fisting), or ‘poz’ guys.  Or a dozen other things that don’t turn my crank.

It could be because of where I’m living now – in the burbs, far away from Central London.  Meaning guys who might be interested in me aren’t seeing my profile.  Sometimes it feels like I’m living in a no-gay zone of a sort.  ;-)

Fantasyblog1So, what’s the answer to all of this?

I’m not sure there is one to be honest.  Maybe I need to centrally more often to ensure my profile can be found.  Or maybe it’s just a matter of stopping being so darn shy and start messaging guys I think are cute again.

Or maybe it’s time to take a more drastic approach – give up completely and delete all the apps/profiles since I’m not getting any messages or interest anyway.  What’s the point of doing something that isn’t getting any results?

Yes, I know that’s a negative way of looking at it, but it may be a more pragmatic approach as well.  Sure, I could just change my profile and picture again for the millionth time to see if that gets any interest, but I’ve done that so many times and it hasn’t helped any.

But is becoming celibate the answer?  Should I give up on my silly fantasy of ever finding a boyfriend or having a relationship?  Is it possible to be happy being single for the rest of my life?

Or is there some happy medium in between?  Where I can concentrate on other things in life while still meeting the occasional nice guy and stop obsessing over it all.

brasil-gay-beachDon’t get me wrong.  Despite the apparent negativity in this posting, I am trying my hardest to stay positive about everything.  But it makes me wonder why I obsess over finding a boyfriend when I’ve got more pressing matters to worry about, like finding a job.

Or perhaps I’m just over-thinking things as a result of how my job-hunt is going, and it’s having a domino effect.

I suppose only time will tell.

Motivation is Key – Tips While Job Hunting

Standard

job hunting sucksStaying motivated when you’re looking for work is not an easy thing at the best of times.  Especially not when you’re already unemployed.  Job hunting sucks, plain and simple, and I don’t think I’ve met a single person who actually enjoys it.

The longer the unemployment goes on, the more you may start wondering what you’re doing wrong, the more the bills start piling up, and the more rejection letters/emails you’ll receive.  You cannot predict how long it’ll be before you find a new job, but hopefully you’ll use your time wisely.

One of the main keys to staying motivated during this time is persistence.  You can’t give up and you can’t allow yourself to become complacent or down about the whole thing.

Here are a few tips based on an article I found on Monster.co.uk (click the link at the bottom to read the original article).

Set and keep to a routine

They say when you’re looking for work that you should treat it like a full-time job – set an alarm, have a shower, and basically start your morning as if you’re getting ready for work.

Although I love sleeping in without an alarm clock, it may help me maintain motivation if I did set a schedule and stuck to it, as well as add in other activities to break up the monotony.  Like a bit of writing, going to the gym, or taking a walk in the nearby park.

Set yourself daily goals

todolistThis is vitally important.  Without daily goals you can sometimes feel like a hamster running on one of those wheels in a cage – you’re huffing and puffing, putting all your energy into job hunting, but it ultimately feels like you’re not getting anywhere.

By setting yourself some daily goals, it gives you something to celebrate once you’ve met them.  And with how lonely and depressing job hunting can be, you need something to give yourself a boost in order to maintain your motivation and positivity.

Clear some space

Set yourself aside a specific space in the house that you’ll always do your job hunting from, be it at a desk, the dining room table, or wherever.  Basically set yourself up a little office to run your new business called ‘job hunting’, and ensure it’s free of distractions.

messy-desk-cartoon-11However, you don’t want to be chained to your kitchen table all day either.  Feel free to change it up once in awhile – I love to pack up the laptop and head to a coffee shop to work, be it job hunting or some writing.  Sure, it will be noisier and there will be more distractions, but I sometimes find I can be more productive there than at home.

Probably because I can’t walk away from my laptop in the coffee shop. ;-)

Watch your diet

It’s way too easy to pack on the pounds when you’re unemployed, especially if you’re doing your job hunting from home as you’ll end up snacking more throughout the day.. The kitchen is just a few steps away now, and you’re not restricted by any sort of break schedule like you would be at work.

It’s just a matter of being more conscious of what you’re eating throughout the day, as well as whether your alcohol consumption has risen.  Being unemployed doesn’t give license for becoming a boozy drunk – it’ll make you lazier the next day thanks to the inevitable hangover.

Maintain your support network

Job hunting can be a very lonely place in the world, so ensure you keep your friends and loved ones around you.. don’t push them away in frustration, and don’t be afraid to talk to them about how things are going.  Be willing to call them up when you’re feeling down.

