THE HARDEST STEP

Don was a hard-working man, but found himself in financial trouble. “Lord”, he prayed, “I’ve never asked for anything for myself, but please let me win the Lottery so I can pay off my debts”. The week came and went, and he didn’t win. He repeated the prayer, but still no jackpot. Finally, in desperation Don prayed out loud, “Lord, I don’t understand! I’ve always lived a good life. All I ask is to win the Lottery. Why won’t you help me?” Joe’s wife, hearing the frustrated appeal, tapped him on the shoulder and said, “Do God a favor. Buy a ticket.”

Buy a ticket. What a great metaphor for us all. While many of us complain about being in a dead-end job, or being unemployed, how many haven’t “bought the ticket”, or taken the first step to change our situation.

Looking for a job or changing jobs is scary. The prospect of hearing several people tell us “No” before we finally get the “Yes, you’re hired” can get the best of us down. The fact is that the average job seeker will go to ten or so interviews before they are offered a job. Certainly, that number varies with job experience, interviewing skills, etc. The point is that the person who keeps putting in applications will eventually get the job.

One way to keep up the motivation is by establishing a daily routine. Get up at the same time every day, and start your job search no later than 9:00 a m. That gives the employer a chance to start their day, and to see if their problem employee is late or absent again. Who knows, maybe by simply showing up early you’ll find that new job. At a minimum, consistently showing up near the beginning of the day will show the employer you are dependable.

Why not add “Action” to your daily list? Try something like: “I will respond to at least ten job openings a week”; or, “I will drop off three resumes before noon every day”. Establish your action plan, and stick with it! If you need help in locating those available jobs, or would like to attend a free job search workshop, drop by the One-Stop Job Center at 124 N. Irwin St. in Downtown Hanford. Also, check the want ads in The Sentinel and log on to your favorite internet job listing website.

If you know you have more earning capacity or skills than you are presently using, start looking for that better job. It’s always easier to find a job when you have one.

Whatever your employment goal for 2009, get started now – “Buy the ticket”.