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Mama always said…

In the course of a week I hear myself giving lots of advice to my kids. I can’t help it… I’m a mom. Since the majority of my clients are parents, I’m sure they catch themselves doing the same. If we listen to our own words of wisdom, they can guide us during job search.

Mind your manners

From our child’s birth, we influence manners by what we do and say. We want our children to be polite, respectful members of society. Manners are important in job search, too. For example, saying thank you and remembering the name of a receptionist who helps you. Or sending a note or email after a job interview to thank the interviewers for their time. This is not only good manners but shows, if hired, you’ll pay attention to details and use interpersonal skills to build relationships.

Take care of your health

What parent has not cringed at the sight of their child eating poorly or spending too much time in front of the TV or computer? We know the importance of eating well and getting enough exercise. But we might fall off a healthy track ourselves when we get busy with job search. The nature of e-recruiting has us scanning search engines and websites for suitable jobs, networking through social media, and applying online. Many hours are spent sitting at the computer. Recent inactivity studies suggest that sitting for long periods can lead to a number of health concerns. To relieve the stresses of job search and to make sure you’re not sitting for too long, consider using a timer to remind you to get up and move around, get a drink of water or eat a healthy snack.

Make friends / get involved

We know our children will have happier, fuller lives if they have friends with whom to share interests and activities. We also know that in job search it’s important to access our network of friends and acquaintances. But if you’ve been removed from social and professional networks while raising children, a great resource is a local Meetup group: www.meetup.com. Here you can search by keywords (e.g. hiking, art, poetry, fishing, etc.) to find people who share your interests and who meet in groups in public places. Employers appreciate candidates who are active and connected to others. It suggests a healthy, outgoing nature and the candidate’s potential to bring a new customer base to the company.

Try something new

To expand our children’s experiences, we often encourage them to try something new. When our kids hesitate to join a sport or a club because they’re shy or might not be as good as the others, we encourage them, “just do your best.” If you find yourself hesitating to do something that would benefit your job search, such as calling to request an information interview or going in person to apply for a position, encourage yourself as you would your children. Take steps to prepare yourself and then, “just do your best”. Either you will win, or you will learn. Our family motto is, we only fail when we don’t even try.

We know our children learn far more from us by what we do than by what we say. Leading by example when we face hardships, such as job search, can have long-lasting benefits not only for ourselves, but for our kids who watch us closer than we might think for cues to proper behaviour. We reinforce our words when we “walk the talk.”


wenkimAbout the Author:
Kim Abram is a Career Facilitator at ISSofBC. As a certified career development practitioner, Kim assists clients with cover letters, resumes, interview skills and other job search tools and strategies. She also develops and provides workshops on a variety of career planning and employment topics. Please click here for information on ISSofBC’s career services.

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