As well, make sure those same people aren’t just waiting for you to come to them.  Sometimes a quick call or a couple text messages from them to see how things are going can do a lot to brighten up your day.

Law of averages

job searchLet’s be honest – the more applications or cv’s you send out there, the more likely some recruiter is going to contact you back and (hopefully) offer you that dream job you’ve always wanted.  By increasing the chances of your cv being seen, you increase the chances of bagging that job.

Unfortunately, too many people (myself included) tend to panic and ‘blanket’ bomb as many recruiters or job ads they can find.  It’s hard work, and sometimes feels totally unnecessary, but you should always tailor your cv for the specific role you’re applying for.  It makes more of an impact than that generic cv you’ve been using.

It’s a transition period

Any time you move jobs, it gives you an opportunity to reassess where you are in life, what your goals are, and sometimes find out what you really want to be doing.  It’s also a time to work on personal goals or self-development and make yourself stronger once you come out of it with that shiny new job.  If you can afford it, take a class or learn something new.

Get feedback

offeringInsist on getting feedback on your interviews and your job search activities.  All too often recruiters will just send an impersonal email or give a quick phone to let you know you haven’t gotten the job.

But when you ask ‘why’, most of them won’t have the details to hand because their job is to place people in jobs, not give feedback.  With proper feedback you’ll know what to work on for next time.

Have some fun!!!

I made this mistake last time I was unemployed – I didn’t allow myself to do things that weren’t related to finding a job.  Instead I’d be glued to my laptop, reviewing job ads, feeling miserable and lonely.

By-the-pool2Too often when people are suddenly unemployed and starting to worry how they’re going to pay their bills, they forget to still go out and enjoy life to the fullest.  Ok, maybe not the fullest as your credit card isn’t going to pay itself off, but at least enjoy what life has to offer, even if it is on the cheap.

Invite a friend over for dinner, go for a few beers, play a video game, watch a movie, or even just go to the park to read for a bit.  Whatever you do, it’ll help take your mind off things and recharge.

Find the original post at How can I stay motivated during my job search? on Monster.co.uk.

Feeling the Pressure

Standard

jobsearch61

Ok, so I’ve only been looking for a new job for a week now, but already I’m starting to feel the pressure of it all and feeling very stressed about it all.  I know in my head that it’s probably too soon to start freaking out or whatever, but I can’t seem to stop myself.

All last week I was feeling fairly confident, energetic, and quietly optimistic about finding a new job quickly.  In fact, I had 2 calls from recruiters in the first 2 days, so this definitely gave me quite the boost going into the weekend.

But for whatever reason I woke up today feeling stressed about it all and started to worry about what’s going to happen next.  There are other worries as well surrounding this, but I’ve promised not to discuss them on here.

One part of me feels like I’ve been doing tons to try and find a new job.  I’ve signed up for multiple online agencies and registered my details on too many job sites to count, not to mention sent my cv in response to close to 20 job listings today alone.

interview-jobI’ve lost track of how many applications I’ve sent off in the past week.

But somehow I can’t shake the feeling that I’m not doing enough to get a job.  That there should be something else I should be doing to get those recruiters to call and say ‘You’re hired’.  That maybe I need to do something different in my job search.. If I only knew what it was.

For whatever reason today I’ve been feeling the pressure so much that it feels like someone is standing on my chest.  And it fucking hurts.

But I think mostly the situation has just finally sunk in.  That I’ve lost my job, and I’ve reverted back to where I was last year before I found the last job.

And yeah, I’m scared that I’ll end up going through the same year-long unemployment I went through last year.  Really scared, because I barely made it through that the first time.  I don’t think I could stand another bout of that again.  Especially don’t want to go through the depression again.

Several friends have told me to just stay strong and keep applying for jobs, and to not let myself get down about it all.  I’m trying, really really trying.. but it’s not easy to stay positive right now.

I suppose it’s to be expected to feel down about the situation, especially since I had barely allowed myself a moment to feel bad about the situation when it first happened, regardless if I hated the job..

And I can’t help thinking that possibly secretly, deep down, I wanted to get fired.  That subconsciously I thought if I was forced to look for a new job, then that might give me a kick in the ass to get moving.

stress2Well, now here I am and I’ve been given that kick in the ass.. I’m motivated to find a new job, and I’ve been looking as hard as I can, but it doesn’t alleviate that feeling of dread or the tightness in my chest.

Of course maybe I’m just having a bad day.  I’m allowed (I think) one once in awhile, right?